"Dance is the medicine of the soul"

Madrid, Dec 14 (EFE) .- The dancer and choreographer Joaquín Cortés returns to the stage after three years of absence, but not retirement - "I never left," he says - with a show with which he wants to "vindicate" culture, although he regrets that dance is the "poor daughter of culture" despite being "the medicine of the soul."

"The idea of ​​this concert is to vindicate culture seeing that the institutions and the Government turn a blind eye," Cortés explained this Monday in an interview with Efe. "There are more than 700,000 families that live from this and are starving."

The dancer, with 40 years of profession behind him, assures that "dance is the medicine of the soul", although he defines it as the "poor daughter of culture". "The cinema complains that they do not receive aid, but even they receive more than the theaters."

"Vuelta a la Esencia" is the show with which Joaquín Cortés (Córdoba, 1969) is presented on December 23 at the Wizink Center in Madrid and from which he begins a world tour. In it, Cortés revisits "Esencia", the role for which he had to leave the scene after suffering a foot injury during a performance.

A single concert in which the artist will be surrounded by colleagues and friends like Estrella Morente.

Cortés once again set foot on a stage to address his story, that of a 12-year-old boy who wanted to be a bailaor to imitate his uncle and hero, Cristóbal Reyes. A show with new choreographies, in which things have been "polished" and changed "like a diamond in the rough".

"I never thought I would get where I have come. Among national artists, Julio Iglesias and I are the ones who have traveled the world the most," says the dancer, who with only 23 years created his own company, who has not hesitated to be part from Almodóvar's cinema and for whom Armani made the costumes for his show "Pasión Gitana".

"Julio and I are ambassadors. We are diplomats of Spanish culture because we take it to the world. We have performed in countries where no other Spaniard has done so," he says without false modesty.

Joaquín Cortés has received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, the 2001 Culture Prize and the Ibero-American Forum of the Arts Prize, among other awards.

He was designated "Universal Spanish" (1998) by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Miami and Unesco Artist for Peace (1998), and is considered one of the ten best dancers of the 20th century.

Despite this, he does not consider himself a prophet in his land. "I have had a very lucky life to have found my great love with only 11 years," he said.

But despite the awards, the compliments and the recognition abroad, in Spain he is treated "like one more". "The institutions do not collect your legacy," says this man who considers himself "Spanish and universal gypsy."

As of March, he intends to close an international agenda with which to bring "Vuelta a la Esencia" to the five continents.

"Life goes on, we cannot stop. It is logical to be afraid, but then, don't you leave your house? -He asks himself-. We have to raise the culture and the world, we cannot stand idly by."

The artist and his partner Mónica Moreno have revealed that they will be parents for the second time. "That they follow in my footsteps will depend only on them, although if so, they will be lucky that their father is who he is and will give them a hand", and he remembers how his own supported him in a time when "he was not well regarded. for a boy to dance "because" there were many prejudices.

Despite the uproar, Cortés does not believe that the case of Rafael Amargo and his recent investigation for drug possession affects flamenco. "The drug is in the world, in the street, in schools in other professions. It seems that the only ones who take drugs are the artists," he says as he takes a car to a new rehearsal.

"It makes perfect sense to do a single show. I consider myself a banner of my union and I have prepared it with clear objectives: to fight for my own, I don't need it but many colleagues do, and to fight for culture, which is safe" , concludes Joaquín Cortés.

Immaculate Tapia


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