Antonio Gades (1936 - 2004) was a Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer He helped to popularise the art form on the international stage. His most notable works included dance adaptations of Prosper Merimée's Carmen and Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre). He collaborated closely with the Spanish director Carlos Saura in the filming of these adaptations, and also with Cristina Hoyos, one of the best female flamenco dancers. Gades also co-founded and became the artistic director of the Spanish National Ballet in 1978. He died in Madrid after a long battle with cancer. About six weeks before his death, he had been decorated with the "Order of José Marti", one of the highest honors of Cuba, by the Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in Havana, Cuba. His ashes were interred at the memorial cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. He was prominent as a political activist in Alicante, where he proclaimed self-determination for the Catalan nation. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peoples of Spain, a marxist-leninist organization. Cottinelli took the pictures of the open air Carmen performance and of Gades in his dressing corner the night of july 22, 1988 in Portovecchio, Corsica island.