CARDO (Raoul CARDO SABAN TORRES IRIGARAY a.k.a. CARDO)
Cardo’s life has been quite rich in various events. After having practised tap-dancing as a professional and played in several movies, He founded this unique park where you can meet prehistoric animals made of concrete and metal.
Born on the 28th of October 1924, son of the prima ballerina Emélina Torres, his father was a teacher in the Fine Arts School of Madrid. Nephew of the great guitar-player Andrès Segovia, Cardo was above all else a painter. He attended his father’s class and soon proved to be a very gifted pupil.
Cardo discovered France at the age of 5 during the shooting of a motion picture starring Gaby Morlay. After 4 years on tour throughout Europe the Cardo family came back to Spain. But in 1938, his father was shot dead by pro-Franco soldiers and the family took refuge in France. The child-actor becomes a flamenco dancer and choreographer and appears on stage with other soon-to-be famous “beginners” such as Edith Piaf, Bourvil, Marcel Marceau, Charles Trenet, Gérard Philippe, Pierre Brasseur, Jean-Louis Barrault and many more. In 1948 Cardo started writing ballets, creating the sceneries and costumes. His writing and scripts were inspired by Goya “Disparates”, and “L’ Amour sorcier” (the witch-love) after Manuel de Falla. These ballets will be performed in Belgium and Switzerland by his brother, Lélé de Triana, with “Sol Y Sombra” the troupe the two brothers had created in 1949 and that will dance for the operetta “Le Chanteur de Mexico” (the singer from Mexico) starring Luis Mariano.
After that, Cardo became “premier danseur de caractère” at the Opera of Paris and stars in 5 movies, including « La Femme et le pantin“ (The Lady and the puppet) in which he teaches flamenco to Brigitte Bardot. He also danced with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Cardo directs a motion picture in 1961 in Biscarosse about animal life. His passion for animals will lead him into making models of prehistoric animals in 1967. A few years later the dancer will become a sculptor in order to give life to the dinosaurs that preocupied his childhood dreams.
He settled in Chamoux in 1981 and creates this 25 acres park he baptises Cardo land.
The Park entrance holds an exposition of Cardo’s new creations: metal sculptures featuring “useless furniture” and important people he met during his care
Today his daughter, Mélusine and Laetitia are creating the new dinosaurs
that continue to arrive in the park each year.