Who is Carmen Amaya? Google Doodle celebrates iconic flamenco dancer

Who is Carmen Amaya? Google Doodle celebrates iconic flamenco dancer
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If you’ve used Google today, you may have noticed the typical logo on the search engine has been jazzed up as it pays tribute to the Spanish Romani flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya.

The Google Doodle features bright colours and the animated figure of Amaya in a pose with her hands flared in a way that reflects the traditional style of dance she performed.

On 2 November, it marks what would have been Amaya's 110th birthday and was illustrated by the Barcelona-based artist Genie Espinoza.

Who is Carmen Amaya?

Born on 2 November 1913 in Barcelona, Amaya was born into a family of flamenco dancers. Her father played the guitar and by the time she was 4 years old, she was already dancing in tavernas whilst he played.

Her unique and expressive dance style eventually caught the attention of a showrunner, who booked her to perform in prestigious venues such as the Spanish Theatre in Barcelona and Paris’ Palace Theatre.

In 1929, when Amaya was in her mid-teens, she began touring Spain and Portugal with some of the world’s most renowned flamenco dancers.

While other dancers in the genre focused on the movements of their upper body and arms, Amaya utilised her whole body. In addition, her rapid footwork became a known trademark of her unique style, which drew fans from across Latin America.

Amaya settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and formed her own flamenco troupe which toured around South America. Next, after more than a decade of touring, she moved to Mexico City.

In 1941, Amaya performed in New York where she won over the US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who later invited her to dance at the White House. Towards the end of her career, she spent time in Hollywood, acting in films such as La Historia de los Tarantos.

Over the years, Amaya’s legacy has been recognised by her home country of Spain. She was awarded the Medal of the Tourist Merit of Barcelona and in the city’s Montuic Park, there is a monument and a fountain in her honour.

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