Berkeley, California, USA – One of the world’s foremost flamenco companies and a sensation in its 2000 Bay Area debut, Noche Flamenca takes the stage at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Playhouse for a two-week run of eleven performances beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 and running through Sunday, July 6, 2003. Noche Flamenca’s appearance is part of Celebración de las Culturas de Iberoamérica, Cal Performances’ programming initiative to bring the performing arts of Spanish and Portuguese America, Spain and the Caribbean to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. Noche Flamenca captures the essence, the purity of form and emotional fire that has made the company one of Spain’s most successful ensembles. Founded by Artistic Director Martin Santangelo and leading dancer Soledad Barrio in 1993, the Madrid-based ensemble has quickly become one of the most sought after dance companies in the world.
The uniqueness of Noche Flamenca emanates from the combination of extraordinary guitarists, singers and dancers who perform together with a communal spirit and a profound understanding of flamenco. Their talents are interwoven and given equal weight, in an artistic vision developed by the founders. The performers offer dance works of deep dramatic substance and top-rank virtuosity that reveal the true heart and soul of flamenco. In its international touring, the ensemble has visited Egypt, Australia the United States and Canada, with followers who described the company as “brilliant” and “the real thing.” These performances are part of a summer tour that also includes dates at the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Florida International Festival, An Appalachian Summer Festival, and a two-week debut tour of Argentina.
Performances in Berkeley will feature dancers Soledad Barrio, Isabel Bayón and Antonio Jiménez “El Chupete;” guitarists Jesús Torres and Paco Cruz; and singers Manuel Gago and Antonio Vizarraga. The Berkeley performances are presented by Cal Performances in association with Aaron Concert Artists of New York.
Martin Santangelo, co-founder of Noche Flamenca, is a resident of Madrid. A student of Ciro, Paco Romero, el Guito, Manolete and Alejandro Granados, he has performed throughout Spain and the U.S. with Maria Benítez’s Teatro Flamenco, at the Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts and with Paco Romero’s Ballet Español. He also appeared in and choreographed a solo for Julie Taymor’s Juan Darien at Lincoln Center. Santangelo choreographed Romeo and Juliette at the Denver Theater Center and co-directed and choreographed Bodas de Sangre with Larry Kornfield at SUNY Purchase. Santangelo, who was born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, was exposed to dance by his Argentine mother, a dancer with Alwin Nikolais. As a young man, he studied acting at New York University and moved to San Francisco, joining El Teatro Campesino. While with the theater company he happened to fill in for an actor in a flamenco performance and was transfixed. He soon left the U.S. for Madrid, to pursue flamenco studies there.
The co-founder of Noche Flamenca, Soledad Barrio was born in Madrid and trained in flamenco and Clásico Español. Barrio has appeared as soloist with the Ballet Español of Paco Romero, Manuela Vargas, Blanca del Rey, Luisillo, El Guito, Manolete, Cristobal Reyes, and Toleo. In 2001 Barrio was named the winner of a New York Dance & Performance Award (a.k.a. the “BESSIES”) for Outstanding Creative Achievement. She is married to Artistic Director Martin Santangelo, and they have two daughters, Gabriela and Stella.
Tickets for Noche Flamenca June 24 – July 6 in Zellerbach Playhouse are priced at $42.00, with a limited number of $30.00 obstructed view seats available as well. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at www.calperfs.berkeley.edu; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens and other students receive a $2 discount. The Ticket Office will be closed weekends beginning June through August 2003. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit the Cal Performances web site at www.calperfs.berkeley.edu.