Flamenco Intimo Cast
Dancer/Director, Julia Chacon, is a former soloist with the Cuadro de Jose Galvan in Seville, Spain, Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, and Flamenco Vivo. She founded Flamenco Theater in 2008 under the name, Inspiracion Flamenca in Santa Fe, NM. She toured the USA and abroad for over ten years and has a passion for inspiring people through the art of flamenco. Click here for full bio.
Dancer, Carlos Montufar directs World Dance Collective in Phoenix, AZ. A former dancer at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, he trained with Joaquin Encinias at the National Conservatory of Flamenco in Albuquerque, NM where he also performed with Yjastros, the National Flamenco Repertory Company. He has performed with Flamenco Theatre since 2014.
Dancer, Martin Gaxiola founded and directed Calo Flamenco in Phoenix, AZ. With a cast of 25, it was the largest flamenco repertory company and met with acclaim throughout the United States. A former soloist with Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, Martin toured the USA and abroad prior to forming Calo Flamenco. He has performed with Flamenco Theatre since 2017.
Dancer, Francisca Nava began flamenco training under Laura Moya in Phoenix, AZ. She was a formative member of Flamenco por la Vida under the direction of Angelina Ramirez and performed in “Mujeres,” directed by Yumi la Rosa. She has performed with Inspiración Flamenca since 2015.
Dancer, Risa Jacobson has performed in California and Arizona tablaos and has studied flamenco since childhood. One of her early teachers was Lydia Torea in Phoenix, AZ. She has performed with Inspiración Flamenca since 2016.
Guitarist, Kristofer Hill trained under maestro Juan del Gastor, of Morón de la Frontera and is recognized for his rapid grasp of flamenco intricacies. He accompanied the cuadro de José Galván in Seville, Spain, is the resident composer for Scorpius Dance Theater, co-composed the film score, “Universal Soldier, Regeneration” and is versed in hop-hop, jazz, and rock. He has performed with Flamenco Theatre since 2013.
Guitarist, Misael Barraza Diaz – Born in 1990 in Sonora, Mexico, Barraza is among the most outstanding Mexican guitarists of his generation. He earned his master’s degree summa cum laude from the Master Guirarra Alicante in Spain, where he studied with world-renowned musicians David Russell, Manuel Barreueco and others. He earned a second master’s degree from the University of Arizona where he continues to study. He has been presented at international guitar events in Spain, Amsterdam, Mexico, across the USA, and Finland, where he recently was awarded first place in the International Classical Guitar Competition. He has played with Flamenco Theatre since 2016.
Emerson Laffey is a professional drummer and multi-percussionist from Phoenix, AZ. He began playing drums over 20 years ago and earned his BA in Music from Arizona State University. Versed in flamenco, jazz, Brazilian, gospel, R&B, salsa and rock, he plays with groups throughout the Valley. He has appeared with Flamenco Theatre since 2016.
Pianist and composer, Ioannis Goudelis has performed, recorded and opened for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Dierks Bentley, Ray Price, Mike Stern, Stanley Jordan, Pantelis Thalassinos and Alexia Vassiliou. His original music has been featured on t.v. shows like “House,” “NCIS,” and a few of HBO’s series. In 2011, he scored the feature film “The Church Office,” and appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in 2012 with Miss Willie Brown. He has appeared with Flamenco Theatre since 2016
Singer, Olivia Rojas is from El Paso, TX. Her versatile background in traditional Mexican and Choral music coupled with her wide vocal range allows her to capture a depth of expression. An emerging artist, Olivia is sought-after by flamenco companies across the USA and has worked with the National Institute of Flamenco, Sachiko La Chayi, EmiArte Flamenco, and others. She co-directs Flamenco por la Vida in Phoenix, AZ and has worked with Flamenco Theatre since 2015.
Other Company Members
Dancer, Claudia Welding lived in Spain for many years and has studied Spanish Dance under Lydia Torea, Bernadette Gaxiola, Linda Machado and Julia Chacón. She has performed with Inspiración Flamenca since 2015.
Soloist, La Lea studied many years with Spanish dance masters at el Amor de Dios in Madrid, Spain. She performed in the 9th annual Certamen de Coreografía in Madrid in an award winning piece and has toured the US twice with Romería Flamenco. She has been a soloist with Inspiración Flamenca since 2015.
Guitarist, Roger O’Sullivan has studied under Monte Perrault, Kristofer Hill and Juan del Gastor. He has played with Inspiración Flamenca since 2015.
Past Guest Artists
José Mendez is a flamenco singer from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Hailing from the flamenco family of la Paquera de Jerez, Mendez is sought after for his expertise in singing for dancers. A singer in the legendary flamenco tablao Los Gallos in Seville, Spain he has worked with flamenco legends of our time including Carmen Ledesma, José Galván, Maria Pages, and many others. He was featured with IF in October, 2015 in Peoria, AZ
Myriam Vaquero is a disciple of the legendary Carmen Ledesma with whom she has shared the stage in Sevilla and abroad. She studied extensively with la Faraona of the Farruco Family and is a master of bulerías and tangos. She was featured with IF in October, 2015 in Peoria and Scottsdale, AZ with José Mendez.
Javier Heredia is a festero from Seville, Spain. He has toured the world performing with Manuela Carrasco and as has appeared as guest artist at the respected flamenco festival, the Bienal de Sevilla. Known for his subtlety and grace, he is a singer and dancer who infuses his performances with simple, elegant mastery. He was featured with IF in September, 2013 in Flagstaff, AZ.
Lydia Torea – A touring soloist and dance partner with José Greco for many years, Lydia is a living legend of Spanish dance and a master of Spanish Classical. An American pioneer in Spain under the reign of Franco, Lydia made headlines in Spain as a young dancer. She trained with Regla Ortega and Vicente Escudero and danced in the cuadro of the Coral de la Moreria in the 1960’s. She was a soloist touring with Paco de Lucia and Pedro Azorín, whom she also partnered. She has performed for royalty and had a featured role in the film “Ship of Fools” with Vivien Leigh. Her company, the Lydia Torea Spanish Dance company, included the famed brother/sister act, los Bronces Gitanos.