We are blessed to have some incredibly talented and passionate dancers, musicians, and teachers here in New Orleans!
Eliza Llewellyn has always been enamored of dance, initiating her studies in ballet at the age of three in her hometown of New Orleans. Her flamenco training began in New Mexico under Maria Benitez, Martin Santangelo and Soledad Barrio, and later in Mexico with Raul Salcedo and Marisol Moreno. In 2002 she moved to Spain to pursue more advanced studies at the Centro Flamenco de Estudios Escenicos Mario Maya in Granada as one of 42 dancers selected for the program. She later relocated to Seville to continue her training under Israel Galvan, Pastora Galvan and Yolanda Heredia. Most recently she has studied in Madrid at the renowned flamenco academy Amor de Dios with artists such as Alfonso Losa and Miguel Cañas, among others.
Relocating to the Bay Area in 2005 was a turning point for Eliza. While training with Melissa Cruz, Fanny Ara and Carola Zertuche, she received her first professional performance experience. In 2006 she was invited to join Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, directed by Carola Zertuche, performing locally and in the 2007 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Today, Eliza is a member of the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theater Company of Santa Fe, New Mexico, appearing on tours throughout the US and with their 2008, 2012 & 2013 Santa Fe summer seasons. As a company member of Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco and of the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company, Eliza has had the honor of sharing the stage with artists such as Jose Valle “Chuscales”, Gaspar Rodriguez, Mayte Maya, Kina Mendez, Coral de los Reyes and Jose Anillo, She has taught in Mexico and looks forward to sharing her love for flamenco with her students in New Orleans.
Micaela Paule has over thirty years professional dance experience as a dancer, choreographer and director. Micaela received the Tribute to the Classical Arts,Best Ethnic Dance Presentation 2009, she has served as a juror for the Junior Philharmonic Dance Auditions, was commissioned to choreograph for Renverse Ballet Company and has taught numerous flamenco workshops for children and adults. Other professional dance credits include five years as company member of Alianza Flamenca, company coach and lead soloist for Teresa Torkanowsky’s ” Ole Flamenco Ole” and company coach/soloist for Ballet Del Arte Espanol. She also spent 13 years as soloist and choreographer with, New Orleans premier character company,Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble, with which she toured internationally. Micaela has been contracted for numerous commercials and movies including Interview with a Vampire. Micaela has also performed locally with Ballet Hysell, Loyola Ballet, Jefferson Ballet, Jefferson Performing Arts Society and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. She has appeared at venues throughout New Orleans, including the Contemporary Arts Center, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, the Saenger Performing Arts Center, Trinity Episcopal Church and local night clubs, such as the Red Room, Café Brazil, El Matador and the Blue Nile. During Micaela’s extensive career, she has studied and performed with some of the most important names in dance on both coasts, including Merce Cunningham and Donald Byrd. She has show cased her own choreography and direction through company and solo performance work in Los Angeles at venues such as the Barnsdall Theater, California University at Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Arts
Leticia Jimenez has been dancing since the age of 4. Her studies include ballet, classical Spanish dance, flamenco, modern, tap, and jazz. It didn’t take her long to find her true calling as a skilled choreographer, producer, and director of Flamenco Productions. She has toured all over the world as a headliner, choreographer and master teacher. She has studied under renowned artists such as Eva “La Yerbabuena”, Domingo Ortega and Farruquito just to name a few. Leticia’s brings to Ven Pa’ca her unique ability to blend modern rhythms from all over the world with classical flamenco techniques.
John Lawrence is a flamenco guitarist who studied in Sevilla, Spain, with Nino de Pura, as well as with Carlos Sanchez and Santiago Aguilar. Besides performing and teaching flamenco guitar, Lawrence composed and produced the original soundtrack for the movie Anthem. He has also worked with legendary blues musicians Charlie Musselwhite and Bonnie Raitt. Lawrence is a co-founder of New Orleans flamenco company Ven Pa’Ca.