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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Nemesio Paredes

Paredes Image

Born in San Francisco to Filipino parents, Nemesio Paredes (1930- ) started dancing at age six, taking tap and character dance lessons.  At eight, he began studying and performing with the San Francisco Ballet School.  Soon after, he started lessons in Spanish dance, and flamenco. He was a core performer with Rosa Montoya Baile’s Flamencos. Paredes studied dentistry in college, setting up a dental practice in 1960, but never gave up his first love, dancing.  Dentist by day, he pursued a second career as a classical Spanish and flamenco dancer. In 1973, he performed with Rosa Montoya and Beverly Sills in the San Francisco Opera.  He has appeared in San Francisco Opera’s La Traviata and Carmen, and has danced with notable California dance companies, like the Smuin Ballet Company. 

In his mid-sixties, he retired from dentistry to devote full time to dance.  Starting his own flamenco ensemble, he staged and directed the production, Homenaje a José Rizal (Filipino hero and martyr), adapting Rizal’s moving epic poem, Mi Último Adios, to an equally expressive flamenco dance performance.  Among his awards is the California Artist Series Award.

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