Last month, the great flamenco powerhouse (and my former boss) Carlota Santana, the founder and director of Flamenco Vivo in New York, contacted me to ask if I would be interested in participating in a new project she launched called, “Perspectivas.” The project involves interviewing established flamenco artists across the country to get their perspective on flamenco, document their story, and solicit helpful advice for hopeful professionals. I am so honored and humbled to have been invited to participate alongside artists I have long admired, and to have been asked by an iconic woman who has had such an impact on my life and on Spanish dance in the United States. Check out the video and let me know your thoughts!
Carlota founded Flamenco Vivo with Roberto Lorca in New York in 1983. Lorca died in 1987, a victim of the AIDS pandemic, and Carlota was determined to continue their vision. Over the last 38 years, she has established one of the most successful, enduring, and recognized Spanish dance companies in the Western world through her dedication to arts education and stellar productions, aided by her incredible business acumen, strength of character, and steadfast belief in flamenco’s power to impact lives.
I first worked with Carlota when I was cast as a local participant for her touring production, “Federico,” at the University of New Mexico. Later, I joined her as a pick-up dancer for a gig in Arkansas, and soon thereafter began working with her regularly as a teaching artist and touring dancer. I worked with Carlota for seven years and I learned a great deal from her and from all of the artists I met because of the opportunities she granted me.
I hope you have an opportunity to watch the video, and those of other artists featured, La Tania, Cihtli Ocampo, and Estefania Ramirez. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself with the Flamenco Vivo community. Thank you, Carlota, for all that you have done, and continue to do, for Spanish dance!