The Antonio Gades Foundation and the INAEM have signed an agreement to treasure and promote the legacy of the great Spanish choreographer and dancer. The Centro de Documentación de Música y Danza, a unit of the INAEM (Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música), will be in charge of receiving a significant and valuable part of the Antonio Gades Foundation’s collection for its conservation, digitalisation and promotion, allowing free and universal access to this important legacy. INAEM will receive the files from the dancer Antonio Gades for the preservation, digitalization and promotion of his legacy. A part of the dancer’s archive to be digitalized within a maximum period of four years and a catalogue to facilitate the distribution of its content to be available on the website and at the Centro de Documentación de Música y Danza headquarters for consultation by researchers, students and professionals in the sector. The collection, made up of thousand of documents from 1936 to 2005, includes hand programmes, posters, photographs, press clippings, amongst others. Read more.
The Antonio Gades Foundation archive contains the collection of works and documents received and produced by Antonio Gades over his lifetime. Gades’ pluralistic personality, which spanned different areas creation, performance, direction, as well as an intense participation in Spanish social life and dance, has resulted in a legacy that draws from a great diversity of sources. The work of the Antonio Gades Foundation Archive aims both to conserve and stabilize the artist’s graphic, documentary and audio productions and include these resources in a catalog. This is ongoing work and new information is gradually incorporated in order make the public’s access to Gades’ legacy as easy as possible.
Audio and Audiovisual Archive
The archive includes the audiovisual legacy of Antonio Gades, from 1971 to today. This material, in VHS, BETA and BETACAM video format, is classified into a range of categories and contains images from his shows taken in theaters and recordings of programs, interviews and films in which he performed as a dancer. Records of the music used for the stage are also kept, both in CD and tape format, as well as music from many other shows that belong to Gades’ personal library.
The inventory of all the videos, DVDs and CDs in this archive has been completed. Each item in the archive has been assigned a catalog number, originals and copies have been distinguished, links between the video and DVD formats have been established, and those materials that required better digitalization have been selected.
The document archive includes programs and posters for the performances by Antonio Gades and his ballets up to present day. These documents include the show’s cast, the theaters where they performed, as well as their significance compared to other international dance troupes. The archive also features documents that represent the premieres of Gades’ major shows. At the administrative level, the Foundation safeguards documents that include receipts for general expenses, commissions, treasury documents, civil transactions and notarized documents, valuable resources for analyzing the practical aspects of the Antonio Gades Company. The archive is rounded out with a personal file that includes handwritten annotations in notebooks and on loose sheets of paper made by Gades, an incredibly valuable legacy for a firsthand understanding of his creative process, as well as his thoughts before producing his work.
Applying the same process as the audio and audiovisual archive, an inventory of the show programs stored at the Foundation has been launched, with a total of 548 entries. Information on distribution, publication date, publisher, venue, as well as additional information that aids in understanding the history of the Antonio Gades Company, has been extracted from each item in the archive. While the majority are in good condition, several have required cleaning and restoration. The Archive is currently working with Gades’ correspondence, letters both sent and received by Gades, which are currently stored at the Foundation.
Painting Archive. Graphic Work.
The Foundation safeguards an interesting series of drawings, oils, serigraphs and engravings that artists gave and dedicated to Gades. All are unpublished, and together with the photo archive are the best reflection of an age and the fruitful relationships between these significant artistic personalities of the twentieth century. For Gades, these relationships would produce not only his own letters but correspondence from Rafael Alberti, Pablo Picasso, Antonio Saura, Modest Cuixart, Joan Miró, Antonio Tapies, and René Portocarrero. Some of these works, damaged by the passage of time, light, or even the way they were saved, have been restored to help ensure their future conservation. While the remaining material is pending inventory, it has been properly saved for conservation and organized by category.
A total of 1,464 photographs have been inventoried. All have been organized into folders for proper conservation, distinguishing between copies and originals and assigning each a catalog number for easy identification and localization.
This collection is particularly significant, not only for the value of the items in the archive but also because the archive represents the artist’s interests. An enlightened character, Gades was passionate about more than just dance and also focused his attention on art, culture, and life in general. To that end, the archive contains books, histories (particularly histories of dance), biographies, philosophical and political science writings, as well as other genres. This diversity is found both in the subjects that interested Gades and the places where the books he read were published, particularly France and Italy. The bibliographic archive is supplemented by a rich collection of magazine and newspaper clippings about Gades that date back to 1957, framing the value of the artist from a comparative perspective. The entire bibliographic archive is pending exhaustive research and cataloging.
Product of his creative work, the collection features the costumes worn in Gades’ shows as well as various elements used in performing a range of choreographies. Pending their systematization, these items are significant not only for information they provide about Gades’ creative aesthetics, but also for the information they provide on the dance troupe, the number of members and the complexion of each artist, as well as information on an ethnological level that reveals the everyday clothes and dance costumes from different regions of Spain.
Antonio Gades’ costumes are stored at the foundation. Of the entire collection, only the suit worn by Mirabrás has been donated to Cuba’s National Museum of Dance.
The Oral Archive has recently been created to supplement the information provided by the documents, and aims to collect interviews with people related to Gades and his world as well as recordings of the artist himself. This narrated record, packed with anecdotes and first-person accounts, will help complete, broaden and strengthen the research done on the artist both today and in the future.
All the catalogs of finished inventories are printed physically and organized by folders, making it possible for researchers interested in studying Gades’ work to choose between printed or online resources. The Antonio Gades Foundation Archive is currently working on a database that includes, with the utmost precision, descriptions of existing materials. It also hopes to ensure the future conservation of the material by converting it entirely to digital, and by donating copies of items to partner institutions in different parts of the world. The archive is constantly growing and developing in order to provide scholars, researchers and amateurs the most complete information as possible on the different facets of Antonio Gades in particular and of Spanish dance In general. All the information compiled and preserved in this archive has made it possible to expand the vision of Antonio Gades and his legacy, provide material crucial for bringing his work back to the stage and continuing his philosophy of dance.
From the start, one of the Foundation’s main activities has been to raise awareness about the significance of Antonio Gades’ legacy, as well as the impact of his work at both a national and international level. To that end, a majority of the Antonio Gades Foundation’s efforts have been focused on promoting the artist’s legacy as well as his work at venues like conferences and exhibitions through partnerships with different institutions, and participating in every opportunity for exchange that arises.