Published: March 14, 2012
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Introducing Spanish native SBF Member, Jose Luis Montes Centol, a successful Producer and Choreographer based in Costa del Sol, Spain, with a long career spanning over decades, which has seen him starting as an Acrobat, then becoming a Dancer, then a Producer and Choreographer, crossing paths with thousands of dancers from every corner of the planet.

We asked Jose to tell us about his amazing showbiz life...

Jose Montes

  • Quote ...respect your teachers, your bosses and above all the audience... without them, we are nothing!...
    Trio Clippers
Ignacio Quijera, Yvette Dignac and Jose
1951-1964 How did you artistic career start?

    Jose Montes: I was born in San Sebastian, Spain in 1934 and at the age of 17, I became part of a dance and acrobatic trio called Trio Clippers, with Ignacio Quijera and Yvette Dignac. So many years have passed since then! We were together for 13 years, travelling all over Europe. As one of the best acrobatic attractions of the time, Trio Clippers had the privilege of performing at Princess Caroline's of Monaco baptism and many other important events. I met Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour... and all the 'stars' of those times.

  • What shows have you been in as a dancer?
    JM: I performed in Pola Stol Montecarlo Ballet.
    Pola was a former Bluebell Girl, who was choreographing in San Sebastian, in the Aurora Lopez Academy, when I was 16 years old and later, when I was 30, I ended up working for her as a dancer and the dance captain, after leaving the Trio Clippers to begin my career as a dancer, inspired by my deep love for dancing.
    Barcelona, Emporium
Pola Stol Montecarlo Ballet
Jose with Annik David, Maureen Bews, Wendy Holand and Danielle Francesa

  • How & when did you make the transition into choreographing and directing shows?
    JM: This started when I was with Pola Stol Ballet and then later, with my High Society Ballet.

  • How did the Ballet High Society start?
    JM: In 1965, when the Pola Stol Ballet broke up in Tehran, I created my own dance troupe called High Society Ballet.

  • How have your High Society productions evolved?
    JM: I created my ballet in Madrid and in the beginning Claudette Colver, from Paris, was my choreographer. Later I became the choreographer, as well as directing the shows. I also performed in High Society Ballet for 17 years, from when I was 33 until I was 50.

  • What was the biggest challenge in creating the production and what did it involve? Jose at 26
    JM: The biggest challenge was definitely mounting it, as it was a 45-minute non-stop show. It was a great success because it was full of fantasy, good choice of music, beautiful costumes and talented dancers.

  • Where have High Society Ballet productions been staged?
    Quote ...without my dancers I would be nothing...
    JM: I have had productions in most of Europe, mostly in Madrid's night clubs of the time, but also in La Fuente Night Club, Mexico, in the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami, in the Flamboyan Hotel, Puerto Rico, in the Casino Estoril, Portugal, in the Latin Quarter, Tokyo, in Venezuela and many more.

  • How many dancers have worked for you?
    JM: Over the 40 years, thousands of dancers have worked for me! They have been mainly English, French and Spanish.

  • What is the largest number of productions that you had in theatres in a year and where were they?
    JM: I had three productions on going at the same time, one in the Casino Estoril, Portugal, where I had shows running for 25 years, one in the Sala Fortuna at the Hotel-Casino Torrequebrada, where I had shows for 23 years and another production on tour.

  • Would you like to share with all ShowBiz Friends an episode in your career that you will always remember?
    Tokyo, The New Latin Quarter
High Society Ballet
Wendy Holland, Rita Elzak, Jose, Annik David, Maureen Bews, Diana Hewitt, Gerard Brox, Gaby Boneau, Hester Keenis
1970 JM: The night club that we were working in, in Bangkok, caught fire and all our costumes were destroyed. Thanks to all my dancers and agents' help, I was able to restart the ballet 3 weeks later in Singapore, at the Copacabana Night Club. It was a tragedy with a happy ending, but I'll never forget it!!!

  • If you had the chance, who would you thank for what you have achieved?
    JM: Without a doubt, I would have to say my dancers, because without them, I would be nothing.

  • What honest advice would you give to both upcoming and today's performers?
    JM: If you want to be a dancer... study and learn as much as you can, so that one day you will become a good professional. Most importantly respect your teachers, your bosses and above all the audience... without them, we are nothing! For today's performers, as always, it depends on the dancers themselves... there are dancers who are extremely Benidorm, Benidorm Palace
High Society Ballet, 'Mame' routine
Marta Di Pardo, Janine Pendelton, Heidi, Beverley, Djon Kersjes, Jane Turner, Gill Mihai, Mark Lilley, Chalkie, ?, Maureen Bews, Patricia
1980 passionate about dancing and they do it totally for love... and there are dancers who don't have that same passion and they dance just for the money. My crude, but sincere suggestion is: "If you love dance... then DANCE! If not, quit and dedicate your time to selling potatoes!!!" (laughing!)
    Quote ...Over the 40 years, thousands of dancers have worked for me!...

  • From your experience, what are the "DOs & DON'Ts" of this business?
    JM: Dos... above all, be professional. Don'ts… Again, if you don't have the passion, then quit!

  • What do you think of ShowBiz Friends?
    JM: I love it and I wish to send my love to all High Society members!

    Thank you Jose for this great interview!