"Live at The Royal Albert Hall" (DVD)
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Profile of Joaquín Cortés.
Of gipsy blood, he was
born in Cordoba in 1969 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 solo artist. Joaquín
toured all over the world with this company, performing in the Metropolitan Opera
House in New York and the Kremlin´s Congress Palace in Moscow.
After leaving the National Ballet, he took part in a
number of gala performances alongside such great figures as Maya Plisetskaya,
Silvie Guillen, Pere Schauffus, Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Julio Bocca and colaborated
in several different companies and shows as guest artist or choreographer. These
works include the choreography for Carmen at the Arena in Verona, his participation
in the Summer Flamenco Festival of Tokyo, in various performances at the New York
Lincoln Center, his participation in the classical "Don Quijote" with
the Caracas Ballet.
After performing at the Champs-Elysée Theatre
in Paris in 1992, he created his own company, the Joaquín Cortés
Flamenco Ballet. His first show, Cibayí, toured throughout Spain and travelled
to Japan, France, Italy, Venezuela and The United States.
Pedro Almodóvar cast him in his first film role
in La Flor de mi Secreto (The Flower of my Secret). Later, Joaquín repeated
the experience in Carlos Saura's Flamenco, in which he shared the screen with
Spain's top flamenco artists.
His second creation, Pasión Gitana (Gipsy Passion),
opened in 1995, with the participation of Giorgio Armani designing the wardrobe,
the show has run all over Spain, showing in bull rings. Pasión Gitana has
also been a success in Europe. It was the first dance show to have closed the
prestigious Spoleto Festival (Italy) in its forty eight years of existence and
more than five thousand people went to his performance in the Forum of Milan.
In 1996 he did his first tour of USA where he presented,
among other places in the Radio City Music Hall in New York (he was the first
Spanish dancer to perfom there with his own show), and in the Universal Amphitheatre
of Los Angeles.
In 1997 Joaquín launched a CD with his own band
the “Gipsy Passion Band” on which he composes and directs the music and colaborates
on percussion. The CD contains music from the show as well as new arrangements.
After creating new choreographies for Pasión
Gitana in 1997, the show continued touring Latin America and has most recently
had success in 1998 in the Sydney Festival, Tokyo, Canada and New York.
In January 1999 the dancer from Córdoba went to
New York where he came into contact with other areas of music and dance. It was
during this period that he began an artistic collaboration with the choreographer
Debbie Allen with whom he went on to participate in the Oscar ceremony of the
71st Academy Awards of Hollywood's academy of motion picture arts. He returned
to Spain to prepare his participation in the opening ceremony of the World Athletics
championship in Seville where he embodied the person of Hercules for the gala
closing ceremony rebroadcast via television throughout the world and viewed by
an estimated audience of 25 million.
In early 2000 he debuted in the cinema with his first
starring role. Filming began of the movie Gitano written by Arturo Pérez
Reverte and directed by Manuel Palacios. The cast also includes the French model
Laetitia Casta as well as Pilar Bardem, Marta Belaustegui and José Luis
Gómez. At the same time Cortés was on the road with his international
tour of 'Soul', a show he eventually brought to London's Sadler's Wells, Beijing,
Hannover's Expo 2000, Beirut's Beittedine festival as well as to South America.
For Joaquín Cortés the year 2001 began
with the opening of the Viña del Mar, a festival of Latin American music
where no dancer had taken part in forty-two years. Around the same time, together
with Pino Saliocco, he produced the show Pura Pasión directed by his uncle
Cristóbal Reyes. The premiere performance was on February 28th, 2001. A
few days later another premiere took place in Barcelona at the Teatro Tívoli
with the show 'Live'. This work continues to be current on stages throughout the
world after having been presented in the most important cities of Latin America,
Europe and Russia. A hundred thousand spectators were able to enjoy the show throughout