Antonio Alonso PROFILE
Spanish Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher

Born in Madrid. Antonio Alonso began to study Spanish dance at the age of seven with his first teacher Victoria Piter, and distinguished himself as her most talented student. To complete his artistic education in becoming a professional dancer, he further received training and instruction from numerous teachers including, Mercedes Leon, Angel Pericet, Victoria Eugenia, Jose Granero, Alberto Lorca, Jose Antonio, Pedro Azorin, Aurora Pons, Juana Taff, Maria Magdalena among others.
Alonso began his professional career at the age of thirteen when he was invited to become a member of the Madrid Ballet, a dance company led by Grand Antonio. At fifteen, he signed a contract as a soloist with the Rafael Cordova Spanish Dance Company. A year later, he was promoted to the rank of principal dancer. At seventeen, he joined "Antologia," a dance company led by Alberto Lorca, which later became the Spanish National Festival Ballet.

When the Spanish National Ballet was founded, Antonio Gades, the artistic director at the time, contracted Alonso as a member of the Ballet. Under the guidance of Grand Antonio, he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and only six months later assumed the position of principal dancer, a position Alonso occupied until 1986 when he left the Ballet voluntarily.

Among many lead roles that he performed for the Spanish National Ballet, his brilliant character-making for the title role in "Jason" is especially worth mentioning, while Alonso and Manuela Vargas in "Medea", choreographed by Jose Granero with music by Manolo Sanlucar, received wide critical acclaim and attracted capacity audiences.

In 1988 Alonso choreographed and danced the lead role in "Don Juan Flamenco," performed by the Susana Robledo Dance Company. Fabia Puigcervert designed the stage art for this performance, and they toured various cities in Europe. Among activities with other dance companies, Antonio premiered with Sara Lezana in the production of "Cuatro Esquinas," a piece of work depicting the life of a painter, Julio Romeo de Torres from Cordoba. Another engagement was a commissioned work for Franco Zefirelli, where Alonso choreographed and performed in the opera "Carmen" at the Vienna Opera Theatre along with the tenor Placido Domingo.

In 1989 Alonso was invited to Japan by the Komatsubara Dance Company to perform as guest artist at the summer dance festivals in Tokyo and Osaka, after which he was awarded the best foreign national artist of the year. During the same year, he was also invited by the Spanish National Ballet to perform the character "Don Luis Mejias" in the worldwide premier of the dance entitled "Don Juan Tenario" in a special collaboration with Trinidad Sevillano with music by Jose Nieto and choreography by Jose Antonio.

In addition to these activities, in 1986, he founded his own dance company, of which he became artistic director and choreographer. Alonso and his Company toured to Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, Germany and other European countries to perform their repertoires in CLASICO ESPANOL and Flamenco, and made several television appearances. Among other works of choreography for various dance companies and pieces of music, he worked with Christina Hernando in 1990 and produced an outstanding piece of choreography for Joaquin Rodrigo's "EL CONCIERTO DE ARANJUEZ" for the Maria Rosa Dance Company.

In 1991, Alonso choreographed and danced various ZARZUELA ESPANOL pieces in the gala for the royal family of Spain at the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid, conducted by Garcia Asensio under the direction of Placido Domingo, who also sang tenor in the pieces.

During the same year in 1991, Alonso was again invited by the Spanish National Ballet to perform as guest artist and principal dancer throughout their international tour. He premiered as protagonist in many productions created by the Spanish National Ballet including: "El Sombrero de Tres Picos," "El Amor Brujo, " "Zapateado de Sarasate," and "La Casa Infiel," all choreographed by Grand Antonio, as well as "Retrato de Mujer" by Rafael Aguilar, "Sonatas del Padre Soler" and "Fandango de Soler" by Marienna, "Sonatas de Scarlatti" by Angel Pericet, "Medea" by Jose Granero, "Rondena y Zapateado" by Felipe Sanchez, and "Farruca" by Juan Quintero.

Following his remarkable performances for the Spanish National Ballet, Alonso worked with a wide range of renowned artists in successful premier productions including his production and performance of "LA PETENERA" with Laura del Sol (actress starring in the movie "Carmen" by Carlos Saura) at the Sevilla Expo '92. In 1994 Alonso was invited to perform the leading role in the dance "Requiem FLAMENCO" as guest artist for the Andalusian Dance Company of the Autonomous Region Andalusia, under the direction and choreography of Mario Maya. After receiving great acclaim with strong enthusiasm from audiences in various venues throughout Spain, "Requiem FLAMENCO" became a long-run hit for 40 days in Madrid. Another spectacular piece of work entitled "SOLOS" was premiered at the city festival of Madrid in 1996 and it was later performed in New York, Boston, and other cities in the United States.

While distinguishing himself as an internationally renowned artist, Alonso was invited to teach in his home country, Spain, as well as in Japan and other countries. In 1997, he opened a Spanish dance studio in Tokyo to teach in a country where Flamenco is extremely popular. Alonso's Japanese students are not only learning how to dance, but are also finding out what the Spanish culture is all about. At the same time, the Japanese culture has had a significant influence on Alonso's recent creative activities.

While he continues to teach, Alonso has been producing various works in Tokyo, including the piece entitled "Alma," performed at the Yurakucho Marion Hall in March 1998. Also in March, he was requested by the Spanish Embassy in Japan to perform during the Spain Culture Week. In August, Alonso was invited to offer instructions in Flamenco at Stanford University in the United States. A month later in September 1998, he performed in his premier production of "Sentidos Flamencos" at the Yakult Hall in Tokyo.

In 1999, Alonso appeared in a popular Japanese entertainment program, "Nama-dara," and choreographed a scene for the TV commercial for "Diet Coke." Also during this year, Alonso choreographed a number of scenes in the opera "CARMEN," for the Japanese soprano, Minako Shioda.

Throughout 2001, Alonso appeared and assisted in the production of several television programs for NHK, the largest nation-wide television network in Japan. His engagements with NHK included: "New Year Opera Concert" in January, "Ikkini Paradise" in February, where he performed with the Japanese violinist Kuniko Kawai, as well as an educational TV series on the Spanish language and culture.

Also in 2001, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his professional career, Alonso performed at the Tokyo Education & Culture Center, where he gave a premier production of "Alma de Hombres." This was what one may call a flamenco fusion' piece in which Alonso and other cast performed to depict the fusing of both visible and invisible cultural differences and barriers between Spain and Japan. What is most remarkable about this piece of work is that after receiving a series of intensive training, Alonso has actually come to learn how to draw a sword with a real blade in Iaido, the traditional Japanese sword arts.

In March 2002, Alonso performed with Minako Shioda and the New Japan Philharmonic in his new production of the opera "CARMEN," to be televised nation-wide on TV Asahi. "CARMEN" was performed once again at the Suntory Hall in March with Minako Shioda and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Shigeo Genda. Alonso's production, combining well-choreographed Spanish dancing, opera singing and live orchestra performance, received much critical acclaim and applause from the Japanese audience, as it was completely unprecedented in Japan.

Also in February 2003, Alonso performed above-mentioned "CARMEN" with Okayama Philharmonic Orchestra at Okayama Symphony Hall. In May, he was invited to "Spica Flamenco Festival 2003" at Sapporo Media Park Spica as a special guest.

In February 2004, Alonso was invited to perform as a guest artist in "SALOME", performed by the company of Aida Gomez.

In July 2005, he appeared in "Kawaguchi World Festival Fusion 2005" and performed with Minako Shioda and a violinist, Ikuko Kawai, along with his company.

In February 2006, at Shinjyuku Bunkamura Center, "CASA DE BERNARDA ALBA(original by Federico Garcia Lorca)" was premiered with a huge success, scripted and choreographed by Antonio Alonso.

In October 2007, Alonso was invited to train the company at Saint- Petersburg in Russia.

In October 2008, he was awarded PhD( doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy degree) in spanish classic dance by Universidad Internacional Euroamericana. In November, he performed at Tokyo National Museum with Sakon Asuka, dancer of Nihon Buyo(traditional Japanese performing art), to commemorate the 50th anniversary of an opera singer, Jose Carreras. In December, Alonso performed Jose, lead role in "CARMEN FOREVER" at Saint-Petersburg Music Hall in Russia.

In addition to above, he keeps playing an important role in the world of flamenco, giving guidance to the younger generation.