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FLAMENCO FESTIVAL 2008

MIAMI - Carnival Center for the Performing Arts

Thurs Feb 7 :: CARMEN LINARES and MIGUEL POVEDA
“Cuatro Esquinas” (Four Corners)
with Juan Carlos Romero (guitar)
plus guest dancer Pastora Galvan

Fri Feb 8 :: TOMATITO and his Quintet
Special guest dancer Jose Maya

Sat Feb 9 :: “MUJERES” (Women)
Starring BELEN MAYA, MERCHE ESMERALDA, ROCIO MOLINA
Special guest vocalist DIANA NAVARRO
Directed by Mario Maya

WASHINGTON DC – Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University

Sat Feb 9 :: CARMEN LINARES and MIGUEL POVEDA
“Cuatro Esquinas” (Four Corners)
with Juan Carlos Romero (guitar)
plus guest dancer Pastora Galvan

Sun Feb 10 :: TOMATITO and his Quintet
Special guest dancer Jose Maya

Tues Feb 12 :: “MUJERES” (Women)
Starring BELEN MAYA, MERCHE ESMERALDA, ROCIO MOLINA
Special guest vocalist DIANA NAVARRO
Directed by Mario Maya

Thur & Fri Feb 14 & 15 :: BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA
“Santo y Seña” (Signs and Wonders)

NEW YORK CITY - Town Hall, City Center, Skirball Center

Fri Feb 8 Town Hall :: CARMEN LINARES and MIGUEL POVEDA
“Cuatro Esquinas” (Four Corners)
with Juan Carlos Romero (guitar)
plus guest dancer Pastora Galvan

Sat Feb 9 Town Hall :: TOMATITO and his Quintet
Special guest dancer Jose Maya

Fri Feb 15 City Center :: “MUJERES” (Women)
Starring BELEN MAYA, MERCHE ESMERALDA, ROCIO MOLINA
Special guest vocalist DIANA NAVARRO
Directed by Mario Maya

Sat & Sun Feb 16 & 17 :: BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA
City Center “Santo y Seña” (Signs and Wonders)

Sat & Sun Feb 23 & 24 :: SON DE LA FRONTERA – flamenco group
Skirball Center featuring Raul Rodriguez on Cuban tres

BOSTON – Cutler Emerson Majestic Theatre

Sat & Sun Feb 9 & 10 :: BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA
“Santo y Seña” (Signs and Wonders)

LOS ANGELES – UCLA Royce Hall

Wed & Thurs Feb 6 & 7 :: BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA
“Santo y Seña” (Signs and Wonders)


ARTIST BIOS

EVA YERBABUENA - dancer
Eva Yerbabuena was awarded Spain’s National Dance Prize in 2001, in recognition of her place among the great figures of flamenco. A critical and audience favorite, she has been honored with many other awards, including the 2007 Gold Medal of Andalusia for her contribution to the arts. “She is an exceptional and singular dancer,” Spain’s El Pais newspaper has said of Yerbabuena. “She is one of the great ones who evokes eras and figures of the past, and who, like any great dancer, unites the vernacular with the new.”

As a child growing up in Granada, Eva Yerbabuena studied with some of the great teachers of the city, traveling to Seville to take classes in dramatic arts when she was in her teens, and later to Havana to study choreography with Johannes García. In 1985, she began dancing professionally with Rafael Aguilar and then joined Paco Moyano in a Spanish-Cuban production. Over the next few years, she collaborated with other flamenco artists, including Javier Latorre, Manolete, and Merche Esmerelda.

In 1997, she appeared in Flamenco Women, a documentary by filmmaker Mike Figgis, and was later cast in Figgis’ Hotel (2001) with John Malkovich. She choreographed her first full-length work La Garra y el Angél (The Claw and the Angel) in 1997. A year later, the choreographer Pina Bausch asked her to dance at her company’s 25th anniversary celebrations in Germany, where she appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Her original programs include 5 Mujeres 5 (5 Women 5), La Voz del Silencio (The Voice of Silence), and 2006’s El Huso de la Memoria (Spindle of Memory). Her newest program, Santo y Seña (Signs and Wonders), makes its U.S. debut in Flamenco Festival 2008. About “Santo y Seña” she writes:

"In the silent pools of the night we learn how life is illuminated by light, but intensified by darkness. So, too, if we darken our eyes to take in the world around us through smell, touch and sound, rather than appearance, shape or color, we may hear our true feelings and unlock a gateway leading to new creative paths. Then, by exploring who we have been, who we are and who we hope we may be, we come upon signs and wonders which illuminate our lives."

BELÉN MAYA - dancer
The daughter of two great flamenco artists, Carmen Mora and Mario Maya, Belén began her dance studies at the Studios "Amor de Dios" in Madrid. Her training included classical Spanish dance and ballet as well as jazz dane with the Alvin Ailey dance company in New York.

She joined the Mario Maya Company where within three years she went from being a member of the ensemble to becoming the principal dancer. Belén left the Mario Maya Company to form her own and spent six months in Tokyo at the tablao Flamenco of Tokyo. Upon returning from Japan, she became the principal for the Dance Company of Andalucía. She was invited by Carlos Saura to represent the new generation of flamenco in his world-renowned film "Flamenco." Belén's performance in this film would become a milestone in flamenco dance as interpreted by women, opening new avenues in terms of concept, musicality, movement, and costuming.

In 1996, she again formed her own company with its first production being "The Goddess Within Us," with Teresa Nieto as choreographer and Emilio de Diego as musical director. The company was composed entirely of female dancers. She followed with a number of collaborations with Mayte Martín.

Most recently, in 2006 she presented the show "Dibujos" (Drawings) at the 10th Flamenco Festival in Jerez.

MERCHE ESMERALDA - dancer
Born in Seville in 1947, Esmeralda was sixteen when she first performed as solo bailaora at the Festivales de España Ballet, while at the same time she started singing for the legendary Antonio Mairena. From then on she was called to participate in the most important flamenco events in Spain. By 1968 she received the National Dance Award in Cordoba's National Flamenco Art Contest. She recorded her first TV shows and started touring internationally. In 1979 she entered Ballet Nacional de España, directed by the great Antonio Gades. She was the main character for "El Amor Brujo" and the flamenco shows in the repertory.

In 1989, she produced and directed "Medea" and "El cielo protector", based on the novel “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles. Following this, she collaborated with Joaquin Cortés' company with the show "Cibayí". In 1995 she performed in the film "Flamenco" directed by Carlos Saura. During recent years she has alternated her intense academic work with different artistic works, creating her own Dance School in Madrid and participating regularly at the Festival de Jerez.

ROCIO MOLINA - dancer
Born in Málaga in the year 1984, Rocío Molina started dancing at the age of three. She began winning awards while still in her teens, including the prize for most outstanding dancer at the 11th Madrid Choreography and Dance Contest in 2002.

In January 2001 she joined the María Pagés Company, for which she puts together a choreography in the show “Las Cuatro Estaciones” (The Four Seasons) doing tours all over Italy, Japan, Canada and the U.S. In 2005 she premiered her first show, "Entre Paredes".

With the first edition of the Festival Málaga en Flamenco in 2005, the time came for her to tackle an ambitious production sponsored by the Andalusian Agency for the Development of Flamenco, which chose her to head its presence in said Festival. Thus, "El Eterno Retorno" was born based on texts by Nietzsche, with Juan Carlos Romero as musical director.

She performed as guest artist at the launch of Miguel Poveda's new album in Madrid and Barcelona.

JUAN CARLOS ROMERO - guitar
Guitarist Juan Carlos Romero is heir to the styles of both his mentor, Manolo Sanlucar, and Paco de Lucia, and is an innovator in his own right who has collaborated with Carmen Linares, Enrique Morente, Miguel Poveda, Eva Yerbabuena and many other leading flamenco singers and dancers. He is in constant demand as an accompanist and has written music for dance companies including the Ballet Nacional de España and the Compañía Andaluza de Danza. Rocio Jurado and other Spanish stars have interpreted Romero’s songs. Many international flamenco fans know him from his solo albums and from his appearances in director Carlos Saura’s films “Sevillanas” y “Flamenco.”

Romero’s albums include 1997’s Azulejo and his latest release, Romero. He has toured widely as a concert guitarist, appearing at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2005. His latest live show “Sueña a Romero,” which premiered at the 2006 Flamenco Biennial in Seville, explores new territory while paying homage to the guitar’s central role in the history of flamenco.

Born in Huelva in 1964, Romero was introduced to the guitar at age eight by his father when he was ten years old, he began taking classes with the maestro Miguel “El Tomate de Almería,” who also initiated his son “El niño Miguel” and his nephew “Tomatito” into the art of flamenco guitar.

TOMATITO - guitar
The dazzling Gypsy guitarist Tomatito (José Fernández Torres) is noted for his mastery of the compás and his elegant style. In his teens, he began a long partnership with singer Cameron de la Isla, which lasted until Cameron's death in 1992. Since then he has remained one of flamenco’s most highly regarded guitarists and received several Latin Grammy Awards for his solo work and his collaborations with jazz pianist Michel Camilo, as well as for Paris 1987, a historic live recording with Camarón.

Since Camarón’s tragic death in 1992, Tomatito has ensured the evolution of flamenco guitar, as well as securing his own place as the leading flamenco guitarist of his generation and one of the greatest flamenco guitarists of all time. He has recorded six solo albums, winning a Latin Grammy for his 2004 album Aguadulce. In addition to his renown as a concert flamenco guitarist who has performed at international venues from the Palais de Beaux Arts in Brussels to London’s Albert Hall, he has continued to cross new frontiers in an ongoing collaboration with Latin jazz pianist Michel Camilo. Tomatito and Camilo’s 2000 Grammy-winning alnum Spain was followed by Spain Again (2006).

Tomatito was born in Almeria in 1958 into a family of great flamenco guitarists, including his father, El Tomate. His credits include performances with Elton John and Frank Sinatra, John McLaughlin, Irakere and Chick Corea. He has written film and theatre scores and appeared in the movie “Devil’s Advocate” with Al Pacino. Hie is the brother of the four female singers in the successful Spanish pop group Las Ketchup.

CARMEN LINARES - vocalist
Carmen Linares, today’s great female voice of flamenco, has been celebrated throughout the world for her exquisite and elegant style. A driving force in contemporary flamenco, she has recorded for thirty years and received many awards.

She was born in Linares (Jaén), in Andalusia, and begun to sing at an early age under the guidance of her father. In 1968 she won the first prize at the Competition of Flamenco Art in Cabra. She has toured the world with such top flamenco performers as Camarón de la Isla, Enrique Morente, Paco Romero, and Carmen Mora, and appeared in Carlos Saura's film “Flamenco”.

Her extensive repertoire, which ranges from pure flamenco to the music of Manuel de Falla, has brought her to the world's major stages, both in solo appearances and with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles. She has performed with conductors Josep Pons, Rafael Fruhbeck, and Leo Brouwer, among others, and toured Europe, the United States, South America, Japan, and Australia to great success. She was invited by the New York Philharminc to join the tribute to Manuel de Falla at Lincoln Center, and to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Opera Of Sydney, and the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, among others. Her recordings include Un Ramito de Locura, Cantaora, La Luna en el Rio, and Popular Ancient Songs. Her albums have been acclaimed by critics and have received numerous awards, such as the Silver Medal of Junta de Andalucía and Spain’s National Music Award. This tour with fellow vocalist Miguel Poveda debuts a new program of material.

MIGUEL POVEDA - vocalist
Miguel Poveda is an artist known for both his respect for tradition and his talent for innovation. Since sweeping the awards at the Festival de Cante de las Minas de La Unión in 1993, his career rose rapidly: he played in the movie “La Teta y La Luna,” recorded his first record, Viento del Este, and appeared in national and international festivals.

In 1997, he produced a show for a seminar organized by the University of Bologna based on the Poets of Generation 1927. He also appeared at the Festival of Culture and Arts in Ramallah, Palestine, and soon after he did his first tour in Japan. His 1998 album Suena Flamenco was nominated for a 2000 Latin Grammy award. In 2004 he performed with the Nacional Orquestra of Spain, and, in 2005 appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall. His recordings include 2006’s Tierra de Calma, Desglaç Zaguán, and Poemas del Exilio, in which he sets Rafael Alberti’s poetry to music.

SON DE LA FRONTERA – instrumental group with dancer Pepe Torres
One of the hottest new ensembles in flamenco today, Son de la Frontera features the electrifying Gypsy dance of Pepe Torres along with fiery instrumentals and impassioned vocals. Led by Raul Rodriguez (son of the well-known singer Martirio), the innovative ensemble blends flamenco puro with Latin American rhythms and melodies and is the first group to prominently feature the Cuban très (a guitar with three sets of double steel strings) in flamenco. The group was formed in tribute to pioneering guitar maestro Diego del Gastor from Moron de la Frontera, Seville, and includes two of his grandnephews. Recently they received a Latin Grammy nomination for their second recording Cal (World Village/Harmonia Mundi USA).

DIANA NAVARRO - vocalist
Diana Navarro (Malaga, 1978) is a rising star, a singer known as both a keeper of tradition and a musical explorer. A leading young interpreter of the romantic southern Spanish copla and saeta styles, and flamenco, Navarro’s world influences include fado, music of the Middle Eastern, pop and Celtic song.

Navarro’s debut solo album, No te Olvides de Mi, has sold over 200,000 copies and received many international honors, including a Latin Grammy Award nomination. She released her second album, the emotional and uplifting 24 Rosas, to critical acclaim in Spain last year, and has now been released on Warner Music Latina in the U.S.


Photos available on www.flamencofestival.org

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