In the theater, the audience members has a 180º view, while a move makes a 360º view possible.
Fired from the National Ballet, Gades partners with former members of his company and other members of the Spanish National Ballet to form the GIAD (Grupo Independiente de Artistas de la Danza), the Independent Group of Dance Artists, a cooperative that performs the best Spanish dance all over the world for a year. It was an alternative Spanish National Ballet. Antonio's own. “I have never been used as tool, neither by Francoism nor now. That's why we're the only private ballet company that exists, and it works like a co-op”.
But the result was not as satisfactory as would have been hoped. The sudden death of the administrator of the GIAD, Alberto Larios, in February 1981, and the suspension of the tour, in addition to some internal issues, led to the breakup of the group. The GIAD breaks up and splits into the Antonio Gades Company and the Madrid Spanish Ballet. “My luxury, my great luxury, is to have the freedom to do what I want”.
It is then when Carlos Saura, celebrated director of Aragonese cinema, trained as a photographer at the School of Luís Buñuel, appears on the scene. For Gades, the cinema reveals gestures and details that the audience in a theater can't see because they're too far away. “In the theater, the audience members has a 180º view, while a move makes a 360º view possible. I like theater better because feelings aren't interrupted when you dance straight through; they grow”.
Unlike with Carmen (1983) and El Amor Brujo (1986), the collaboration on the film version of Bodas de Sangre takes place after the creation of the ballet of the same name. “I had already done the ballet. So we decided to film it with Emiliano Piedra and Carlos gave his cinematographic side (vision) to the work”. For Saura, “Gades had achieved what seemed impossible to me, preserving the popular culture in the deepest sense”.
In 1982 he received the Annual Award for the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), and the National Prize of Fine Arts the following year.
He starts filming Carmen, directed by Saura, in February 1983. This film is nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1984 and Antonio, along with Paco de Lucía, the most influential ambassador of Spanish art, offering the updated image of Spain that flamenco, dance and culture needed to know. Then came the Expo.
Gades, almost simultaneously with the filming of the movie, works together with the Saura brothers, Carlos and Antonio, to develop the theater version of Carmen, premiering the ballet in the Paris in March 1983. The production earns him a Golden Pegasus at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto (July 1984), the Verona Summer Theater Medal (August 1984) and the "Silver Mask" Award for Dance from the Campione d'Italia (October 1984). In the years that followed he focuses on his performances of Carmen, appearing again at the City Center in New York, Japan, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto in 1984, where it earns the highest honor; the show is also performed in Barcelona during the IV Festival Flamenco in 1983, at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid in 1984, where the original 15-day run was extended to three months, in Seville, as part of the V Festival de Itálica, in 1986.
In September 1985 begins to film Saura's El Amor Brujo, along with Laura del Sol and Cristina Hoyos. In December he participates in the performance of Bodas de Sangre at the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Spanish National Ballet, celebrated at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Meanwhile, he creates his show Fuego with director Saura, with choreography based on the film El Amor Brujo, con Stella Arauzo. The company continues touring and arrives in Buenos Aires in 1988. In this same year Stella Arauzo, a dancer in his company since 1981, debuts in the role of Carmen, replacing no one less than Cristina Hoyos.
After the release of the film version of El Amor Brujo, and after twelve years and three daughters together, he separates from Pepa Flores to marry the Swiss-born Daniela Frey on September 10, 1988. They separate five years later.
In late January 1989 Antonio Gades premieres Fuego at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, a show that he will continue to tour until March 1990. He wins the Annual Award from the Gran Teatro in Havana that year. Later he began a tour of Japan, Hong Kong, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (three months at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid) and Italy (January to March 1990). And then he decides to retire with his wife.