Insights + interviews

In Conversation with Flamenco Dancer & Choreographer, Antonio Vargas

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We interview 75-year-old Antonio Vargas, one of the world’s leading flamenco dancers and choreographers who is now based in Singapore.

Born in Casablanca to a family of French-speaking Spanish Jews, 75-year-old Vargas has lived around the world and has now settled in Singapore. As part of the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA), the renowned flamenco dancer and choreographer will share his own life story in The Last Bull: A Life In Flamenco, a performed memoir that traces his journey as a dancer from childhood to old age.

The Active Age (AA) invited Antonio (AV) to share a bit more about himself and how his passion in flamenco dancing has continued even with age.

AA: Hi Antonio, firstly, what got you started on flamenco dancing and when did you start picking it up?

AV: My aunt took me to see the Pilar López Company at the London Theatre for my eleventh birthday. Watching a young dancer protégé by the name of El Guito inspired me to take up flamenco seriously and make it my profession.

AA: I understand that you have lived practically around the world. What made you decide to come to Singapore and how long do you intend to stay here?

AV: I came to Singapore to give flamenco workshops and fell head over heels for one of the students, Dr Daphne Huang. I later married her and settled here to raise a family.

AA: Having pursued your passion in flamenco all your life, have you ever considered pursuing other passions before?

AV: I have a passion for Qigong as well and would like to pursue it with a Chinese master.

AA: At 75 years old, how do you manage to stay active all these years? Any health tips to share?

AV: I think the most important thing in life is to enjoy the work that you do, and have a daily exercise routine. Only eat when you feel hungry! And, drink plenty of water.

AA: Given that The Last Bull: A Life In Flamenco explores your life story and your passions, what is the main message you would like to convey to the audience with the performance?

AV: The main message is to be humble and generous towards your friends and family, and never give up hope.

AA: What’s on your bucket list?

AV: I have a few things on my bucket list: to spend more time with my wife and children, to travel to places I have not seen, and to start an artist cafe in Singapore when I retire from the flamenco life.

To find out more about Antonio and his journey as a flamenco dancer, catch The Last Bull: A Life In Flamenco from 25 to 27 August, 8pm at the SOTA Drama Theatre. For more information, visit here.

 

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