May 5, 2000
Maestro Antonio Vargas
Antonio's illustrious career extends over decades of artistic innovation and integrity. He tours internationally with his own company. He starred in "Strictly Ballroom" and "Time Trax" and has adapted various plays/novels for Flamenco Dance Theatre. His latest work for film was the choreography for the Flamenco segment of the soon to be released "Mission Impossible II" in which he also appears with Tom Cruise.
Born in Casablanca, Antonio Vargas was attracted to Flamenco at a very early age. His inborn musicality could equally have drawn him to become a concert cellist or a percussionist. However his passion for the art of Flamenco and the full realization of its potentials have been the driving force behind his long and brilliant career.
Had he been taller, the Flamenco world might have suffered a great tragedy and lost him to ballet; but as fate would have it, his physique did not conform with the ballet masters specifications, and his teacher advised him to do Spanish Dance. That must have awaken recollections of his aunts, both flamenco dancers, and the rest is history. As soon as he could, he escaped to Spain and immersed himself in the world of Flamenco, learning with the best teachers in Spain at the time, not only to dance but also to play the Flamenco guitar.
His main teacher was Antonio Marín, a one-legged genius who created dancing-monsters through his daughters' feet. Soon he had auditioned and been selected when he was only eighteen years old as a member of the Pilar Lopez Company, followed by the Rafael de Córdova Company.
Antonio has always been a pioneer in the field of Flamenco Dance Theatre. Back in 1962, when he formed his first company, he had already the desire to take Flamenco out of the tight boundaries of the traditional, predictable performances that most audiences were used to; he always believed that Flamenco could lend itself to interpret great novelists and poets and that it could be put on stage side by side with the most established, mainstream art-forms, such as opera and choral works, without jeopardizing its authenticity.