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Thursday, February 16, 2012 (read 1564 times)

The Flamenco art of Antonio Canales

by Kimberly

Antonio Gómez de los Reyes, more commonly referred to as Antonio Canales, was born in Seville in 1961.  The famous flamenco dancer (bailaor in Spanish) and Spanish actor came from a family of flamenco artists such as Antonio el Bailarín and Antonio Gades.  His grandfather, Canales, was a great flamenco singer (cantaor in Spanish) even though he never went professional.

Antonio started his dancing career after studying ballet. So young he becoming a dance teacher at Club Natación in Seville.  The dancer decided that he wanted to go professional and presented himself before the Lope de Vega Theatre to audition for a spot in Spain’s National Ballet.  He was selected and after several years became a solo dancer in the company and guest starring in many other shows.  After leaving the National Ballet, Antonio Canales moved to Paris to work with the Maguy Marín ballet company where he would be invited to choreograph the Versalia Festival in Italy. Launched to international fame, Antonio Canales was paired with artists such as Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Carla Fracci, Vladimir Vasilev, Fernando Bujones, Peter Schaufuss, Sylvie Guillem, Patrick Dupond or Julio Bocca and invited to participate as the main dancer in more than 50 productions and Spanish flamenco shows around the world.

By 1988, the famous flamenco bailaor was awarded the Mavisela Award in Italy to honor the best dancer and later in 1990 he took home a similar award in Mexico.

1992 saw the dancer taking part in the Paris “Giants of Dance” gala at Champs Elysées Theater and it is also the year in which the dancer founded his own dance company which debuted in Bilbao with the shows A tí Carmen Amaya and Siempre Flamenco. The same year, to celebrate the Five Hundred Years of the Discovery of America, Canales performed in New York City’s World Financial Center, the Holland Festival and Metki Hall in Tokyo. 

In 1993 the performer went tour in Canada with the production Torero which later debuted in Spain and would win him a nomination for the 1995 Emmy Awards.  In the following years Antonio Canales was invited to perform in the Stars of Montreal Gala and in 1997 the Gala of the Stars organized by the Montecarlo Ballet. In 1998, Canales’ choreography Grito (Scream) for the Spanish National Ballet was presented in New York.

The Spanish dancer was awarded the prestigious Andalusia Medal in 1999. The prize honors those who contribute to the positive image of Spain around the world.

Antonio Canales has worked continually producing hit choreographies such as Cenicienta (2000), Ojos verdes (2003) and much more to add to the list of his many other famous titles:  “A ti, Carmen Amaya", "Siempre flamenco", "Bengues, Venus y Narciso", "A cuerda y tacón", "Gitano", "Variaciones sobre el Guernica de Picasso", "La casa de Bernarda Alba" and "Raíces".

Keywords: antonio canales, flamenco, spanish dancer, flamenco dancer

Posted In: Spain, Culture


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