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Pilar López Júlvez (Pilar Lopez Julvez)

Stage Name

Birth Name

Pilar López (Pilar Lopez) Pilar López Júlvez (Pilar Lopez Julvez)

    Pilar López was a nationally known Spanish Exhibition dancer. She studied dance with Julia Castelão in Madrid as a young girl. She was the younger sister to the legendary Encarnación López Júlvez aka La Argentinita. Pilar debuted in cafes at the early age of 15 sharing the stage with such notables as Pastora Imperio, La Malena and Macarrona and later in the early 1930s joined her sister's dance company.

    When Encarnación died suddenly in 1945, José Greco and Pilar López, escorted her body back to Madrid, Spain and in mourning, Pilar announced her retirement from the stage. However, she was persuaded to start performing again to keep her sister's spirit alive. While in Madrid, on June 10, 1946 Greco and Pilar López formed a new company Ballet Espagnol to carry on the works of Argentinita, they would tour all over Europe and remained partners for three years. Pilar López Spanish Ballet emphasized on group work and ran until her official stage retirement in 1973.

    She was to be the last female representative of the golden age of flamenco ballet in the 1930s and 1940s. Critics always praised the virtuosity and authenticity of her pure and unmistakable style. She was a excellent and serious classical Spanish dancer, but it was as a choreographer and

teacher of young dancers that she excelled. She was known to create many young and fine dancers, that she would use in her productions.

Such as Rafael Ortega, Mario Maya (age 14), Farruco and The Güito (age 13) and namely, a 16 year old by the name of Antonio Gades ( Who later became head of the Spanish National Ballet in 1978) and before his death said he owed everything to Pilar.

    Pilar based herself in Madrid. She wanted to create a theatre tradition for the Flamenco-classical fusion within Spain. Finance and fame came with the company's world tours, making her better known in Paris or Tokyo than in native land of Spain. She would restage tribute's of several of her sister's works. She choreographed and danced in Ravel's Bolero, Rimsky-Korsakov's Spanish Caprice, Falla's The Three-cornered Hat and Le Tricorne and El amor brujo (both to music by de Falla). When she dared to do Debussy's Preludes and Images in 1958, they also triumphs. Yes, she was Innovative, creative and courageous. She is credited with the invention of the 'Reed Dance', and the' dance of the snails, although she gave the authorship to her sister.

    She married and later separated from her husband Thomas Rivers, an orchestral conductor and director in 1973. She lived in the flat Encarnación had bought in the 1930s and left to her upon her death. Physically and mentally fit all her life, she could be seen in wings of any Spanish dance event to the very end of her 95 years of life.

Birth Place

Birth Date



San Sebastian, Argentina 6/4/1906-3/25/2008 Thomas Rivers n/a
  (some say 1912)        

Dance Types

Dance Partners


Ballet Alejandro Vega 2005 - Calle de Alcalá
Castillian Dance Antonio Gades 2006 - Max de las Artes Escénicas
El Cafe Chinitas Jose Greco ... plus others
Fandango La Argentinita      
Flamenco Luis Marvilla (Guitarist)    
Fire Dance          
Jaleo Andaluz        
Jota of A'Caniz        

Night Clubs



n/a Philharmonic (1940) El amor brujo (Choreo)
      Palace Theatre (1955) Le Tricorne (Choreo)
            El concierto de Aranjuez’ (1952 Choreo)
        El Huayno (1942)
        The Three-cornered Hat (Choreo)
        1955 - Ballet Espanol de Pilar Lopez




1952 - Duende y misterio del flamenco n/a 6/1942 - Theatre Arts Mag.
            11/1955 - Dance & Dancers Mag.
          4/9/2008 - The Guardian (Obit)

  • NOTE: See more of Pilar on You Tube Here