José Greco


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(b Montorio-nei-Frentani, Italy, 23 Dec. 1919; d 26 Dec. 2000)

Spanish-Italian dancer. One of the most important figures in Spanish dance in the 20th century. He was raised in New York, where he studied Spanish dance with Helen Veola; later studied with La Argentinita and La Quica. He danced in nightclubs until 1942 when La Argentinita chose him as her partner. After her death in 1945 he danced with her sister, Pilar López. In the late 1940s he formed his own company, which took Spanish dance around the world. His productions were large in scale and played to audiences of up to ten thousand. Through his appearances on television and in films such as Around the World in Eighty Days (1955) and Ship of Fools (1964) he helped to popularize Spanish dance in America. Following his retirement from the José Greco company in the mid-1990s he settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he taught. His son José Greco II formed his own flamenco company.

Subjects: Dance.

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