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The flamboyant dancer with family and friends at the unveiling on Friday. SUR
Torremolinos honours the Gypsy Fred Astaire with a life-like bronze statue

Torremolinos honours the Gypsy Fred Astaire with a life-like bronze statue

Flamenco ·

José Losada (El Carrete) has finally been immortalised in Torremolinos, a town he has helped put on the flamenco map

Tony Bryant

Torremolinos

Saturday, 25 March 2023, 07:01

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Malaga’s most flamboyant and charismatic dancer, José Losada, El Carrete, has finally been immortalised in Torremolinos, a town he has helped put on the flamenco map, and the town where he has lived for most of his adult life.

Hundreds of people gathered in Plaza Costa del Sol in Torremolinos on Friday evening (24 March), for the unveiling of a 1.70 metre bronze statue of the dancer, also known as the Gypsy Fred Astaire, who described the moment as his “greatest joy”.

The inauguration was attended by many of the family and friends of the 80-year-old dancer and choreographer, along with the town’s mayor, Margarita del Cid, who began her speech with the words “I congratulate you, maestro.”

“Today is a beautiful day for all of us who love José, El Carrete. This is a well-deserved tribute that the people of Torremolinos have given you in life. They say this is the Picasso year, but in our municipality, it is the Carretian year, because it is the year in which Carrete has received the tribute that he deserves for his spectacular dance style and his dedication to teaching throughout his life.

Genius of dance

The life-like statue, which bears a plaque with the words, ‘The town of Torremolinos to José Losada Carrete. Master of teachers, genius of dance, language of flamenco, is the work of Madrid sculptor, Francisco Javier Galán Domingo, an artist responsible for several sculptures in Torremolinos, including Homenaje al Flamenco, located in Plaza de Andalucía.

While endeavouring to control his excitement, El Carrete, who has also seen the release of the movie about his life (Don Quixote in New York) released this year, said, “Thank you for everything, especially for your love. Thank you very much Torremolinos.”

The proud flamenco dancer and his bronze statue in Plaza Cosa del Sol.
The proud flamenco dancer and his bronze statue in Plaza Cosa del Sol. SUR

José began dancing when he was four, performing for tossed coins in the street in order to help his family survive. As a child, he would sneak into the local cinema to shelter from the cold and it was here that he developed his love of the movies and Hollywood. José’s fascination with dance began after watching Fred Astaire on the golden screen and this is still obvious in his dance routines today.

He has performed at festivals and in clubs all over Spain during a career that has spanned 70 years, and in that time he has also delighted audiences around the world with his spectacular dance style.

In 2018, Torremolinos named him Hijo Adoptive (adopted son), and last year, he fulfilled his life’s dream of performing on Broadway in New York.

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