Thu. Feb 20th, 2020

Tórtola Valencia, the most beautiful and ‘lascivious’ dancer in Europe

Protagonist of a tumultuous grenade existence of royal lovers, the dancer knew how to preserve her private life and forge her own legend.

Carmen defined herself as ‘cantactriz’, she was a beautiful, slender woman with a graceful figure and snowy skin. He wore a leafy dark mane that framed some unbelievable dark green eyes that earned him the nickname of l
the most beautiful woman in Europe. To such a singular attraction he accompanied a free spirit and a clairvoyant intelligence that, from an early age, made her aware that this gift would be enriched if she was surrounded by a halo of mystery.

So Carmen pressurized, He focused on forging his legend, and turned his humble origins into glamorous.

That girl born in the bosom of a humble family, managed to spread her fabulous family tree: it was said that she was Goya’s niece and even that she was the natural daughter of a Spanish aristocrat. Left behind her true parents, Florenç and Georgina, of Catalan origin he, sevillian she, forced to leave Seville for London and later for Mexico where they would die, years later. His only daughter, Carmen, would be left in custody in the hands of a tutor belonging to the upper London bourgeoisie. He would provide a complete training: under his tutelage he would learn six languages, as well as music, dance and drawing. Life was smiling at the young woman but ua bad day this one was ruined. It was then that Carmen at such a crucial moment and led by her feminist and independent nature, decided that she should not give up her youth to the English nobleman of rigor. His “yes, I want” became a “yes, I can” and began his particular career. It was one great lover of dance and knowledge of the potential of her body: ‘He had long arms that he knew how to articulate with mastery to the rhythm of the spirals, creating movements so undulating that they seem to be a snake standing on the tip of a tail’, he decided that dance would be his destiny.

Carmen seduced her audience with the snake dance

Carmen seduced her audience with the snake dance

Young girl with a round face and lush figure had the success of guiding her professional career based on her Spanish origins and, drinking from them,
started dancing with a natural natural style ’.
She ‘was’ a gypsy and he danced barefoot as his contemporary Isadora Duncan. He soon stood out and in 1908 debuted at the Gaiety Theater in London, with the musical Havana, where he introduced himself as ‘the Bella Valencia’.

his peculiar way of conceiving dance It was well received and a year later he started his first European tour. Wasp, slowly began to create your own choreographies with brush strokes of orientalist and customary dyes. The masterful combination he raised it quickly as the sensual and mystical, exotic and innovative artist who He managed to captivate the intellectual and European universe between 1910 and 1930.

Charismatic, Carmen became muse of writers such as Rubén Darío, Pío Baroja, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán or Ramón Gómez de la Serna, which dedicated sublime verses. He also subjugated painters the size of Ignacio Zuloaga who painted his famous portrait ‘La Maja’In 1912, he starred in films like
Passionflower or Tear Pact
in 1915 and freed from the honeys of advertising success by becoming the image of the promotional posters of the cosmetics of the firm Myrurgia, The ‘Soap pestle’. In the meantime Carmen protected her private life in the meantime.

Carmen, 'Maja del Soap, image of the promotional posters of the cosmetics of the firm Myrurgia

Carmen, ‘Maja del Soap, image of the promotional posters of the cosmetics of the firm Myrurgia

And it is that his good artistic work earned him the qualification of immoral. There was talk of innumerable lovers, among which King Alfonso XIII, Archduke José de Baviera, whom he met in 1908, and Antonio de Hoyos de Vinent, stood out, with which it was even talked about wedding. It was known from the latter that he was homosexual and that the relationship with Tortola Valencia was more of a “healthy” friendship in which they shared his leftist ideology, which would cost him his life after the civil war. As for the crush, everything was reduced to an advertising montage.

A cover that … surprise! It suited both. And it is that the artist had an ‘alleged’ love relationship with Ángeles Vila-Magret, fourteen years younger than her, who had become his shadow since a common friend introduced them in 1928. Two years later the artist would become seriously ill. The ‘bare feet dancer’He promises then that if he heals he will stop dancing. True to that, he says goodbye to the dance, which will be his last performance in Quito, on November 23, 1930.

In 1942 he legally adopts his pupil and lover Angels. Become her legal daughter, ‘Angelita’ becomes her travel companion. Both travel the world creating a true home, until death separates them on February 13, 1955, when a heart failure snatches the life of the dancer from the arms of her lover in his tower house from the neighborhood of Sarriá.

Dance and the world lost one of the most fascinating women of its time. Carmen Tortola Valencia rest in the Cemetery of Poble Nou from Barcelona.



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