Because of the set design for our current hit play Dream Catcher, this month’s Forever Flamenco returns to West L.A. as guest production at the Odyssey Theatre on Sunday, February 21st at 8pm.
Journey from the traditional roots of flamenco to experimental projects featuring mixes from Osuna Productions. Under the artistic direction of guitarist Gabriel Osuna, the evening will feature dancers Vanessa Albalos and Briseyda Zarate; singer Vicente Griego; percussionist Gerardo Morales on the cajon; and guitarists Osuna and José Tanaka. The Los Angeles Times hails the series as “the earth and fire of first-class flamenco,” and LA Splash says, “Being the sensual, intimate art form that it is… the way you feel when you walk out of a Forever Flamenco performance is pretty darn fabulous.”
Forever Flamenco is produced by Deborah Lawlor and James Bennett. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard, LA, CA 90025
“Once a month at the Fountain Theatre, Deborah Lawlor presents Forever Flamenco, an assemblage of the greatest flamenco artists anywhere.” – Stage and Cinema
With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre, named “the foremost venue of flamenco in Los Angeles” by the LA Weekly, is the perfect place to view flamenco. Each show features a roster of world-class dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of Flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from San Francisco, Albuquerque and Spain.
This month artistic director/dancer Timo Nuñez will be joined by dancers Clara Rodriguez and Briseyda Zarate; singer Jesus Montoya; guitarist Gabriel Osuna; and percussionist Joey Heredia.
Passionate. Exhilarating. World class flamenco in an intimate setting.
Forever FlamencoSunday, Nov 10 8pm (323) 663-1525MORE
A new documentary, exploring the reach of flamenco music and dance into Los Angeles, screens Friday at the Fountain Theatre.
Conventional wisdom would have us assume that anyone directing a documentary has at least scant knowledge of the subject being explored.
Asked how much she knew about flamenco music before beginning her film project, Katina Dunn was pretty forthcomng about it.
“Nothing. Not a thing,” she said.
A journalist by trade, the Chicago native happened into a small club in Hollywood in 2010, and was instantly enchanted by a group of flamenco musicians and dancer Mizuho Sato.
“After I saw these guys playing, I went home and searched for them on Google, and there was nothing,” Dunn recalled at the Rafu Shimpo offices last week. “I knew I had to do something on them, because their performance was so moving. I knew what they were creating was incredible.”
Dunn’s film explores the reach of flamenco into cultures outside of its birthplace in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. The folk music – whose name translates roughly to “the folklore of the flame” – has enjoyed great popularity in Japan, where it is said there are more flamenco schools than in Spain.
Tanaka, 44, said his parents were part of the generation that first embraced flamenco, and his given name is a direct result of their enthusiasm. He endured endless lessons, and when he was 18, his mother suggested he go study guitar in Spain.
Young Jose had other ideas.
“I said, ‘Screw that, I’m going to Hollywood!’ I wanted to be a rock star,” he explained.
Tanaka was working as a guitar instructor at a small music school shortly after arriving in L.A. in 1987. He said he soon became disillusioned with the monotony of his job.
“At the time, hard rock bands like Metallica and Pearl Jam were very popular, and I was teaching these kids that kind of stuff,” he said. “I found that they picked it up so quickly and I felt like I wasn’t much better than those kids. I didn’t feel like I was special, and all this time I was avoiding flamenco.”
All the while, his mother back in his hometown of Kyoto continued to send news of up-and-coming flamenco artists. But it wasn’t until the renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía came to L.A. for a concert that the flamenco fire was rekindled in Tanaka’s heart.
“All the memories started to come back. There were a lot of mixed feelings, but I realized how much I missed flamenco. I was really brought to tears,” he said.
“Kumpanía” also features Sato, a native of Iwate Prefecture who teaches dance and has been performing with Tanaka’s group since 2004.
Jose Tanaka will perform a live solo concert immediately following the screening of ‘Kumpania’ on Friday night, July 19 at 8pm at the Fountain Theatre.
Mikey Hirano Culross isArts & Entertainment Editor forRafu Shimpo
Kumpania & Jose Tanaka Friday, July 19 (323) 663-1525 MORE
The Fountain Theatre adds a last-minute, special performance of Forever Flamenco! this Sunday, November 11 with flamenco superstar Timo Nunez. Joining Timo on stage at the Fountain Theatre, L.A.’s foremost intimate venue to view flamenco with only 78 seats in 4 rows, are dancers Briseyda Zarate, Clara Rodriguezand Corrie Jimenez; singer Jesus Montoya; guitarist Gabriel Osuna; and percussionist Joey Heredia.
Hailed as “America’s Number One Flamenco Dancer” on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, Timo Nuñez began dancing ballet and studying musical theatre at the early age of seven in Santa Barbara, California. At the age of nine, he was intensely attracted to Spanish Flamenco Dance and began to study under Linda Vega and Roberto Amaral. Timo quickly began to excel as a young professional performer with the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera and Juan Talavera’s Men of Flamenco. At the age of twelve Debbie Allen discovered Timo and his sister Beatrice as a young brother/sister flamenco duo. Simultaneously, Timo began his training in Spain. Invitations to perform at the Kennedy Center in Debbie Allen’s Pepito’s Story soon followed. Timo later became a member of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s faculty as a flamenco instructor. Following High School, Timo was chosen by Kenny Ortega, Julie McDonald and Toni Basil to win the prestigious LA Music Center Spotlight Award for non-classical dance.
Timo now performs and choreographs all over the world from Santa Barbara to Sevilla, New York to Dubai. Timo won the coveted First Place recognition in El Concurso de Baile Flamenco in Albuquerque. He was judged by Israel and Pastora Galvan, Rafael and Adela Campallo and El Torombo, some of the most renowned flamenco dancers of all time.
Forever Flamenco Sunday, Nov 11 (323) 663-1525More
Our acclaimed series, Forever Flamenco, goes “back to basics” on Sunday, August 5th at 8pm at the intimate Fountain Theatre by presenting a Cuadro of flamenco artists: two dancers (the deep and soulful Briseyda Zarateand the brave, excitingMizuho Sato), a singer (passionateJesus Montoya), and a guitarist (master Flamenco artist José Tanaka), artists who have worked together for years and can feel each other’s every move and note. With only 78 seats in four rows, the Fountain is the perfect place to view flamenco. Each show features a roster of world-class dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from San Francisco, Albuquerque and Spain.
Now in its 9th smash year and hailed as “LA’s most significant venue for Flamenco” by the LA Weekly, Forever Flamenco is produced by Fountain Producing Director Deborah Lawlor.
Forever Flamenco Sunday, August 5th (323) 663-1525 More Info
Flamenco “Comes Home” to the Intimate Fountain Theatre
After a very successful year of presenting Forever Flamenco in the beautiful 300-seat Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park, Flamenco returns to the intimate 78-seat Fountain Theatre for one night only this Sunday, March 25th, at 8pm.
Produced by Deborah Lawlor, the cozy Fountain is the perfect venue to enjoy Flamenco music and dance. Every seat is up close and personal, just a few feet from the stage.
The lineup this Sunday, March 25 includes singer/dancer: Briseyda Zarate, dancer/percussionist Ryan Zermeno, dancers Pamela Lourant and Paloma Rios and guitarist/artistic director Ben Woods.
Forever Flamenco will return to the Gallery Theatre next month in April. This Sunday is the rare opportunity to enjoy world-class Flamenco just a few feet away from your seat in the intimate Fountain Theatre. Don’t miss it!
Flamenco at the Fountain Sunday, March 25, 8pm (323) 663-1525More