Joaquin Cortes – King of flamenco
Joaquin Cortes helped to make flamenco one of the most popular dance forms in the world today. He is not only flamenco dancer, but also a choreographer, actor and since February 2007, the Ambassador of the Roma in the European Union, the creator of the Roma Foundation in Spain.
He was born in Cordoba in 1969 into a gypsy family, and at the age of twelve, moved to Madrid where he began his dance training. He joined the Spanish National Ballet when he was fifteen and quickly rose to the ranks of the solo artist. In 1996 he burst onto the international dance and music scene with his show Gypsy Passion. Since then he has toured all over the world with this company, performing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, London’s Albert Hall and the Kremlin’s Congress Palace in Moscow.
One of his friends is Giorgio Armani, who dresses Joaquin not only for his offstage appearances, but makes costumes for his shows.
Joaquin likes to keep his private life private. But there were rumors about him and Jennifer Lopez and his relationship with supermodel Naomi Campbell.
He visited Russia with his show in 2001, 2004 and 2007. On September 30, 2008 his concert took place in Moscow at the State Kremlin Palace.
He played in several films – The Flower of My Secret (1995), Flamenco (1995), Gypsy (2000), Vanilla and Chocolate (2004).
According to Elle magazine, he is one of the ten sexiest men of the world.
Flamenco is part of the culture of Andalusia, not of Spain in general. Gypsy music, traditional Andalusian folk songs and Arab melodies from Spain’s Moorish past have all played a part in creating this unique sound. The first flamenco schools appeared in Seville in the late 1700. Early flamenco was purely vocal accompanied only by rhythmic clapping of hands, but soon the guitar became the core component. The sound of the guitar, the improvisation of the singer and the dramatic movements of the dancers – all these combined together make an unforgettable show. Flamenco doesn’t need a stage. People dance it when they have something to celebrate.
Flamenco show is a must for every tourist visiting Spain, and as a result it was so often performed by dancers, who knew very little about the dance, so often imitated and so stereotyped, that true flamenco became something rare and difficult to come by.
But in the 1980s flamenco reinvented itself and a new style – new flamenco – was created by a younger generation of flamenco artists, who used not only traditional music, but jazz, pop and South American melodies.