Merce, Antonia (La Argentina)

BORN 4 Sep 1890, Buenos Aires - DIED 18 Jul 1936, Bayonne, Pyrenées-Atlantiques
BIRTH NAME Mercè y Luque, Antonia
CAUSE OF DEATH heart attack
GRAVE LOCATION Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine: Cimetière Ancien, 3 Rue Victor Noir (division 03)

Flamenco dancer known as 'La Argentina'. She was the daughter of the dancers Manuel Mercè from Andalusia and Josefina Luque from Castilia. Her father learned her dancing when she was four and she debuted as a ballet dancer when she was nine at the Royal Opera Theatre in Madrid.

After her father's death when she was fourteen she retired from ballet and learned Spanish dances from her mother. She performed in music halls and café's.

On the eve of World War I she was much admired in Paris where she danced at the Moulin Rouge and other first class locations. She was called the queen of the Castanets because she performed gypsy dances in a self developed new way. Between 1928 and 1936 she toured the USA six times.

She was awarded the Légion d'honneur in France and the Honor Isabel La Católica in Spain.


The grave of Antonia Merce ("La Argentina") at Neuilly Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)


La Argentina (dancer) - Wikipedia

Mercuri, Paolo

Published: 30 Apr 2009
Last update: 18 Jun 2023