Who is Nila Amparo - Flamenco Beirut  

“Nila Amparo”: Líbano, siglo xx. Bailaora y bailarina de español. Perteneció al ballet de Pilar López durante los anos 1946 y 1947. Seguidamente formo parte de el de José Greco, con el que ha actuado en gran parte del mundo, hasta su retirada en 1962”. (Diccionario Enciclopedico Ilustrado del Flamenco).

Nila Amparo: Lebanon, 20th century. Flamenco and Spanish dancer. Was part of Pilar Lopez' ballet in 1946-1947 to later belong to Jose Greco's with whom she performed in many countries until she retired in 1962(Diccionario Enciclopedico Ilustrado del Flamenco).


Nila Amparo is of Lebanese descent, born Nila (or perhaps Nayla) Boutros El Khoury. After immigrating to the US, she met the famous flamenco dancer José Greco, himself of Italian descent (and not Spanish, as many believe); who after seeing her perform in a school of baile flamenco took her in his group.

She eventually became his second wife, and the mother of the famous musician and composer José Luis Gréco, who currently resides between the US and Madrid.

I had a long and warm exchange of e-mails with Jose Luis Greco, in which we talked about his mother and her exemplary career. In a message dated from the 21st of February 2004, he confirmed the following: "Yes indeed, she (and I therefore) is of Lebanese descent. She herself was born in the States, in a little town on the border of Maryland and Virginia. Her mother was also born in the States, but of Lebanese parents. Her father, however, was born in Lebanon. His family name was Boutres El Coury (not sure of the spelling) and the Boutres got changed to Peters when he immigrated to America" (...)”

Naming the Pena "Nila Amparo" is, I believe, a beautiful way of showing that flamenco is indeed universal, and is also the occasion of honouring this bailaora who is not known from her own compatriots.

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