From Thu Jul 22 10:15:16 2004
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 16:06:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [NYTr] News Summary from RHC—July 21, 2004
Article: 185463
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Artist, Revolutionary and Unforgettable Friend of Cuba Dies in Madrid

Radio Havana Cuba, 21 July 2004

Madrid/Havana, July 21 (RHC)— One of the most prestigious figures in contemporary dance, Spaniard Antonio Gades, died of cancer yesterday in Madrid at the age of 67.

The Cuban press lamented the loss of a dancer who was an impassioned supporter of the Cuban Revolution and people. Gades first came to Cuba in 1975 and after almost thirty years of solidarity with the island was awarded the Josi Martý Order, one of the highest awards given by the Cuban State, in early June in recognition of his merits as a dancer and revolutionary.

On receiving the award, Gades said that the true honor was to share such recognition with thousands of people that “anonymously defend the Cuban Revolution every day.” Among his many decorations, Gades was also awarded the Gran Teatro de La Habana Prize and an honorary doctorate from the Cuban Higher Institute of the Arts.

Following his expressed wishes, a simple, private funeral was held in Madrid and the dancer's ashes were to be taken to Cuba.

Born Antonio Esteve Rsdenas on November 16, 1936 in Elda in the Spanish province of Alicante, Gades began his artistic career in a Madrid circus at the age of 11 to help with the family economy.

Gades was considered a revolutionary choreographer and with works such as Blood Weddings, Fuenteovejuna and Carmen inspired what has been called a “renaissance” in Spanish dance.

“The only bad things about dying is not being able to dance or sail,” Gades is reported saying in reference to two of his great passions. On its front page Wednesday, the Cuban daily Granma lamented the loss of what it called “an immense friend.”