Antonio Gades

Antonio Esteve Ródenas or Antonio Gades (14 November 1936 in Elda, Alicante 20 July 2004 in Madrid, Spain) was a Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer. He helped to popularise the art form on the international stage. He was father of actress María Esteve and singer Celia Flores, daughters of his ex-partner Marisol, a popular actress and singer.



Gades's most notable works included dance adaptations of Prosper Mérimée's Carmen and Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre), as well as a feature-length adaptation of Manuel de Falla's 23-minute ballet El amor brujo.

In the 1990s, he toured the world with his show Fuenteovejuna, based on Lope de Vega's play of the same name.


Gades collaborated with the Spanish director Carlos Saura in the filming of the adaptations of Carmen and Blood Wedding, which also featured Cristina Hoyos.


Gades co-founded and became the artistic director of the Spanish National Ballet (Ballet Nacional de España) in 1978.

Personal life and death

Gades was prominent as a political activist in Alicante, where he proclaimed self-determination for the Catalan nation during the Spanish Transition between the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, a Marxist–Leninist organization. In 1987 he was a member of the jury at the 15th Moscow International Film Festival.[1]

He was married to the Spanish actress and singer Marisol for four years; they had three daughters.

He died in Madrid from cancer.


About six weeks before his death, Gades received the "Order of José Martí", one of the highest honors of Cuba, from Fidel Castro, in Havana, Cuba.

In 2004 his ashes were interred at the Mausoleum of the Frank País Second Eastern Front, a memorial cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.



  1. "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
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