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February 11, 2003 | Lewis Segal, Times Staff Writer
A neck injury to dancer Abigail Caro caused some reshuffling of personnel, but the new "Forever Flamenco" series at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood started off in a celebratory mode Sunday. Singer Maria Benjumeda sometimes stripped her husky tone raw for the sake of intensity, but the playing of guitarist Antonio Triana (the series' artistic director) remained convivial and sophisticated throughout the evening.
November 15, 2002 | Lewis Segal, Times Staff Writer
Once a few curious lapses are remedied, the six-week, Wednesdays-only Cuadro Flamenco series at the Fountain Theatre (through Dec. 18) promises to provide an ideally intimate and varied overview of local contemporary flamenco style. Along with distinguished flamenco singer Antonio de Jerez, each program features guitarist Antonio Triana, who also serves as artistic director for the series. Unfortunately, Triana neglected to give himself a solo spot on the brief inaugural program.
October 31, 1986 | EILEEN SONDAK
With hair the color of corn silk cascading down her shoulders, Debbie Ray looks like the very antithesis of a fiery Flamenco dancer. But Ray, or Rayna as she is known when she performs the proud and passionate Gypsy dances of Spain, has never found her natural blond hair to be an obstacle to success. "When I was 14, I won a scholarship to work with Jose Greco," America's leading exponent of flamenco dance, Ray said. "He insisted that I wear my hair long and flowing. He said it looked like gold.
April 4, 1986 | CHRIS PASLES
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.
Compania Espanola de Antonio Marquez arrived in Southern California over the weekend trailing some of the strangest rave reviews ever published about flamenco dancing. One Italian critic, for instance, called Marquez "the last Narcissus," and another lamented that his dancing showed how Spaniards, "our Latin-Mediterranean cousins," have kept "all of those mythical sexual and sensual qualities of seduction that seem so important to us and that we have partially lost."
October 4, 2004 | Lewis Segal, Times Staff Writer
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.
November 23, 2006 | Sara Wolf, Special to The Times
HOW better to inaugurate Orange County Performing Arts Center's Samueli Theater for dance than by igniting the duende of flamenco in the small-scale, modular venue? In the best of circumstances, duende, the sublime yet elusive spiritual bond that enjoins singers and dancers, also enfolds an audience, as Noche Flamenca effortlessly demonstrated Tuesday night. Lighting the spark was the opening "La Plaza," an introductory showcase of the Madrid-based troupe's three dancers.
December 20, 2002 | Lewis Segal, Times Staff Writer
The six-week series of small-scale flamenco programs at the Fountain Theatre ended Wed- nesday with a sold-out performance memorable for commanding solos by Juan Talavera and guest artist Maria Bermudez. Until a joyous passage at the very end, Talavera opted for a clenched, sullen and even threatening demeanor with angry outbursts of thunderous, high-speed steps and handclaps.
January 2, 1994 | Martin Booe
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.
Flamenco has always been a world unto itself, so it's news when artists of great technical and stylistic authority stretch beyond its limits to incorporate outside traditions. In their "Flamenco Fusion" program at the Fountain Theatre on Tuesday, guitarist Adam del Monte and dancer Laila del Monte did just that, layering jazz, Middle Eastern and Western European Gypsy influences without blurring their powerful flamenco impetus.
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