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Carmen Tórtola Valencia, Star Dancer

Carmen Tórtola Valencia began her grand dance in the world on her birthday on June 18, 1882, in Seville, Spain.  Valencia was one of the last great dancers of the ‘belle époque’, a brief dreamy period at the start of the 20th century that ended with the brutality of World War I.  A calculatedly mysterious woman, she was legendary for self-invention, seducing the press with the idea that she was the daughter of a gypsy and a Spanish nobleman. She performed throughout Europe, South America and briefly in North America.  Valencia’s dance biography was summarized as, “Her legacy is not a style, a school, or a technique, but rather an affirmation of that uncodifiable power of an individual dance artist to create poetry in movement, which transports the audience beyond the quotidian into another realm.”

Carmen Tórtola Valencia comenzó su gran baile en el mundo en su cumpleaños el 18 de junio de 1882, en Sevilla, España. Valencia fue uno de los últimos grandes bailarines de la “belle époque”, un breve período de ensueño en el inicio del siglo 20, que terminó con la brutalidad de la Primera Guerra Mundial Una mujer misteriosa calculadamente, era legendario para la auto-invención, seduciendo la prensa con la idea de que ella era la hija de una gitana y un noble español. Actuó en toda Europa, América del Sur y brevemente en América del Norte. Biografía de Valencia baile se resume como: “Su legado no es un estilo, una escuela, o una técnica, sino más bien una afirmación de que el poder uncodifiable de un artista de la danza individual para crear poesía en movimiento, que transporta a la audiencia más allá de lo cotidiano en otra reino “.

 The Chinese Exclusion Act 1882

The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into US federal law on May 8, 1882.  The Act was the first major immigration legislation based on nationality.   It was designed to reduce the number of Americans of Chinese descent and to disenfranchise as many as possible through measures such as removing the right to naturalization.  Chinese immigrants were initially tolerated as laborers during the 1848 California Gold Rush, but after the economic downturn of the 1870s, these workers were persecuted.  Although the Chinese comprised less than 1% of the US population in 1882, the law was supported by many labor union leaders and politicians.