Newsletter 2. 19 . 2014


  • Upcoming Events
  • Upcoming Classes
  • Classes in Session
  • Announcements!
  • For Sale
  • Editorial: Confl uence or Chimera: Pondering an Artistic Path by Eliza Llewellyn
  • Flamenco World News Update



March 22 (7:30pm) & March 23 (2:00pm), 2014
River Regions Ballet: Peter and the Wolf World Dance Showcase
Saint John Theater
115 West Fourth and River Road
Reserve, LA

April 5
Bach Around the Clock
Trinity Episcopal Church
Evening Time TBA

May 2, 2014
Jazz Fest Kids Tent

May 18, 2014
Civic Theater
Time TBA


3-day Flamenco Intensive with Melissa Cruz

DANCE QUARTER (1719 Toledano St) April 5 – 7

Intermediate Flamenco Dance Technique & Choreography
Appropriate for intermediate to advanced level dancers with a minimum of 3 years of training in flamenco. Starts or ends with stretching and core-strengthening movement, followed by technique drills and exercises to improve turns, personal line, rhythm, facility of movement and footwork. Choreography in the style of Tientos to implement technique.

Flamenco Palmas & Rhythm
Appropriate for all levels of dancers and musicians, this is the perfect opportunity to delve into the art of flamenco palmas (hand-clapping), an essential percussive element in this art form. Technique will be explored to achieve competence in accompaniment while also acquiring rhythmic sense.

Saturday, Apr. 5
12:30 – 2:00pm – Intermediate Level Dance
2:15 – 3:45pm – Flamenco Palms & Rhythm

Sunday, Apr. 6
1:00 – 2:30pm – Intermediate Level Dance
2:45 – 4:15pm – Flamenco Palmas & Rhythm

Monday, Apr. 7
4:30 – 6:00pm – Intermediate Level Dance
6:00 – 7:30pm – Flamenco Palmas & Rhythm

Pricing: Register by April 2 & save!!

Space is limited, early registration is recommended.
Class Package Special: $150 for all 6 ($25/class) OR $75 for 1 full workshop (either dance or rhythm) – After April 2: $30 drop-in
If you would like to register or have any questions, please contact Eliza at or (504) 421-3517

About Melissa Cruz:

Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 12 years. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she came to the Bay Area to pursue a law career. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya’s professional company. Since then, she has built a career dancing, mentoring new dancers and choreographing flamenco
across the United States. Garnering years of experience as a company dancer and soloist, she presented her own production in 2007, La Vida Flamenca, in both San Francisco and Houston, Texas. She regularly performs in the local flamenco cabaret circuit, allowing her to develop renown improvisation and responsiveness skills. A versatile artist growing up studying piano, guitar and drums has made her a much sought-after guest performer in many musical projects, including local bands Alta California, LaRuya, and LoCura. She can often be seen performing at the most prestigious theaters, including the San Francisco Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as at smaller venues like Yoshi’s Jazz Club and the Elbo Room. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and is currently, regularly presenting her apprentice dance group. Melissa performed as a soloist in the 2012 San Francisco International Arts Festival and has presented in seven San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of fl amenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Caminos Flamencos Festival de Flamenco performing alongside Spanish lumiaries, Juañares and David Paniagua. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: “Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende — the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art.” – For more about Melissa:


5956 Magazine Street

Beginners and Advanced Beginners with Micaela Paule
Thursdays (on going)
Drop-in: $15 / $55 per month

Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate with Micaela Paule
Tuesdays (on going)
Drop-in: $15 / $55 per month

Dance and Choreography with live Guitarist

Children’s Class with Micaela Paule
Thursdays 6:00-7:00

1719 Toledano St.

New 10-Week FLAMENCO Series for beginner through intermediate levels
January 11th – March 29th
Drop-In: $18

Due to Mardi Gras, Flamenco Saturdays will resume March 8th.

Flamenco Basics (Level 1) & Flamenco beyond the Basics (Level 2) with Eliza Llewellyn
Saturdays 2:45 – 4:00pm (75 min.)

An introduction to the beautiful, passionate, and profound gitano-Andalusian art form known as Flamenco. Perfect for all level of beginners, even those trying it for the first time, the session will examine flamenco posture, arm, hand and body technique, stylization, footwork technique, flamenco rhythms, and the basic structure of flamenco dance. Students will learn short segments or variations in each class. Flamenco or character dance shoes are best for class, but other sturdy footwear will work (i.e. low, thick-heeled shoes or boots) and comfy clothing to allow movement like stretch pants and a form fitting top.

Flamenco beyond the Basics with Eliza Llewellyn
Saturdays 1:30 – 2:45pm (75 min.) 

Ideal for the advanced beginner or intermediate level student, this technique and choreography driven class builds on core aspects such as zapateado (footwork), palmas (hand clapping) and braceo (arm movements), turns and marcajes (marking steps), as well as how to create an elegant balance of motion and energy to exude the type of passion that drives this art. Students will explore a variety of rhythms this session and will learn short segments or variations in each class. This class moves at a faster pace than the Level 1. Students should have completed a minimum of 3 BASIC sessions or at least one year of study unless approved by the instructor.

Private, semi-private and small group classes are available. Please contact Eliza at elizafl amenkita@gmail. com or (504) 421-3517.

María Josè Salmeron is back and announces the Grand opening of Peña La Pepa of New Orleans! Classes have already begun and a “Juerga Flamenca” date and time is to be announced soon. Lace up your shoes and tune your guitar for a real “flamenquito” time!!!
Ole con Ole y Ole!

Red flamenco skirt , with black trimmed single ruffle made in Spain (D’Pertiñez), size Medium. Excellent condition. Can be used for practice or performance. For more information, contact Eliza at or (504) 421-3517.

Flamenco Crespon Fabrics from Spain (25% discount) Extra wide with various colors with polka dots, 11 different patterns. Contact Teresa at for more info:

Castanets, 11 pairs of Matteo Plastic Castanets (A Collectors Item), $30 per pair of castanets. For beginner students in a class structure. The 11 pairs are being sold as a group and not individually. Contact Teresa at


CONFLUENCE OR CHIMERA?: Pondering an Artistic Path
By Eliza Llewellyn

A few weeks ago in Mexico City, at one in the morning and after much anticipation, the fruits of one woman’s passion became another’s reality. This reality came in the form of dance as my grandmother witnessed me dancing flamenco for the first time in her 80-plus years, and between smiles and tears exclaimed, “to think I’d live to see the day that one of my own would be dancing on stage and love flamenco as much as I always have!” For two people that had not spent much time together, living in two different countries, with very little apparently in common, it was an interesting point. How might this have happened? How do we become literally “moved” with certain things?

The visceral reaction I experienced when watching a fellow student dance flamenco during my first year in high school- the tickling sensation in my hands and feet, a special energy taking a hold of me and not letting go to this day, that driving force compelling me to return time and time again to this art form- perhaps had its roots in an earlier generation. During this latest trip to my mother’s birthplace, Mexico, a country known for it’s ‘aficion’ for flamenco and bullfighting, I learned for the first time about my grandmother’s frequent trips to Gitanerias and El Patio, popular tablaos (cabaret-style venues) in the capital which no longer exist. It was the 1950’s and the great Carmen Amaya was in the Americas. By this point she had already made an indelible mark in the history of art form, revolutionizing its style, captivating audiences who had never seen anything like her before. It was at this moment that my grandmother saw her perform live at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in the heart of Mexico City, just blocks from her own home, with my mother in tow, still a child. My mother, always enamored with classical dance and music, never told me she watched Lola Flores perform or listened to Miguel Herrero sing a solea. It was my grandmother who told me these stories, animated and laughing, Juanito Valderrama singing in the background, only six weeks ago.

This is not to say that my mother did not share any stories with me about her early exposure to flamenco and tauromachy (which terrified her, by the way), she often mentioned the festive gathering of friends and family at her childhood home. These parties included singing, my great uncle Miguel playing piano, and often Oscar would stop by, a dear friend of the family and guitarist, whose repertoire included Spanish classical music and flamenco. I suspect that these gatherings she enjoyed more than those evenings watching flamenco at the theater or the tablao, since these she wistfully mentioned to me. Carmen Amaya and Lola Flores she kept to herself.

Nevertheless, years later we took a trip to New York City when I was a young child to see “Flamenco Puro”, that historic production that crossed the Atlantic to land on Broadway and which reunited for the first time 20 of the greatest fl amenco artists alive. Still images remain impressed in my mind: my mother shouting “Ole!” at the top of her lungs, the piercing and wrenching singing I had never heard before characteristic of cante jondo, a young Manuela Carrasco emerging and raising her arms with that commanding, silent grace. But it’s the image of Farruco dancing on one corner of the stage surrounded by a group of aging cantaores, and my father telling me to pay attention to “the old guys”, that has stayed with me more clearly than any other.

Me, who didn’t understand that night, who since the age of three had been enamored of dance- ballet, that is- did not wake up to flamenco until that inexplicable, infallible, moment in high school which forever changed my life. Something that had been dormant, awoke, perhaps fed by the threads of earlier generations. “Ole!” to that mystery that binds us to our present, to our roots and to the journey that lies before us.

To see a clip of Eliza’s performance in Mexico City this past December, visit:
To read a review The New York Times review of “Flamenco Puro”, visit: amenco-puro-straight-from-seville.html?pagewanted=1

By Daniella Santoro

Today here in New Orleans begins the new round of negotiations for proposals to the city’s noise ordinance, contested last month by musicians and concerned citizens who flooded city hall in protest and in defense of live music venues in New Orleans. In our sister city- Sevilla- a similar issue is at play. Just two days ago, the Sevilla police stormed in during a flamenco show and shut down a long standing cultural institution and flamenco music venue due to noise complaints from neighbors. The Peña Torres Macarena, founded in 1974 is one of several artistic cultural institutions dedicated to traditional flamenco -flamenco puro- and hosts staged flamenco shows regularly to educate and disseminate the music to the community, at a fraction of the cost of the more commercial tourist venues. Last summer I visited the peña, for their “youth night”, which featured the rising stars of flamenco cante – teenagers and young men with tentative mustaches but steady voices-who sang with the strength and wisdom of their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers.
New Orleanians would be very familiar with these intergenerational institutions devoted a local musical and culture forms. The peñas are in a sense, similar to New Orleans’ own ‘social aid and pleasure clubs’, cultural institutions here devoted to local musical culture, some specifi cally to the retention of “tradition” as musical forms bend and fuse and become transplanted by global economies of tourism and musical production. Today, in both cities with changing urban landscapes and booming cultural economies, we should take pause and think about the role that the music plays- in all its forms, (and the accessibility of local culture in our streets and venues) in the life of our cities and the democracy of the citizens that live within them.

Below is some more information about the Pena Torres Macarena: 6611.html

Here are some photos of The Peña Torres Macarena:

IMG_6489 IMG_6487 IMG_6474
We are proud and thrilled to be co-editors and share our passion for flamenco and for this city. Please note some recent changes to our blog with two the addition of two new pages Articles and More and Flamenco Artist Bios. “Articles and more” features a collection of past archived publications authored by local flamenco artists either reviewing past events, explaining dance theory and technique, or personally reflecting on the power and essence of the art form. We have had several different contributors in the past few months and encourage anyone who would like to write a short piece, to please let us know.

We will see you next month!
Until then,
Con duende siempre…
your Flamenco ¡Si! co-editors,
Ingrid Adrianza and Daniella Santoro


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