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Carmen Tórtola Valencia

  • Carmen Tórtola Valencia © EFE

    Carmen Tórtola Valencia © EFE






Date of birth

Jun 18, 1882

Date of death


" Dancer and choreographer. Specialist in Indian, African and Arab dances which she reinterpreted with exceptional originality. It could be said of her that she brought anthropology to dance."

She was born in Seville in 1882. Her first public appearance was in 1908, in the Gaiety Theatre in London as part of the show 'Havana'. That same year she was invited to dance at the Wintergarten in Germany and at the Folies Bergère in Paris. The following year she danced in Nuremberg and London. She then joined the Cirkus Varieté in Copenhagen where she worked with Alice Réjane. She travelled to Greece, Russia and India. Her Spanish debut took place in 1911, in the Romea theatre in Madrid. Her talent and choreographies were more highly appreciated by the intellectuals than by the general public: Jacinto Benavente, Pío Baroja and Ramón del Valle-Inclán were all admirers. Emilia Pardo Bazán said of her that she was the reincarnation of Salome. She died in Barcelona in 1955.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Danza de Anitra

    Exuberance as dance. One of the most emblematic dances by ballerina Carmen Tórtola Valencia, a star performer in the early years of the 20th century.

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  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Danza de la serpiente

    The dancer Carmen Tórtola Valencia's legendary fame in her day rested on original compositions such as this dance.

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  • Work of culture - Generic image

    La danza del incienso

    In this dance, the dancer, Tórtola Valencia, combines oriental exoticism with the prevailing modernist fashion of the time, giving rise to a synthesis that suggests original, primitive freedom.

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Other highlighted works

  • Incense dance
  • La bayadère
  • African dance
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