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 Post subject: Antonio Gades
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:04 am 
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Noted Spanish Flamenco Dancer Dies

ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 20, 2004

Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades died Tuesday in Madrid after a long illness, a hospital spokesman said. He was 67.
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:25 am 
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It is always sad to hear of the death of great dance artists, but to lose Gades at a relatively early age, when he still had so much to give his friends, family, associates and audiences seems particularly hard.

I first experienced his work through the film "Blood Wedding", created with the film director Carlos Saura. "Blood Wedding" shows the arrival of the dancers, a class and then a rehearsal in a spare, beautiful room with huge windows. It is one of the finest dance films ever made for its purity, the quality of the dancing and the emotional punch generated by the combination of this majestic dance form with Lorca's poetry. The later collaboration by the same team, "Carmen", also had much power, even if the multi-layered plot complexities were in sharp contrast to the austere "Blood Wedding". With works such as these, Gades left no doubt that this folk dance form could be used to create high art of outstanding quality.

Gades was a traditionalist with respect to dance and I heard him speak against the trend to show-biz Flamenco, stripped to the waist and with egos to the fore. However, he was not an archivist and he developed the use of Flamenco for full-evening narrative productions and created several works which will live on for many decades. I had the privilige of seeing him perform Jose in his "Carmen", when his company brought the work to London for the first time, around 8 years ago. He was a little slower around the turns than we had seen in the films from a decade or so before, but his characterisation of this doomed figure was superb and when there was a second visit a few years later, a new Jose brought more polished footwork, but far less intensity.

The Ballet Nacional de España came to Sadler's Wells last year with "Fuenteovejuna" by Gades and here we saw a different style with many Spanish dance forms in an ensemble work about solidarity and a people's struggle against authoritarianism. This was a theme close to his heart, as his opposition to the fascist Franco dictatorship meant that he spent much of his career outside of Spain. I had the pleasure of interviewing the Director of the company Elvira Andrés], who clearly revered Gades and had worked with him on several productions. I will let her have the final word about Gades: "All my life I have tried to learn as much as I can from Gades. Unfortunately I am not him!"

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Antonio Gades


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon May 08, 2006 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:39 pm 
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OH! what a loss! He was one of the most amazing flamenco spirits!


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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:13 pm 
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Antonio Gades
Stunning Spanish dancer and choreographer


By MICHAEL EAUDE
The Guardian
July 22, 2004

Gades was a man of high principles, great stubbornness and exceptional discipline and rigour in his work. He never took advice from anyone, except perhaps López, who, he said, formed him as a person: "I learned not to be superior to anyone else, but only try to be better than myself."
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:27 pm 
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Soul of Spanish dance

By LESLIE CRAWFORD
The Financial Times
July 22, 2004

Gades' work reached an international audience when Carlos Saura filmed his Flamenco Trilogy, with Gades in the star role. Blood Wedding, in 1980, was followed by Carmen, which shows Gades reclaiming Bizet's opera for his flamenco troupe. The third film was El Amor Brujo, based on music composed by Antonio de Falla.
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:30 am 
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Antonio Gades, Artistic Flamenco Dancer, Dies at 67

By ANNA KISSELGOFF
The New York Times
July 22, 2004

Mr. Gades helped popularize flamenco, and he knew how to hold the stage alone. Tall, elegant and focused on the heelwork that is essential to male flamenco dancing, he drew the viewer into the formal power of his performance. His rhythms were complex, his carriage refined: abstraction was his style. The fireworks of flamenco's Gypsy dancers were foreign to him.
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:05 am 
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Th Guardian obituary is very good and the adjective "stunning" more appropriate than AP's "noted".

<small>[ 22 July 2004, 07:06 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 11:37 pm 
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Antonio Gades

The Scotsman
July 26, 2004

He also reached a wide audience via his ten films, especially three made with the Spanish director Carlos Saura. Those were Blood Wedding (1981), based on Federico Garcia Lorca’s play; Carmen (1983), which parallels the plot of Bizet’s opera with a backstage love story; and 1986’s El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician), which re-creates Manuel de Falla’s ballet about a woman possessed by the spirit of her dead husband.
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:38 pm 
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Here a good photo gallery of Antonio Gades' films with Carlos Saura at flamenco-world.com.

(I'm pretty sure the last picture is actually from "Carmen.")

<small>[ 26 July 2004, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:15 am 
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Antonio Gades
Flamenco dancer and choreographer


By NADINE MEISNER
The Independent
July 30, 2004

He had neither gypsy nor Andalusian origins, but Antonio Gades belonged to that mighty line of dancers who popularised flamenco outside Spain.
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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:44 am 
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An interesting piece by Nadine Meisner. She writes:

Quote:
...there was sometimes a blandness of phrasing that prevented his dancing from achieving true greatness.
I salute Meisner's frankness in making this criticism, but "blandness" is not a word that comes to my mind when I think of Gades.

Thanks for the link to the great images djb. The final one showing the unforgettable shadow fight without music is indeed from "Carmen". That's one filmed dance sequence that I won't forget in a hurry.

<small>[ 30 July 2004, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:20 pm 
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I agree, I don't associate "blandness" with Gades. I heard through an acquaintance that her flamenco teacher, of an older generation than Gades', felt that Gades had turned men's flamenco into more posing than dancing (I can't say). But even if this were so, his posing was certainly very charismatic, and not bland.

The opening scene of "Blood Wedding" is the best screen depiction I've seen of the backstage life of dancers.


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 Post subject: Re: Antonio Gades Dies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:06 am 
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Antonio Gades

By TRADER FAULKNER
The Guardian
August 4, 2004

Trader Faulkner writes: I first met Antonio Gades in 1957. He was 20, a flamenco dancer par excellence with Pilar Lopez's company. I was the juvenile in a West End play. Gades admired actors; I admired flamenco. He would teach me to dance if I taught him "To be or not to be".
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