Flamenco Inferno

The first time I saw Joaquin Cortés work his magic, I was living in Rome for a summer. It was 1996 and I remember thinking, “This isn’t a man—he’s a shirtless flamenco god.” I had never seen someone dance with such intensity. Fittingly, his show was called “Gypsy Passion.” Shortly after, he started dating Naomi Campbell and became super famous all over the world, with Giorgio Armani designing his clothes, Madonna wanting to party with him (you know Madge had her eye on that one), Jennifer Lopez asking him to dance with her, and high-profile performances for the Grammys and Oscars.

And now, Cortés, looking finer than ever at 40, will be back at the newly renovated Beacon Theater in NYC on May 14th for the American premiere of his new show Calé, a career retrospective featuring 16 musicians and 10 dancers and the best pieces from 20 years of hit shows: “Cibayi,” “Pasión Gitana,” “Soul,” “Live,” “De Amor y Odio,” and “Mi Soledad.” I highly suggest you buy tickets (which range from $49.50 - $99.50) now.

Cortés, el rey del flamenco, was actually scheduled to perform at the Palace Theatre in New York in 2006, but he cancelled when his mother became gravely ill. “She was my inspiration, you know?” Cortés told reporters after her death last year. “She supported me from the beginning. So I must dance again for my mother.” Thankfully, the rest of us get to watch.