Sunday night ignited another red-hot evening of Forever Flamenco at the Fountain when artistic director Gerardo Morales led a company of world-class artists in our intimate venue in a concert titled ‘Sevilla a Los Angeles.’ Dancers Marina Valiente and Timo Nunez passionately performed to the guitar of Gabriel Osuna and Jesus Montoya‘s soulful singing. Mateo Amper added his artistry on piano. The sold-out concert was produced by Deborah Lawlor and James Bennett.
For more than 25 years, the Fountain Theatre has produced world-class flamenco in its intimate home on Fountain Avenue and every summer in the 1200-seat outdoor Ford Theatre. Don’t miss this summer’s extraordinary Forever Flamenco at the Fordon July 23rd. It’s LA’s hottest flamenco night of the year!
Sunday night proved why Forever Flamenco at the Fountain was recently hailed in Tvolution magazine as “the best ticket in town.” Ole!
Why do I keep urging you to get down to the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood and partake in this monthly series?
What makes Flamenco so special, you ask?
Well, all right, since you asked –
It is the nature of all life to evolve. From the nascent state we develop until the fullness of our potential is obtained or the natural limitations of our species reached. One can disagree and debate the question of potential-limitation, but not that the ultimate stage bears slight similitude to that of the inception stage.
In a fashion, the babe is lost to the child, the child to the youth, the youth to the adult.
It is true of art forms that they evolve from a primal form, developing intellectual dimensions artistic frameworks. The loss of a certain primal intensity is payment for that progression.
Yeah, that’s a mouthful, I know, so let ‘s put forth some illustrations.
Pliny the Elder reports that Zeuxis, a Greek painter of the 5th century B.C.E., would have guests try to eat the grapes painted on his canvases. And that Parrhasios, a fellow artist of Zeuxis, invited him to view a new work covered over by a lace curtain. When Zeuxis went to lift the lace curtain he found it was part of the painting.
The 13th century Italian artist Giotto liked to paint little flies on his works then watch patrons try to shoo them.
In 1849 twenty to thirty thousand rioting New Yorkers confronted the National Guard troops called up to re-establish order resulting in more than thirty deaths. The cause of their uprising? A production of Shakespeare.
When J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World premiered it too caused a riot, though not nearly as bloody.
My passion for theatre knows no bounds, but sadly, I’m reduced to imagining what the state of catharsis must have been like to reduce an ancient Greek audience to a sobbing mass incapable of speech, or what passion could be played upon to plunge me into a frenzy of rioting.
When the raw throbbing notes of jazz was first heard it threw some into wild paroxysms. Decent women fainted.
The same can be said of rock and roll and even rap.
Once, not very long ago, the experience of rap was felt by some as less “music” than throbbing hammer blows of anger, rage and revolt.
Now, Ice-T does pamper commercials and you can hear “Fuck the Police” as muzak while waiting in line to make a deposit at Bank of America.
Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 The Great Train Robbery, one of the first film “works” to employ editing in the telling of its story, concludes with one of the robbers on the screen pointing his gun at the audience and firing.
When first shown, members of the audience dived under their seats.
Film, the youngest of arts, has all but lost that quality that permitted those engaging in it to be engulfed by its artifact, transported by its manufactured illusion.
The exception that tests the rule here being Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, a 2 hour, 6 minute Christian stuff film with only 16 torture free minutes of which 2 minutes were taken up by the resurrection and none to the tenets of Jesus’ teaching.
Whatever forms the creative imperative embodies, the accretion of artistry infuses accessibilty but defuses the ascendancy of the incipient urging behind the creative act.
Art, like the Titan Antaeus is robbed of its strength when removed from the soil that is its mother.
Flamenco, I find, still has a fast grip to the dark and tragic history, the pain and passion that was the life breath of the cante jondo, the traditional “deep song.”
In the sound of Flamenco, the fury of its dance, we have echoes from the dark corners of the human soul as profound today as they were three centuries ago.
Nowhere will the sorrow and joy of the human condition find expression with more sublime defiance than in the music and dance of flamenco.
Deborah Lawlor, for one Sunday every month, has lured world class talent to a small corner of Hollywood with the Forever Flamenco series at The Fountain Theatre.
Scheduled to appear at the next performance on Sunday May 22nd at 8:30: Gabriel Osuna will be the evening’s guitarist. Osuna plays with garra, meaning “guts” or “vitality.” Evidence of this is found if you examine his fingers which he coats in Super Glue to give the tips added protection.
Mateo Amper will be at the piano and Gerardo Morales is the featured percussionist as well as the evening’s director.
If these three musicians were matched in a battle of the bands with any philharmonic orchestra in the country, when it was over, it wouldn’t be the ones in tuxes wearing the laurels.
Dancer Timo Nuñez is a melding of grace and raw power who is stunning to watch.
Singer Jesus Montoya is another familiar face in the series, who fills every note he sings with such emotional power it could make bricks weep.
Marina Valiente will be making her debut at the Fountain. I am confident it will be a debut very worth seeing.
I know, I said it before. Well guess what? I’m saying it again: Forever Flamenco – The best tickets in LA. Click
Ernest Kearney is an award winning L.A. playwright and freelance writer. This post originally appeared in The Tvolution.
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
Called “hot, gritty and intoxicating” by the Village Voice and “a wild man… [who] makes me scream out ‘Ole!’” by Dance Insider, dancer Antonio Rodriguez Jiminez (“ El Chupete”) comes from Sevilla, Spain to headline the June 15 edition of L.A.’s premier flamenco series, Forever Flamenco! at the Fountain Theatre. This month’s line-up also includes guitarist/artistic director Gabriel Osuna; guitarist Jose Tanaka; singer Antonio de Jerez; percussionist Gerardo Morales; and dancers Mizuho Sato and Pamela Lourant. With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre is the perfect venue to experience the art of flamenco. Produced by Deborah Lawlor.
The hottest flamenco is at the Fountain! With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre is the perfect venue. Each performance features a roster of world-class Flamenco 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’s line-up, under the artistic direction of guitarist Gabriel Osuna, includes Fanny Ara from San Francisco and Elena Osuna from Albuquerque, as well as Matthew Amper on piano, a unique addition under Osuna’s direction.
The Company of Artists: Artistic Director/Guitarist: Gabriel Osuna Dancers: Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutierrez, Elena Osuna Singer: José Cortes Pianist: Matthew Amper Percussionist: Gerardo Morales
Founded and produced by Deborah Lawlor, Forever Flamenco is now enjoying its 13th sold-out year at our intimate Fountain Theatre. Stage and Cinema recently hailed it as “an assemblage of the greatest flamenco artists anywhere.”
Forever Flamenco Sunday, Feb 16 8pm (323) 663-1525MORE
Forever Flamenco! presents an All-Star Flamenco Weekend: Antonio Triana and Company on Jan. 17 and 18, featuring magnificent singer José Cortés (from Spain) and mesmerizing dancer Fanny Ara (born in France, trained in Spain); and Lakshmi Basileand Company on Jan. 19, featuring two guest artists – guitarist Pedro Cortés and percussionist and festero Luis de la Tota, who brings joy and fun to every show he’s in.
With only 80 seats in four rows, The Fountain Theatre is the perfect place to view Flamenco. Each show features a roster of world-class Flamenco 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.
Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 pm and Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 pm
Antonio Triana and Company
Guitarristas (Guitarists) – Gabriel Osuna, Antonio Triana
Cantaores (Singers) – José Cortés, Antonio de Jerez
Bailaores (Dancers) – Vanessa Albalos, Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutierrez
Sunday, Jan. 19 at 8 pm
Lakshmi Basile and Company
Guitarrista (Guitarist) – Pedro Cortés
Cantaor (Singer) – Jesus Montoya
Palmero/Cajonero (Percussionist) – Luis de la Tota
“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
Artistic director/guitarist Gabriel Osuna brings dancers Timo Nuňez, Elena Osuna and Mizuho Sato; singer Vicente Griego “El Cartucho”; and percussionist Gerardo Morales together for a sizzling hot night of passionate flamenco music and dance at the Fountain Theatre on Sunday, January 13th at 8pm. With only 78 seats in four rows, the Fountain is the perfect place to view world-class flamenco in an intimate setting. Ole!
Forever Flamenco Sunday Jan 13 8pm (323) 663-1525 More Info
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
The September edition of the Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed series offers a rare flamenco performance, pairing pianist Matt Amper with Gerardo Morales on guitar and percussion; guitarist Gabriel Osuna; singer José Cortes; and dancers Vanessa Acosta, “La Pamela” (Pamela Lourant) and Oscar Valero. 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, Forever Flamenco was created by Fountain producing Director Deborah Lawlor.
“The Fountain has certainly cemented its stature as L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco.”– LA Weekly
Artistic Director: Gerardo Morales
Dancers: Vanessa Acosta, “La Pamela” (Pamela Lourant),Oscar Valero
Singer: José Cortes
Guitarist: Gerardo Morales, Gabriel Osuna
Percussion: Gerardo Morales
Piano: Matthew Amper
Presented by Deborah Lawlor and The Fountain Theatre