Work and artistic discipline

Antonio Esteve was born in 1936 in the coastal town of Elda, in the province of Alicante, Spain. After the civil war in which his father participates, they move to Madrid where he grows up testing his abilities and overcoming the post-war hardships. In 1954, the famous dancer and choreographer Pilar López perceived an unusual energy and magic in him, artistically baptizing him Antonio Gades, and naming him first dancer in her ballet. Thus, he begins a professional career that will lead him to discover the world, choreography, theater, literature and painting, as well as acting, cinema and artistic production. A rigorous worker with a seafaring spirit, Antonio would become one of the most innovative and relevant personalities in universal dance and, especially, in flamenco, performing arts and Spanish folklore.

With Elettra Morini and Marga Nativo en "L'amore Stregone" · Teatro Alla Scala de Milán, Italy 1962
Original portraits by Erio Piccagliani · Frames from de "Gades, between step and step" © MMXXII

A vital cast

The short film stars the following figures: his mentor Pilar López and the dancers Manolo Vargas and his brother Enrique Esteve, the photographer Campúa and the jazzman Harry Fleming. The bailaoras Carmen Amaya, Antoñita "La Singla", Curra Jiménez and "La Polaca". The maestro Vicente Escudero, the guitarists Emilio de Diego, Juan Maya "Marote" and Paco de Lucía. The dancers Cristina Hoyos, Alicia Alonso, Elettra Morini, Marga Nativo, Laura del Sol and Antonio Gades Ballet. The dancers Rafael de Córdova and Juan Antonio Jiménez. The singers Calderas de Salamanca and El Lebrijano. And poets, painters and film directors such as Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Picasso, Rafael Alberti, Joan Miró and Carlos Saura.

Rafael Alberti, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró · Cannes Beach, France 1966
Original portraits by Bill Brandt y André Villers / Joan Fontcuberta
Frames from "Gades, between step and step"

Images for inspiration

This audiovisual essay is built from clippings of photographs that have documented his work through the decades, and with which I compose 26 animated scenes frame by frame describing a chronology, from his childhood to his last trip to Havana. All the characters, their expressions and the very brief actions that revive them for a fraction of a second on the screen are historical fragments of films, plays, drawings, posters, portraits and snapshots belonging to the Antonio Gades, Gyenes y Campúa, Erio Piccagliani Foundation Archive, Jacques Leonard, André Villers, Colita, Xavier Miserachs, Francesc Catalá Roca, Vicente Escudero, Joan Pons, Bill Brandt, Pepe Lamarca, Javier del Real, Óscar Balducci, Archive of the National Ballet of Cuba and Carlos Saura Archive. Selective snips, then modified, reconstructed and embedded in places and scenic spaces created in the same way. These locations, in order of appearance, are: Elda, Alicante Gran Vía, Madrid Teatro Alla Scala, Milan Montjuic, Somorrostro and Ramblas, Barcelona El Corral de la Morería, Madrid Manhattan, New York Cannes Beach Studio de TV, Madrid · Gran Teatro, Havana · Dance Studio, Madrid · Puerto Deportivo, Ibiza · Sacromonte, Granada and Old Havana, Cuba.

Referenced Works

Based on scenes from his filmography and photographs of his shows, the following works are represented in the short film: "El Amor Brujo" by Manuel de Falla at the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan in 1962 · "Los Tarantos" by Rovira Beleta, Barcelona 1963 · "Suite de Flamenco" by Antonio Gades, Madrid 1963 · "The Pleasure Seekers" by Jean Negulesco, Madrid 1964 · "Don Juan" by Alfredo Mañas, Madrid 1965 · "With the east wind" by Mario Camus, Toledo 1966 · "The amor brujo" by Rovira Beleta, Cádiz 1967 · "Last meeting" by Antonio Eceiza, Málaga 1967 · "Capriccio Spagnolo" by Rimsky Korsakov, Milan 1968 · "Farruca" by Antonio Gades, Madrid 1968 · "Giselle" by Alicia Alonso, La Havana 1978 · "Blood Wedding", "Carmen" and "El amor brujo" by Carlos Saura. Madrid, 1981-1985 and "Fuenteovejuna" by Antonio Gades, Seville 2001. Also inspiring are the photographs of the Barcelona gypsy people taken by the frenchman Jacques Leonard, - known as "el payo Chac" -, and the flamenco cubist drawings by master Vicente Escudero.

Press Dossier  Poster A4  Film Frames  Óle !

Thanks to Maria Esteve, Eugenia Eiriz de Gades,
Stella Arauzo and Antonio Solera

for the original and exciting soundtrack, and their trust
and support in the realization of this audiovisual essay.
"Gades, between step and step" ® a musical short film by Antonio Alay
© MMXXII All rights reserved · @alay_imagemaker · graphic-o-rama

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