Washington, D.C. – GALA Hispanic Theatre continues its 43rd season with the fourteenth international Fuego Flamenco Festival that brings leading flamenco artists from Spain and the United States to Washington audiences. Recognized for the presentation of stellar artists in an intimate tablao setting, the festival runs from November 8 through November 18 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, one block from the Columbia Heights metro station on the Green/Yellow lines. Parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage for a rate of $4 with validation at GALA.
Fuego Flamenco XIV, with Honorary Producers Lynne and Joseph Horning, is an exploration of traditional flamenco and its breadth and diversity through contemporary expressions. This year’s program includes the United States premiere of Reditum, Dancing Flamenco choreographed and performed by José Barrios and presented by Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas of Madrid, and La Sobremesa by the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company featuring Edwin Aparicio.
The festival program includes Flamenco en Familia, free interactive demonstrations of various aspects of flamenco for children and families on November 17 at 11 am and 1:30 pm; and special performances for students of Colores de Flamenco by the Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company on November 13, November 14, and November 15 at 10:30 am. (Student Matinees are SOLD OUT)
The festival is made possible with generous support from Lynne and Joseph Horning, the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., SPAIN arts & culture, and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
JOSÉ BARRIOS & COMPANY
Fuego Flamenco XIV opens with the U.S. premiere of Reditum, Dancing Flamenco, presented in collaboration with Madrid’s Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas. This imaginative new flamenco piece is directed, choreographed, and performed by José Barrios, who returns for his fourth festival appearance with another riveting work that showcases his virtuosity. Featured with Barrios are music director and guitarist Isaac Muñoz; singers Caridad Vega and Sara Coréa; and Diego Villegas on saxophone, flute, and harmonica. Performances are on Thursday, November 8, Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at 8 pm, and Sunday, November 11 at 2 pm.
José Barrios (Choreographer, Director, Dancer) is one of Spain’s hottest international flamenco dancers. Previously, he performed in GALA’s flamenco festival to great critical acclaim in Básicamente Flamenco (2007); Por si acaso amanece (2010); and in Flamenco Alagarabia (2011). He studied flamenco in Córdoba, Seville, and Madrid with such masters as Manolo Marin, Domingo Ortega, and La China. He has toured to Japan, Egypt, and Morocco, and appeared throughout the United States with the Boston Flamenco Ballet. He also has performed with several other companies, including those of Blanca del Rey, Suite Española, José Porcel and María Pagés. He has choreographed for the Boston Flamenco Ballet, the Maria Pages Company, the Parque España in Japan, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. He was a special guest artist at the VI Festival de Cante Flamenco in Miami, and represented Spain at the VI Festival de Damza Contemporánea de Argel in Algeria. In 2017, he premiered Reditum at the prestigious Festival de Jerez.
Casas Patas is a world-renowned Madrid tablao hosting some of the best and most authentic flamenco in Spain. Famous groups and new talent sometimes share the same stage to create memorable productions. The Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas grew out of this club and today sponsors workshops, seminars, and exhibitions promoting the art of flamenco around the world.
OMAYRA AMAYA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY
Fuego Flamenco XIV continues with the DC premiere of La Sobremesa by Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company, presented in collaboration with Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company. La Sobremesa exposes the waves of human emotion through that intimate moment of post-dinner conversation, drinks, and camaraderie that is part of the Spanish tradition. The San Antonio Express wrote about the performance that “the intensity grew, and before we knew it, we held our breath in constant anticipation and wonder.”
La Sobremesa features Omayra Amaya and guest artist Edwin Aparicio, co-founder and curator of GALA’s Fuego Flamenco Festival. Other artists appearing are dancers Norberto Chamizo, José Moreno, and Elizabet Torras Aguilera; singers Francisco Orozco ”Yiyi” and José Cortes; and guitarist and composer Roberto Castellon.
Performances are on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at 8 pm and Sunday, November 18 at 2 pm.
Daughter of flamenco dancers Olga and Curro Amaya and grandniece of Carmen Amaya, Omayra Amaya is a part of a deep and proud gypsy flamenco tradition. Ms. Amaya first appeared as a child on stage with her parents’ dance company, and by the age of 15 was touring and performing internationally. She founded the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company, which has been the focus of various documentaries and films.
Among the company’s awards are a 2008 proclamation by The City of Miami declaring August 15 as The Omayra Amaya Day. Other credits include performing a duet with Steve Martin in the 2009 film “Pink Panther 2”, and appearing at Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic in 2013. Described as “one of the best around”, she attended Boston Conservatory, where she received a bachelor’s degree in dance and choreography.
Edwin Aparicio is one of the most sought-after flamenco performers, instructors and choreographers in the United States and Latin America. He trained with world renowned flamenco artists Tomás de Madrid and La Tati and debuted at the legendary Casa Patas in Madrid in 2001. He has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States with ensembles such as the José Greco Spanish Dance Company; and shared the stage with such internationally celebrated artists as Elena Andújar, Carmela Greco, Pastora Galván, La Tati, Ana Martinez, and José Luis Rodríguez. Mr. Aparicio is on the faculty of the Washington School of Ballet; was named one of “25 Dancers to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2009; and received a 2012 Protagonista Award from GALA for his artistic achievements and contributions to the Latino community, and the Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, bestowed by the King Felipe VI of Spain in 2015.
Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company was founded in 1994 in Boston, MA and is now based in New York City and Miami, Florida under the artistic direction of Omayra Amaya. It seeks to cultivate, foster, and support the development, appreciation and love of this deeply-rooted art form through performance, education and presence in the community. The Company has appeared in venues throughout the United States and at the Shanghai Theater Center to great critical acclaim.
FLAMENCO EN FAMILIA
Flamenco en Familia, free family interactive demonstrations in flamenco zapateo, castanets, and fans, takes place on Saturday, November 17. Dancer Sara Jerez and guitarist Ricardo Marlow, along with other local artists, will lead two sessions from 11 am to 12 pm and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at GALA Theatre.
Fuego Flamenco XIV is on stage at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW. Regular tickets are $48; Senior Citizen, Military, Student are $30. Noche de GALA tickets on November 9 and November 16 are $55 (single) and $95 (couple). A Discount Festival Ticket is $80, which includes one ticket to a performance of each of the major presentations. For more information or to buy tickets, please call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org.