(b Alicante, 14 Nov. 1936; d 20 Jul. 2004)
Spanish flamenco dancer and company director. He studied dance in Madrid and performed with Pilar López's company from 1952 to 1961. His first works as a choreographer were created in Italy but in 1963 he returned to Spain to form his own company. Its early success in Barcelona resulted in an invitation to the New York World's Fair in 1964, followed by extensive international touring and in 1978 he was invited by the Spanish Ministry of Culture to form the National Ballet of Spain (Ballet Nacional Español). In 1974 he created Blood Wedding, inspired by Lorca's play and set to music by Emilio de Diego, which was filmed in 1981 by Carlos Saura and starred him and his partner Cristina Hoyos. Staged in a rehearsal hall, without sets or costumes it was hugely successful, raising the profile of flamenco worldwide and leading to further collaborations between Saura and Gades (Carmen, and El amor brujo, created for both stage and film). During the 1980s and 1990s Gades formed several companies including Ballet Antonio Gades con Cristina Hoyos, which toured internationally.