Museu Marès de la Punta
Carrer de l’Església, 43 Arenys de Mar, Spain
Dates: October 10, 2010 to September 25, 2011
The lace collection of famed Spanish dancer Carmen Tórtola Valencia (1882-1955) has been kept in the Museu Marès de la Punta since 1992. It is beautifully displayed as the current special exhibit on the first floor of the museum. The pieces shown focus on her role as a lace collector, and also give insight into her career as an early modern dancer. Her appearance was electric, I’ve never seen anyone wear an Irish Crochet collar with more style (the collar is part of the exhibition).
A fascinating biography of the dancer can be found at
http://www.cornermag.org/corner02/page09.htm. Items on display at the exhibition can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZFxmXbbSss. You can also see a collection of photographs taken during the height of her career at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRL29fTbEkg.
Although born in Spain, Valencia grew up in England. She was self-trained in dance, and was much inspired by Isadora Duncan. Many of her works derive from her study of Eastern and African dance. She performed internationally from 1908-1930, in Spain, England, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Russia, and Latin America. She was a feminist, and did not hesitate to explore radical ideas such as vegetarianism and Buddhism. And she was devoted to her longtime partner, Angeles Magret Vilá. We can only look back on her extraordinary life in wonder, and see try to see a part of her through her lace.