MEXICO CITY – Manolo Vargas, considered an outstanding flamenco dancer, died earlier this week in Mexico City, the Mexican National Fine Arts Institute said. He was 98.
Vargas, whose real name was Jose Aranda, died on Tuesday, the institute said.
He was born in Tala, a town in the western state of Jalisco on Aug. 15, 1912, and studied in Guadalajara and later in Mexico City, where he enrolled at the National Dance School to learn Spanish dance and ballet.
“The artist was a living legend because of his great dance art, which was recognized by the best flamenco choreographers in the world, as well as in treatises, encyclopedias and museums,” the National Fine Arts Institute said.
He continued giving flamenco dance classes to young people even at the advanced age of 98, the institute said.
Manolo Vargas got into dance at a late age, the National Fine Arts Institute said, noting that Jose Greco encouraged him to take up flamenco at the age of 30.
He debuted at New York’s Carnegie Hall with Encarnacion Lopez, known as “La Argentinita,” in 1942.
Vargas joined Roberto Ximenez in forming the Ballet Español de Ximenez-Vargas in 1955, touring with the group until it broke up in 1963. EFE