Sign In
We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Reset Password

Enter your email address and we'll send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Sign In
La Polaca

La Polaca


Josefa Cotillo Martínez, La Polaca, (Madrid, June 16, 1944 - Seville, June 2, 2010) was a Spanish dancer and actress. She was born in the Lavapiés neighborhood of Madrid. After leaving her studies at the age of ten, she began to dedicate herself to flamenco dancing and created her own style in an absolutely self-taught way. At the age of twelve, she made her debut as a professional in the play “La Parrilla”, at the Alcázar theater in Madrid. At the age of sixteen, she went to America as part of the company of the dancer José Greco, in which she quickly became one of the main figures. Her nickname is attributed to her dancing a Polish dance. At the end of the fifties she toured the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, where she appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and performed before President Kennedy. Back in Spain, she consolidated her upward career with successive tours and reached the status of leading figure in flamenco ballets such as “Los canasteros” and “Las brujas”. She made her film debut in 1965 with the film “Con el viento solano”, by Mario Camus. Throughout the seventies she participated in various titles giving life to passionate characters through which she frequently exhibited her dancing skills. Among the films in which she intervenes are “El amor brujo” (1967), by Rovira-Beleta; “The Secretaries” (1969), by Pedro Lazaga; and “Del amor y la muerte” (1977), by Antonio Giménez-Rico. In 1978 she appeared as a judge on the dance contest “Fiebre del 2”, a Mexican program on Televisa. At the turn of the decade, in the eighties, her career began to decline, although she would still participate in Carlos Saura's new version of El amor brujo (1986).

  • Known For: Acting
  • Birthday: 1944-06-16
  • Place of Birth: Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • Also Known As: Josefa Cotillo Martínez