Tributes to Gades, flamenco 'revolutionary'

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 July ,

21 July 


MADRID — Tributes to Antonio Gades, for decades the world's best-known flamenco dancer and choreographer, dominated Spanish newspapers and television Wednesday.


Gades died in Madrid at the age of 67 Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.


He died in Madrid's Gregorio Marañon Hospital, where he was hospitalised several weeks ago.


His health took a serious turn for the worse Sunday and physicians notified his family that the end was near.


His wife Eugenia Eiriz - whom he had recently married - and several of his daughters were with him when he died.


Gades was credited with revolutionizing the way flamenco was danced and performed in Spain.


His artistic influence extended way beyond Spain and he was seen as an important figure during Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy.


Cuban leader Fidel Castro bestowed the island's highest decoration, the Jose Marti award, on the legendary Flamenco dancer whose real name was Antonio Esteve Rodenas, for his "unswerving love, friendship and loyalty."


Gades, who was born in Elda, in the Mediterranean province of Alicante in 1936, joined the Communist Party several decades ago and admired Cuba greatly.


This love for Cuba and its Marxist regime led him to marry his first wife, Spanish pop singer Marisol - with whom he had three daughters - in the Caribbean island in a civil ceremony.


His best man was Fidel Castro and the matron of honour was renowned Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso.


[Copyright EFE with Expatica]


Subject: Spanish news



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