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After last week’s silly indulgence of seeing Manolo Caracol in Embrujo, I feel we need something with some serious flamenco performances, so I have chosen Los Tarantos featuring two superb dancers Carmen Amaya and Antonio Gades. Los Tarantos is a flamenco ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story and the two feuding families are Los Tarantos and Los Zorongos. Then Rafael, el Taranto (Daniel Martín) and Juana, la Zoronga (Sara Lezana) fall in love with each other.


Carmen Amaya plays Rafael’s mother and the setting is Somorrostro in Barcelona where Carmen Amaya had grown up. Antonio Gades plays a Mercutio-like character called ‘Moji’. Other flamenco figures heard performing in the film are the guitarist Andrés Batista and flamenco singer ‘El Chocolate’

Los Tarantos was directed by Francisco Rovira Beleta. Carmen Amaya’s dancing is as powerful as ever, so it is hard to believe that the film was released in 1963, the year of her death and that she made the film while being seriously ill.

© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba