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Carmen Tortola Valencia

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Name  Carmen Valencia
Carmen Tortola Valencia

EFEMÉRIDES. La bailarina Cármen Tórtola murió hace hoy 55 años

Carmen Tortola Valencia (June 18, 1882 - February 13, 1955) was a Spanish early modern dancer, choreographer, costume designer, and painter, who generally performed barefoot. Tortola Valencia is said to have been the inspiration for Ruben Dario's poem, La bailarina de los pies desnudos ("The Barefoot Dancer").



Born in Seville to a Catalan father (Florenc Tortola Ferrer, d. 1891) and Andalusian mother (Georgina Valencia Valenzuela, d. 1894), she was three years old when her family emigrated to London. In his book Tortola Valencia and Her Times (1982), Odelot Sobrac, one of his early biographers, said Tortola Valencia developed a style that expressed emotion through movement and that she was inspired by Isadora Duncan. A member of Generacion del 13, her costumes are part of the collection of Centre de Documentacio i Museu de les Arts Esceniques. Her Spanish modernismo style enabled a career as a solo concert dance artist who performed classic, Oriental, and Spanish pieces. She made her debut at the Gaiety Theatre in London (1908), appearing at the Berlin Wintergarten theatre and the Folies Bergere of Paris in the same year. She performed in Nuremberg and London in 1909. One of the people she taught was the Anglo-Indian dancer Olive Craddock aka Roshanara. In 1911, she made her Spanish debut at the Romea Theatre of Madrid. She was at the Ateneo de Madrid in 1913.

The feminist

Tortola Valencia was also a "pioneer Spanish feminist of the 20th century". Being gay and having leftist ideas, Tortola Valencia was jailed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. In 1928, she met Magret Angeles-Vila and they were inseparable thereafter. She danced for the last time in 1930 in Quito. She began painting in Barcelona where she died in 1955 and is buried at Poblenou Cemetery.


Carmen Tortola Valencia Wikipedia

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