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
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
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
Deborah Lawlor and The Fountain Theatre in association with Beth Nesbitt and Vida Flamenca present Emilio Ochando and company in Forever Flamenco on Sunday, March 18, in the beautiful 300-seat Gallery Theatre at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood.
Emilio Ochando, a phenom from the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza, has performed as a soloist with Ballet Nacional de España and Ballet Nacional de Cuba. His choreographic prowess earned him 2nd prize as emerging choreographer at Alcala de Henares (Madrid). He is currently a soloist in the Montreal production of Don Juan with dancer/choreographers Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, and returns to Forever Flamenco for an exciting evening of clasico español and flamenco dance along with an electrifying line-up of musicians and dancers, including the US stage debut of cantaor Guillermo Gonzalez direct from Sevilla. Ochando is joined by the relentless passion of dancers Clara Rodriguez and Stephanie Narváez from San Francisco, accompanied by the guitar mastery of Kai Narezo and Gabriel Osuna. Gerardo Morales punctuates the performances on percussion.
Artist Line-Up for Sunday, March 18:
Artistic Director: Emilio Ochando Guitarists: Kai Narezo and Gabriel Osuna
Singer: special guest, direct from Sevilla: Guillermo Gonzalez
Dancers: Emilio Ochando, invited dancers from San Francisco Clara Rodriguez and Stephanie Narváez
Percussion: Gerardo Morales
Now in its 9th Smash Year, Forever Flamenco is the prime ongoing flamenco event in Los Angeles. The LA WEEKLY raves: “The Fountain has certainly cemented its stature as L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco. Kudos are also due to the rotating series of artistic directors who continue to attract the best dancers from L.A.’s vibrant community as well as significant out-of-town guests.”
Since 2011, the Fountain Theatre’s Forever Flamenco is presented in the lovely 300-seat Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park, the venue perched on an enchanting hilltop overlooking Hollywood. A charming and romantic setting for such a passionate art form!
The Gallery Theatre at Barnsdall Art Park is located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Hollywood Blvd and Vermont Ave)
Forever Flamenco! Sunday, March 18, 8pm (323) 663-1525Get Tickets
Last night at Forever Flamenco,Lakshmi Basile and the stellar company of fabulous guest artists sizzled and soared at the 300-seat Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park. Lakshmi was joined by singer Jesus Montoya, guitarist Juan Antonio Gomez, percussionist Gerardo Morales, and fellow dancers Adriana Maresma Fois and Ricardo Chavez.
The large audience was loud, festive, and ready to party! They had a marvelous time, applauding wildly and shouting “Ole!” to the performers on stage throughout the swirling concert.
After the magic on stage, joyful celebration erupted back stage. Here’s a peak:
Dancer Ricardo Chavez and singer Jesus Montoya.
Dancer Adriana Maresma-Fois
Our next Forever Flamenco will be Sunday Feb 28 (323) 663-1525 Check our website for details.