Soler, Antonio Ruiz
(Antonio el Bailarin)
(1921-1996)
   Seville, Spain. Dancer. He was known as Spain's most famous and charismatic traditional dancer, possessing the quality of duende, the spirit of flamenco. He also included in his repertoire the stamping of feet, known as taconeado. Soler showed early promise by dancing publicly at the age of four, and by the time he was six, he had joined a dancing school. When he was eight years old, he had already started a partnership with another pupil, and in 1937 they left for a tour of North and South America, performing as "Antonio and Rosario." They performed in films with Rita Hayworth and Judy Garland before returning to Madrid, where Antonio made his debut in 1949. The duo danced together for 22 years before splitting in 1952. Soler also performed at Pablo Picasso's 80th birthday party in 1961 when the painter joined him in a rumba. He was director of the Spanish National Ballet from 1980 to 1983 and again for a short period in 1989.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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