100 Dance Treasures


Matteo and Carola Goya Menu



Matteo and Carola Goya, Photo by John Lindquist Matteo and Carola Goya performing a Spanish dance at Jacob's Pillow. Ninotchka Bennahum writes, "Between 1957 and 1966, the couple became mainstays of the Pillow, teaching, directing and performing." (Photo by John Lindquist. Courtesy of the Harvard Theatre Collection, copyright owner.)


Contemporary Spanish and ethnic dancers, Matteo and Carola Goya formed a highly successful partnership in 1954. Goya was born in New York City, trained at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, and studied with La Quica and others in Spain. She danced for President and Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House in 1936, toured Europe and South America as leading dancer in José Greco's company, and was the first to play the castanets as a solo instrument with various symphony orchestras. Born in Utica, New York, Matteo received a master's in dance education from Springfield College and later studied at the "Met," La Meri's Ethnologic Dance Center, and with La Quica and Balasaraswati. He introduced the study of ethnic dance forms at the High School of Performing Arts. Married in 1974, Goya and Matteo have lectured, toured, and taught extensively; together they directed the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Dance, founded in 1967. Matteo is the author of The Language of Spanish Dance, published in 1990. Goya died in 1994 at the age of eighty-eight in New York City, after which Matteo moved to the Actors Fund Home where he died in 2011 at ninety-two.

Learn more in Carola Goya and Matteo, an essay by Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum.