Photo courtesy of Teatro Villamarta
Antonio Canales, the son and grandson of artists, was born in Triana, Seville. He started his studies as a soloist with the National Ballet; his career as a guest artist began when he left the company to visit the world?s great stages, along with many other dance stars. In 1981, he moved to Paris to be part of Maguy Mar?n?s company as guest artist for the choreography ?Calambre?. He was invited to the Versalia Festival in Italy, as a guest choreographer.
Antonio Canales has appeared in many international galas for dance stars, where he has shared the stage with celebrities such as: Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Carla Fracci, Vladimir Vasiler, Fernando Bujones, Peter Schaufuss, Sylvie Guillem, Patrick Dupond, and Julio Bocca. In 1992, he was invited to the gala ?The Giants of Dance? in the Th?atre des Champs Elys?es in Paris. In 1994 and 1995 he was invited to the 9th and 10th Gala of the Stars in Montreal.
In Italy, he received the award Best Dancer Navisela ?88; in Mexico City in 1990, he and Julio Bocca shared the award for Best International Dancer. To celebrate the Quincentennial of the Discovery of America, he performed at the World Financial Center in New York, the Holland Festival and at Metki Hall in Tokyo.
In January 1992, he created his own company, which debuted in Bilboa with the choreographies: ?A t?, Carmen Amaya? and ?Siempre flamenco?. He danced with his Ballet at the festivals in Utrecht and Toulouse, and at the 1st Hispanic Festival in Montreal as well as Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Ottawa and Toronto. That same year, he performed for 10 days at Milan?s Teatro Nazionale and toured all of Spain. He danced with Ketama for the recording of the disk ?De Ak? a Ketama?.
In 1993, ?Torero? premiered with great success at Montreal?s Place des Arts Theatre before beginning a long tour of Canada?s largest cities. In 1994, ?Torero? was performed at the Teatro de Madrid for 25 days; it received a warm welcome from both critics and the public. The same choreography played for 15 days at the Teatro Nazionale in Milan and Rome.
Since its premiere, Antonio Canales? Ballet Flamenco has performed ?Torero? more than 550 times across Spain and in festivals at: Arl?s; Montpellier; Kuopio (Finland); Brescia; Alburquerque (New Mexico); Festival Roma 96; Ankara; Lebanon; Portugal; etc. After two continuous seasons at the Th?atre des Champs Elys?es in Paris with great public and critical success, he appeared on the front page of the newspaper ?Liberation?. Antonio Canales is the second flamenco artist to ever reach this milestone; CAMAR?N was the first.
At Merida?s 41st Teatro Romano Festival, Antonio premiered two of his new creations: ?Narciso? and ?Triana?; he performed the latter with Merche Esmeralda.
Antonio Canales was awarded the 1995 National Dance Prize, which was presented to him in the Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium). The choreography for ?Torero? received the silver medal at FIPA 96 in Biarritz.
During the 9th Flamenco Biennial held at Seville?s Teatro Central, Antonio premiered his work ?Gitano?. Since then, the Company has performed ?Gitano? 90 times at the following locations: on stages in Madrid during the Fall Festival; at ?Madrid in Dance?; at Amusement Parks in Madrid (before an audience of 7,000), Ibiza, Murcia, Estepona, Segovia, Valladolid; and internationally in Ankara, Lebanon, Th?atre des Champs Elys?es, etc. ?
At the beginning of 1997, Antonio Canales performed ?Dance in Europe? at the Stars of Dance Gala organized by the Ballet de Montecarlo in celebration of the Grimaldi family?s 700-year reign in Monaco. During the first half of the same year, he toured France and performed at the Maison de la Dance in Lyon for one week. In March, he made his first entrance into the Latin American market, performing his show ?Torero? in Mexico?s Teatro de Bellas Artes and inaugurating the centennial celebrations for Costa Rica?s Teatro Nacional.
Antonio created the choreography ?Grito? while under contract to the National Ballet of Spain. After its debut in Spain, ?Grito? was performed at New York?s City Center. His Ballet Company then performed the work ?Torero? to public and critical acclaim at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami; a year later, Antonio repeated his appearance before this same public, but this time with ?Gitano?. Later, in October, the Ballet performed at the Teatro Teresa Carre?o in Venezuela. Antonio also participated in the Hispanic World Gala in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
His new show, ?Bengues?, premiered at the 1998 Madrid Fall Festival; it was the product of the first collaboration between Antonio Canales (Choreographer) and Luis Pasqual (Stage Director). This new creation is made up of two parts ?Suite sobre la Casa de Bernarda Alba? and ?Variaciones sobre el Guernica de Picasso?. During May of that same year, Antonio Canales? Ballet Flamenco performed in the most prestigious theatres in Peru, Costa Rica and Venezuela: Teatro Centro Peruano-Japones in Lima; Teatro Nacional San Jos? in Costa Rica; and Teatro Teresa Carre?o in Caracas.
Antonio Canales was awarded the Best Dance Show prize for his work ?Gitano? at the first annual MAX Awards for Stage Arts, which was created by the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers, and Spain?s Performing Rights Society (SGAE). During the first three months of 1999, Antonio toured Spain with his show ?Ra?z?. He received another MAX award for Best Dance Interpreter.
In July 1999, the Muralla de ?vila musical nights premiered Fuerza Latina with great success.
The French director, Tony Gatlif, filmed Antonio in Portugal and Andalusia for his movie ?Vengo?. The film closed outside of the 1999 Venice Film Festival competition but premiered a month later in Spain. In February 2002, ?La Cenicienta? debuted in Zaragoza?s Teatro Principal, and then toured Spain, including a run in June at Madrid?s Teatro Albeniz. In September, Antonio closed the 10th Flamenco Biennial in the Teatro de la Maestranza with the show Bailaor.
Translated by Rita Granda