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La Argentina (née Antonia Mercé y Luque)

(1890-1936), Dancer

Sitter in 2 portraits
La Argentina was the stage name of Spanish dancer Antonia Mercé Y Luque who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to parents who were both professional dancers. She began dancing at the age of four and by the age of 11 she became premiere danseuse at the Madrid Opera. She was trained in ballet and Spanish dance but abandoned ballet after the death of her father when she was 14 years old to concentrate on native Spanish dance. Influenced by traditional folkloric Spanish styles she developed her own distinctive style of dancing which was different to the classical styles that local people had come to love and celebrate. During her early career she travelled to Paris where she performed to critical acclaim at the Moulin Rouge and other well known clubs. She later became interested in gypsy-style Spanish dance developing her own neo-classical interpretations. Her mastery of the castanets to accentuate her steps led to the induction of castanets into orchestras as a musical instrument. During her career she toured Europe and North America extensively bringing her unique interpretation of Spanish folkloric dance styles, original choreographed performances and contemporary music that she chose to new audiences.

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La Argentina (née Antonia Mercé y Luque), by Madame d'Ora (Dora Philippine Kallmus), published by  Ross-Verlag - NPG Ax160206

La Argentina (née Antonia Mercé y Luque)

by Madame d'Ora (Dora Philippine Kallmus), published by Ross-Verlag
matte bromide postcard print, 1925
NPG Ax160206

La Argentina (née Antonia Mercé y Luque), by Madame d'Ora (Dora Philippine Kallmus) - NPG x160477

La Argentina (née Antonia Mercé y Luque)

by Madame d'Ora (Dora Philippine Kallmus)
matte bromide postcard print, circa 1925
NPG x160477

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