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Although this Letter to the Editor, which was published in The Times on Wednesday 30 June 1948, has the heading Carmen Amaya, reading it, one learns more about Pastora Imperio, than Carmen Amaya. 


Pastora Imperio, Pastora Rojas Monje, (1889–1979) was a flamenco dancer and singer from Seville. Her mother was a flamenco dancer and singer, RosarioLa Mejorana‘ and her father, who was a tailor of bullfighters’ costumes, was also a guitarist. Pastora Imperio began dancing in public from an early age. Her name was known internationally as she travelled to Paris, and north and south America. 

It was Pastora Imperio who danced at the première of Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo, at the Teatro Lara in Madrid on 15 April 1915

Pastora Imperio was is a number of films throughout her long career, including: La danza fatal (1914: directed by José de Togores); Gitana Cañí (1917: directed by Armando Pou); La reina de una raza (1917); María de la O (1936: directed by Francisco Elías); La marquesona (1939: directed by Eusebio Fernández Ardavín); ¡Canalita en rama! (1943: directed by Eduardo García Maroto); El amor brujo (1949: directed by Antonio Román); Estoy taan enamorada (1954: directed by Jaime Salvador); Duelo en la cañada (1959: a Western directed by Manuel Mur Oti); Pan, amor y … Andalucía (1960: directed by Javier Setó).

It was pleasing to see that there were a number of Letters to the Editor in The Times, after the critic published his review of Carmen Amaya’s London performance at the Prince’s Theatre. She had just spent an extravagant six months living and performing in Paris with her whole family.

© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba