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.
This Saturday night, August 9th, the Fountain Theatre honors LA flamenco pioneer Roberto Amaral at ourForever Flamenco at the Fordgala concert at the beautiful Ford Amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills. Lontime dancer, choreographer and teacher Amaral was instrumental in first launching our flamenco program at the Fountain with Deborah Lawlor more than 20 years ago.
“Roberto is a flamenco visionary with a trademark style,” comments Forever Flamenco producer Deborah Lawlor. “As he continually strives to find new and refreshing approaches to the form, he has also found an enormous sense of gratification and pride in his dedication to teach and mentor others. Many of his former students and protégés have gone on to become stars in their own right.”
Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki Phillips)
Roberto Amaral began his professional career at the age of 17 and has since achieved worldwide acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, singer, composer, artist and master teacher. From 1968 through 1976, he enjoyed success as principal dancer and guest artist with many of the world’s foremost Spanish dance companies, touring extensively with the companies of José Greco, José Antonio, Ciro, Alberto Lorca, Rafael de Cordoba and Antonio Ruiz. Also during this early period of his career, he laid groundbreaking musical history as co-founder, co-lead vocalist, writer, arranger and choreographer of the legendary band CARMEN. It was the first musical group to ever combine flamenco with rock/pop music, both audibly and visually, performing alongside such musical luminaries as David Bowie, Jethro Tull, ELO and Santana. For television, Roberto has been a featured dancer and choreographer on numerous programs, including The Academy Awards (twice), The Tonight Show,The Barry Manilow Special and the Madrid-based Antología de la Zarzuela. He is the recipient of an EMMY Award for his collaboration with choreographer Walter Painter on the television special Lynda Carter’s Celebration. He has founded several critically acclaimed dance companies, including Danzas de España, Ballet Español de Los Ángeles, España Clásica and Fuego Flamenco — each of which has influenced the pulse of flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Southern California — and he has produced, choreographed and designed over 500 dance solos, ensemble pieces, flamenco ballets, conceptual suites and production numbers. In his nearly 50 year career, Roberto has been privileged to perform in many of the world’s great concert halls, theaters, arenas and nightclubs, including the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, Sahara and Hilton International. In Europe he has performed at London’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’ Olympia Theatre, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, Madrid’s Teatro de La Zarzuela and Milan’s La Scala Opera House.
The Fountain’s Forever Flamenco series has been called “the city’s preeminent flamenco series” by the Los Angeles Times and “L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco” by the LA Weekly.Working Authordesignates it “the rarest of treats… for both connoisseur and novice alike, ‘Forever Flamenco’ offers the opportunity to luxuriate in the incendiary passions of flamenco.” Dance writer Debra Levine says, “Performances feature superb gypsy guitarists and singers. Do you enjoy seeing the body in spellbinding motion? Great artistic individuality? Live music? Then go,” and Stage and Cinema’s Tony Frankel writes, “Thrilling, sexy and sensuous.”
Forever Flamenco at the Ford will celebrate Amaral’s seminal 49-year career with performances by dancers Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutiérrez, Pamela Lourant, Timo Nuñez, Rocio Ponce, Mizuho Sato, Yaelisa, Alexandra & Ryan Zermeño; singers Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya; guitarists Adam del Monte, Jason McGuire“El Rubio,” José Tanaka and Antonio Triana; and percussionist Joey Heredia.
It’s back!The Fountain Theatre returns to the beautiful John Anson Ford Amphitheatre with an all-star line-up of local, national and international flamenco artists to celebrate Forever Flamenco and honor LA flamenco dancer/choreographer/teacher Roberto Amaral. Forever Flamencoat the Ford is the premiere flamenco event of the year in Los Angeles.Under the artistic direction of renowned flamenco dancer Yaelisa and guitarist Antonio Triana and produced by Deborah Lawlor, the Gala Event takes place on Saturday, August 9th at 8:30 pm at the Ford Theatresin Hollywood.
Last year’s Forever Flamenco at the Ford was a thrilling success and sold-out the 1200-seat venue. Tony Frankel of Stage and Cinema declared it “Breathtaking! Explosive! Thrilling! Sexy and Sensuous!”
We are holding 100 of the BEST SEATS – center section, down front, up close and personal — and offering them only to our private Fountain VIP patrons. These prime seats are not available to the public. With these Fountain VIP tickets you get:
The best seats in the house: down front, up close, center section
Exclusive VIP pass to the private pre-show catered party with the artists
Festive hand-crafted gift bag with free flamenco swag
These prime VIP TICKETS are limited and will sell out. Click here to order online.Or call the Fountain box office (323) 663-1525. Note: These VIP tickets sold by the Fountain Theatre are tax deductible.
Since 1990, the dancers, musicians and singers of Forever Flamenco have been delighting Fountain Theatre audiences with the intensity, precision and exhilaration for which flamenco is known. Now Forever Flamenco returns to the outdoor stage at the Ford Theatres with this passionate expression of Spanish culture in a tribute to LA Flamenco pioneer Amaral.
Forever Flamenco at the Ford will be a once-in-a-lifetime gala event gathering some of flamenco’s finest artists together on stage, including dancers Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutierrrez, Pamela Lourant, Timo Nuñez, Mizuho Sato, Yaelisa andRyan Zermeno; singers Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya; guitarists Adam del Monte, Jason McGuire “El Rubio”, Jose Tanaka and Antonio Triana; and percussionist Joey Heredia. Watch for more surprise artists, as well as a few guests and dignitaries honoring the accomplishments and contributions made by Amaral to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.
Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki-Phillips)
Roberto Amaral began his professional career at the age of 17, and has since achieved worldwide acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, singer, composer, artist and master teacher.
From 1968 through 1976, he enjoyed success as principal dancer and guest artist with many of the world’s foremost Spanish dance companies. With the companies of Jose Greco, Jose Antonio, Ciro, Alberto Lorca, Rafael de Cordoba and Antonio Ruiz, Roberto toured extensively throughout Europe and the Americas. Also during this early period of his career, he laid groundbreaking musical history as co-founder, co-lead vocalist, writer, arranger and choreographer of the legendary band CARMEN. It was the first musical group to ever combine flamenco with rock/pop music both audibly and visually, performing alongside such musical luminaries as David Bowie, Jethro Tull, ELO and Santana. As a television performer, Roberto has been a featured dancer and choreographer on numerous programs, most noteworthy being The Academy Awards (twice), The Tonight Show, The Barry Manilow Special and the Madrid based Antologia de la Zarzuela. In 1981, he collaborated with choreographer Walter Painter on the television special Lynda Carter’s Celebration. For this collaboration Roberto received the prestigious EMMY AWARD honoring his contributions as flamenco consultant and lead dancer. Most recently in 2012, he and renowned choreographer Liz Imperio collaborated on an exciting flamenco number which was featured on both the tv shows Q Viva and The Ellen Show. In 1977, Roberto formed his first of several dance companies, each of which have greatly influenced the pulse of flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Southern California for the past 37 years. The critically acclaimed companies Danzas de Espana, Ballet Espanol de Los Angeles, Espana Clasica and Fuego Flamenco are all companies Roberto has conceived, artistically directed and starred in. As a result, he has produced, staged, designed costumes, sets and lights for, and choreographed over 500 dance solos, ensemble pieces, flamenco ballets, conceptual suites and production numbers. In his nearly 50 year career, Roberto has been privileged to perform in many of the world’s great concert halls, theatres, arenas and nightclubs. In the United States they include California’s Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Ahmanson Theatre, San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts ; New York’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden ; Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, Sahara and Hilton International. In Europe he has performed at London’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’ Olympia Theatre, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, Madrid’s Teatro de La Zarzuela and Milan’s La Scala Opera House. In 1990 Roberto began a critically acclaimed 7 year run of performances at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood. It was during this time that many California Flamenco stars graced the Fountain Theatre stage alongside Roberto in his landmark company Fuego Flamenco. Also during this period, Roberto choreographed and worked alongside Deborah Lawlor on her prestigious theatrical accomplishment “The Women of Guernica” as well as the Fountain Theatre filmed documentary L.A. Ole!.
Roberto is and will always be known as a visionary, with a trademark style of dance, music and art that he wants to be regarded and remembered as unique, innovative and impressionable. As he continually strives to find new and refreshing approaches to his artistic creativity, he has also found an enormous sense of gratification and pride in his dedication to teach and mentor others. Many of his former students and proteges have gone on to become stars in their own right. This commitment to dance garnered Roberto the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara Flamenco Society in 2004. Roberto still looks forward to many more years of creating new projects and to the continued training and nurturing of his current and future students.
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
Forever Flamenco at the Ford takes place on Saturday, August 9th. Doors open for picnicking at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 8:30 pm. Reserved seating is $50 and $75. Purchase tickets on or before August 2 and save $5. Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (323 GO 1-FORD). For Fountain VIP Tickets call (323) 663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
Enjoy these glorious photos by Bruce Bisenz capturing the passion and excitement of our Forever Flamenco concert on January 19 starring Lakshmi Basile and company. Featuring artists Lakshmi Basile, Pedro Cortes, Luis de la Tota, Jesus Montoya, and Jeff Pekarek. Produced by Deborah Lawlor and now in its 13th smash year, our Forever Flamenco series has established the Fountain the hottest flamenco venue in Los Angeles. Check out Bruce’s photos and see why!
“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
The Fountain Theatre presents an all-star line-up of local, national and international flamenco artists to celebrate Forever Flamenco! founder Deborah Lawlor’s 20-year dedication to producing, nurturing and broadening the art form in Los Angeles. Forever Flamenco!at the Ford, under the artistic direction of internationally renowned flamenco dancer Maria Bermudez, takes place on Saturday, June 15 at 8:30 pm at the Ford Theatresin Hollywood.
Since 1990, the dancers, musicians and singers ofForever Flamenco! have been delighting Fountain Theatre audiences with the intensity, precision and exhilaration for which flamenco is known. NowForever Flamenco! returns to the outdoor stage at the Ford Theatres with this passionate expression of Spanish culture in a tribute to Lawlor.
“Forever Flamenco! was born out of Deborah’s love and total immersion into flamenco,” says Bermudez. “Young dancers, up-and-coming dancers, seasoned professionals and international dancers – all of us have all come through Forever Flamenco! at the Fountain. I took my first baby steps there.”
Forever Flamenco! at the Ford will be a once-in-a-lifetime gala event gathering some of flamenco’s finest artists together on stage for the first time, including dancers Fanny Ara, Lakshmi Basile, Maria Bermudez, Alejandro Granados (from Spain), Manuel Gutierrrez, Timo Nuñez,Linda Vega and Yaelisa; singer/dancer Roberto Amaral; singers José Cortez, Ana de los Reyes (from Spain) and Jesus Montoya; singer/composer Pele de los Reyes (from Spain) of the Grammy®-nominated group Navajita Platea; guitarists Adam del Monte, Jason Maguire, Antonio Triana and Ben Woods; and percussionist Joey Heredia. Watch for more surprise artists, as well as a few guests from Bermudez’ flamenco puro company Sonidos Gitanos, which has been presented at the Ford by Lawlor and the Fountain eight times since 1995.
Deborah Lawlor’s Forever Flamenco! series plays monthly to enthusiastic crowds at the Fountain Theatre. She and the Fountain have presented Bermudez and her Sonidos Gitanos/Gypsy Flamenco Company from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, for eight summer engagements at the Ford – including, in 2010, its new off-shoot, The Chicana Gypsy Project – and in 2007 at the Japan American Theatre. The 2009 Ford season included Forever Flamenco!: LA Olé featuring an all-star cast assembled fromForever Flamenco! at the Fountain. Lawlor began her career as a dancer, choreographer and actor in New York’s “downtown” scene. After living in South India for five years, where she was involved in the initial development of the international township of Auroville, she created two full-length outdoor dance/theater pieces celebrating the community. She spent the next 10 years in Australia and France studying ancient cultures of India and Egypt and translating several books in these fields from French into English. Returning to the U.S. in 1986, she became deeply involved in the intimate theater scene and, in 1990, she and Stephen Sachs co-founded the Fountain Theatre, which is now in its 23rd season of theatrical and dance events. Lawlor is responsible for the Fountain’s extensive dance involvement. The 1995 season included The Women of Guernica, Lawlor’s flamenco-based adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women, which she also directed. She directed two one-act plays by Tennessee Williams and created and directed three full-evening dance-theater pieces for the Fountain:Declarations: Love Letters of the Great Romantics; The Path of Love, which she also directed in South India; and the dance opera, The Song of Songs, with music by Al Carmines. Actors Equity Association honored Lawlor with its Diversity Award, for her dedication to presenting work at the Fountain that is culturally diverse.
Considered to be one of the foremost international flamenco artists in the world today, Bermudez resides in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, the “birthplace” of flamenco. There, she has worked with renowned artists such as Juana del Pipa, Andres Peña, Antonio El Pipa, Alejandro Granados, Navajita Platea, El Capullo and many others. She was honored by the artists of the city for her relentless dedication in exposing the artistry of this region. Bermudez’ outstanding and critically acclaimed performances include the Hollywood Bowl, Ford Amphitheatre, Fountain Theater and the Music Center in Los Angeles; Central Park, Lincoln Center and the Joyce Theater in New York City; the Teatro Palácio das Artes in Brazil; Peña Cernicalos, Los Gallos and Teatro Lope de Vega and Festival de Jerez in Spain; guest appearances with the Santa Cecilia California; and numerous venues throughout the world. Most recently she formed Chicana Gypsy Project which draws on her Mexican-American heritage and her immersion into Adulucian Gypsy culture. Her life and career have inspired the award-winning documentary film, Streets of Flamenco.
Forever Flamenco! at the Ford takes place on Saturday, June 15. Doors open for picnicking at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 8:30 pm. Reserved seating is $50 and $75.Purchase tickets on or before June 8 and save $5. Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD).
We are holding 100 of the BEST SEATS— center section, down front, up close and personal — and are offering them only to you, our private Fountain VIP patrons. These prime seats are not available to the public. With these VIP tickets you get:
The best seats in the house: down front, up close, center section
Exclusive VIP pass to the private pre-show catered party with the artists
Festive hand-crafted gift bag with free flamenco swag
These prime VIP TICKETS are only available through the Fountain Theatre!Order Now! Or call the Fountain box office (323) 663-1525.
Hailed as “LA’s most significant venue for flamenco” by LA Weekly, the Fountain Theatre returns to the Ford stage after a two year absence, bringing the finest local, national and international flamenco artists to celebrate this passionate expression of Spanish culture. Forever Flamenco’s dancers, musicians and singers have been delighting audiences for years with the intensity, precision and exhilaration for which flamenco is known. This year’s show pays tribute to the founder of the Fountain’s flamenco program, Deborah Lawlor, a Los Angeles icon and ardent supporter of the art form for more than two decades.
“Forever Flamenco was born out of Deborah’s love and total immersion into Flamenco,” says Maria Bermudez. “Young dancers, up-and-coming dancers have been given opportunities, as well as seasoned professionals and international dancers, have all come through Forever Flamenco at the Fountain. Me being one of them. I had my first baby steps there. I have to say, the Fountain has been one of my most cherished performance spaces for Flamenco.”
Forever Flamenco at the Ford will be a once-in-a-lifetime gala event gathering some of the finest international, national and local flamenco artists together on stage for the first time. Artists include Jesus Alvarez, Roberto Amaral, Fanny Ara, Lakshmi Basille, Maria Bermudez, Jose Cortes, Adam Del Monte, Manuel Guiterez, Jason MacGuire, Jesus Montoya, Timo Nunez, Domingo Ortega, Jose Tanaka, Antonio Triana, Linda Vega, Ben Woods, Yaelisa and more (lineup subject to change).
Behind-the-Scenes with Maria Bermudez
Forever Flamenco at the Ford Sat June 15 (323) 461-3673MORE
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
Yaelisa and her exciting troupe of fabulous artists returns to Forever Flamenco on Sunday, June 10th at Barnsdall Park for an evening of flamenco collaboration and soniquete with a select group of world-class artists. Master musician Jason McGuire” El Rubio” playing his own original compositions and jamming with drummer/percussionist Joey Heredia, accompanied by the great singer Jose Cortes. Yaelisa brings two contrasting bailores together for the first time to dance alongside her – Manuel Gutierrez and Antonio Arrebola, recently moved to the Bay Area from Malaga, Spain. Three distinct styles, aires and dancers together for an unforgettable evening of “FLAMENKEANDO.”
Created and produced by Deborah Lawlor, Forever Flamenco is now in its 9th smash year. “Forever Flamenco is one of the most intense flamenco performances currently running in Los Angeles”, exclaims LA Splash magazine. “Being the sensual, intimate art form that it is … the way you feel when your walk out of a Forever Flamencoperformance is pretty darn fabulous.”
Emmy Award-winning dancer and choreographer Yaelisa is the founder and artistic director of Caminos Flamencos . Yaelisa creates and presents contemporary, traditional and theatrical dance programs showcasing artists from Spain and the U.S., which reflect the changing face of flamenco in the 21st century, while preserving the history and culture of this traditional art form. The Los Angeles Times has said of her “Yaelisa created a kind of footwork fugue, her quicksilver rhythms overlapping their plaintive croonings in something Bach would have admired.”
At the age of four, Yaelisa danced on the stage of the famous Casa Madrid, and her immersion in flamenco culture became a part of her life because of her mother, the renowned singer/dancer Isa Mura. She has performed with many of Spains finest artists, including Alejandro Granados, Antonio El Pipa, Manuel and Antonio Malena, Domingo Ortega, Enrique El Extremeno, Yeye de Cádiz, Mateo Soleá, El Junco, Juan Ogalla, Geronimo, Felipe Maya and others. Since 1986, Yaelisa has spent extensive periods of time living and performing in Spain, presenting her choreography there and in the U.S. She has choreographed and appeared in several feature films and music videos, and created many highly acclaimed productions both for her company and as Artistic Director of the New World Flamenco Festival at the Irvine Barclay Theater in Irvine, CA. Combining artists from Spain and the U.S., Caminos Flamencos remains on the cutting edge of flamenco, most especially with their recent productions of CANCIONES and CANCIONES 2 where they explored combining flamenco with the music of the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Dave Brubeck and others…. dance critic Rachel Howard says “A Caminos Flamencos performance brings several guarantees: virtuosic music, striking lighting and a closing tour-de-force solo by artistic director Yaelisa to draw shouts of ‘olé!’”
Jason McGuire “El Rubio” has become synonymous with flamenco despite his Irish/American heritage. With over 30 years playing experience and concerts from coast to coast he has been for many years the guitarist other professional players come to help learn and hone their craft. As Musical Director of the award winning flamenco dance company Caminos Flamencos as well as Musical Director for “The New World Flamenco Festival,” Jason has shared the stage with some of the top flamenco artists in the world today as well as other legendary performers like Carlos Santana, Savion Glover and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. Along with his Emmy Award winning wife, flamenco dance extraordinaire Yaelisa, the two have forged the path for authentic as well as experimental flamenco through their groundbreaking productions. Jason’s album “Distancias” has received much critical acclaim and his compositions have been compared to some of Spain’s most important guitarists.
“When I first heard Jason play guitar, I was in awe of his talent and the fluidity of his style. He has an incredible knowledge of flamenco combined with an electic modern fusion jazz sensibility. His melodic and rhythmic sense spun my head around and I wanted to hear MORE! He is unique in a world of a million guitarists.” – Grammy Nominated Engineer/Producer, Cookie Marenco
“I love the passion Jason McGuire puts in his music and guitar playing. He has nice energy reflecting from his guitar with excellent technique and crispy sound. I enjoy his music and compositions a lot.” – Nuevo Flamenco Legend, Armik
“When he plays I feel as though I am back in Spain performing with my family and friends. His playing is so strong and powerful it is like three guitars playing at once.” – Gypsy Flamenco Singer, Jesus Montoya “El Genio Gitano”