December 12, 1993 |
Benjamin Shearer was studying to be a classical guitarist when he heard some recordings of flamenco music. The emotional songs changed his career plans. "I heard them and I knew that was it, that was what I wanted to play," he says. "Flamenco is the human condition set to music. It has all the pain, the pathos, the passion--it's the human spirit." Thirty years later, he has stayed with flamenco music. He currently performs with the Carla Luna Flamenco Dance Ensemble in Los Angeles.
April 4, 1986 |
The fiery rhythms and fancy footwork in flamenco dance can quickly dazzle an audience. But behind all the flamboyant display is an art form that is highly individualistic, says Maria Benitez, whose seven-member Spanish Dance Company will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday in UC Irvine's Fine Arts Village Theatre. "Individual feeling is very much the key," Benitez said in a recent phone interview from her home in Santa Fe, N.M, the company's base.
October 7, 1994 |
During the best moment of "Yerma," the revival of Federico Garcia Lorca's tragedy at the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, a group of Andalusian peasants performs a sinfully sexy flamenco dance during a pagan ritual called la romeria (the pilgrimage). The dancers' clapping and stomping ignites the second act, but unfortunately the moment arrives too late.
January 2, 1994 |
If it hadn't been for Carmen Amaya and Roberto Amaral's mother, there would be a lot less flamenco in Los Angeles. Amaral was 14 when his mother took him to see Amaya, the legendary flamenco dancer, perform. "I couldn't take my eyes off her," he says. "I didn't understand what I was seeing, but I knew immediately that I wanted to do it." Today, 30 years and many trips to Spain later, Amaral is arguably the leading figure in Los Angeles' flamenco scene.
June 27, 2000 |
It was a hot night--in temperature and talent--at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday when "World Festival 2000" kicked off its six-concert series with "Fiery Flamenco." A blend of mostly traditional flamenco dance and music with some experimental fusion thrown in--not always for good measure--the program featured a number of sizzling artists who did live up to their billing. Generating the most heat was Noche Flamenca, an 11-member ensemble from Spain that rocked with a six-number set.
October 4, 2004 |
Heroic passion, devastating loss and a belief in the power of art make the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus an ideal subject for a flamenco dance drama. In what other idiom is every step so weighted with the fragility of human happiness and the inevitability of doom? Unfortunately, Compania Domingo Ortega's new "Orfeo" kept going awry at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on Saturday: missing opportunities, failing to develop its best ideas and trivializing the most profound hallmarks of its source.