Rafael Amargo is a Spanish dancer and choreographer who has explored many styles throughout his professional career. The style of his choreographies, sometimes very close to contemporary dance, maintain the purest form of flamenco as their basis and point of reference.
Although Rafael Amargo supports dance companies and the theatrical and scenic concept of flamenco (following the footsteps of the great Antonio Gades), he also dances from time to time in flamenco “tablaos” (the places where flamenco shows are performed). He began his professional career in Madrid at the age of sixteen in the dance company of the famous Spanish flamenco singer and dancer Lola Flores and then continued dancing in the most renowned tablaos and dance companies in Madrid.
Rafael Amargo premiered his first show with his dance company in 1997: “La garra y el ángel” [The Claw and the Angel]. Since his first premiere at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, his company created 12 more shows: “Amargo” (1999), “Poeta en Nueva York” [Poet in New York] (2002), “El amor brujo” [The Bewitched Love] (2003), “Enramblao” (2004), “D.Q. pasajero en tránsito” [D.Q. Passenger in transit] (2005), “Tiempo muerto” [Down time] (2006), “Enramblao 2” (2008), “La díficil sencillez” [Difficult simplicity] (2009), “Rosso” (2010), “Princesas del flamenco” [Princesses of Flamenco] (2010) and “Solo y Amargo” (2010).
His shows have been performed in the best festivals and theaters in the world: NewYork City Center, Carneggie Hall, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Beijing National Opera (China), Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Casino in Paris, Town Hall in New York, Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto (Italy), Sadler’s WellsTheatre in London, Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, Teatro Ópera and Gran Rex in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon, La Forest Nationale in Brussels or the Jacquie GleasonTheatre in Miami. On the national scene, Rafael has performed in the most important theaters in Spain, such as the Royal Theater in Madrid and the GranTeatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
Rafael Amargo has always been keen on talking to the media and participating in public life, which has led him to participate in several popular international TV programs. He was a member of the jury in the program “Bailando por un sueño” of Televisa Mexico, he was the professor of body language and jury of the program “Star Academy” for TF1 in France and also jury of the program “Bailando con le Stelle” for RAI Italy. In Spain, he was a professor at the academy of the very famous program “Operación Triunfo” for Tele5.
Apart from his successful career as a dancer and choreographer, Rafael Amargo also has experience in the world of acting and film. He acted in the film “Tirante el Blanco” under the direction of Vicente Aranda, and starred in the film “El crimen de una novia”, directed by Lola Guerrero.
He has also acted in popular Spanish TV series such as “Siete Vidas”, “Esposados”, “Un Paso Adelante” and “Cuéntame”. He directed the documentary film “El Amor Amargo de Chavela” [Dreaming Chavela]. His friendship with Chavela Vargas, the famous Mexican singer, led him to direct this documentary that has been screened in countries such as Peru, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and Colombia. He was awarded the prize of “Best Director” at the Busan Short Film Festival (South Korea), and the Honorable Mention to the Best Documentary on Art “Enrique Grau” (at the Bogota Film Festival in Colombia).
Rafael Amargo’s professional career has been awarded on numerous occasions. Some of the most prominent awards he has received are four Max Awards for Performing Arts, the Positano Leonide Massine Award for Dance (the highest Italian distinction given to dancers), and the Award of the Association of Teachers of Spanish Dance and Flamenco of Spain. His audience awarded him the Best Dance Show prize for “Amargo” and “Poeta en Nueva York” [Poet in New York ]. As a choreographer, we should mention his choreography created for the musical “Zorro” of London’s West End and directed by Chris Renshaw. The musical has traveled around the world and has been performed in countries such as Amsterdam, Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, Sofia, Rio de Janeiro, and USA. Rafael Amargo was a finalist in the most distinguished awards in musical theater in the Netherlands and London. At the John Kraaijkamp Musical Awards (Netherlands) in 2011 and at the Lawrence Olivier Awards as BestTheater Choreographer (London) in 2008.
Rafael Amargo also collaborates with various NGOs, including the Sabera Foundation in India and is an ambassador of the Vicky Sherpa Eduqual Foundation in Kathmandu (Nepal).