2 3 Throwback Thursday and Carmen Amaya | Ballet Webb

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Carmen Amaya

Throwback Thursday and Carmen Amaya

Flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya was born on November 2, 1913 in the Andalusian region of Spain, part of a group of people known as the Calé (now called Romani). Flamenco dance is a big part of Romani culture, and although flamenco’s true origin is a mystery, it contains elements of many cultures, including Indian, Persian, Greek, Moorish and Arabic.

Carmen Amaya was said to have great “duende” in her dancing. Duende is usually translated to mean spirit, soul or fire and it can apply to many performing arts, and means that a dancer is filled with emotion.

Carmen Amaya was one of the most famous bailaoras (female flamenco dancers) of the twentieth century, and was often called “Queen of the Gypsies”. Her style of dance was masculine and “ferocious”. She wore tight fitting suits most often worn by men. It is said her footwork was so intense that she  sometimes put her foot through the floor of the stage. Later in her career however, she adopted a more feminine style.

In 1941 she to New York and gained fans in the United States. One of those was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who invited her to perform at the White House. She also appeared in many Hollywood movies which served to increase her fame.

She died of kidney disease on November 19, 1963.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #255:
“Flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya was called Queen of the Gypsies.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.”
― Shah Asad Rizvi

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