La Chunga tells us about Carmen Amaya

Transcription of an interview made in Tablao Cordobes.


M: What can you tell us about Carmen?

CH: Well look, I danced in a tablao and some English producers came and told me they would love me to go there to dance, in a movie with Robert Taylor. The first thing I said, without asking about the money or the days, was if I was going to see Jhonny (Glen Ford), an American who hits Gilda's slap, and they answered me in English, they did not know a word in Spanish .. and they answered "that Jhonny", they explained it to him and they promised it to me, that the first thing that we were going to see Glen Ford. They took me to a studio where I was making an airplane movie, which was ... With that blue suit ... so very very clear, all made up ... and look ... I stayed an hour looking at it ... With my mouth open. It was crazy.

I was there for a dance that my husband had there, it was supposed ... and he announced (Robert Taylor) because he was going to separate and the woman came, and they came to see why I was a Robert Taylor crumb .. Then the woman comes and he says ... Now La Chunga is going to dance "in Spanish, I had a husband who took me out, and I had to kiss him and I said NO. So dancing, I whip him in the face and I keep on dancing ... and I said, yes ... but I do not kiss.

I paint that was the one that discovered me, and what I tell you is the truth and from the heart ... he told me "If we go to Spain, they will say that it has been a failure, that you have not succeeded ..." and then Pinto thought, "who is here? And we found out that Carmen Amaya was in New York, and we had some tickets, that if you did not use the loses and at that time it was a fortune. So we decided to lose the tickets but go to NY to see Carmen. But, how big is NY like we're going to find Carmen in such a huge city? So we decided to go to the Latin Quarter ... and really ... there was God, because it is not normal, and the first thing we found is the company of Carmen Amaya.
"There's Chunga, over here, Chunga over there" - "You accompany us to see Carmen?"

Carmen Amaya lived in one of those hotels that have kitchen, living room and two little beds ... so only that she saw me she went crazy, she began to hug me, kisses over here, kisses over there ... we told her everything that happened to us .. and look how she was, if she was good as a dancer, as a person she was triple.

In the two beds, one of Carmen and the other of her husband, the husband sent her to the living room and she put me with her to sleep. She was speaking at the Chatau Madrid that was great then, it was top notch that she was dancing too, and she looked for a contract there, I worked at the Chateu Madrid in New York, and then I asked her if she knew of someone who could hire us, since at that time I was with a guitarist Ramón Gómez who sang and played the guitar, and I danced, we were two people and Pinto.

Carmen said "I'm going to call Mexico, the Patio" and in the Patio they hired us a year and a half to dance, and when we arrived in Spain because I was a kid, Pinto said "Now if it's time".

From there, it was "Chunga, Chunga ..." and everywhere so far ...


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