Jose Maya to Bring LATENTE: A FLAMENCO JOURNEY to Schimmel Center

Jose Maya to Bring LATENTE: A FLAMENCO JOURNEY to Schimmel Center

In the work of dancer José Maya, the beauty and power of flamenco dancing get a fresh, dramatic turn. He has an explosive, virile style that invokes the great flamencotradition - while his choreographies seem to pull flamenco forward, into the future.

Maya will present his powerful original work, Latente: A Flamenco Journey, in its New York debut at the Schimmel Center at Pace University on February 17, 2017 at 7:30pm.

"Flamenco .... has a feeling borne of the depths of the earth," he once said. "That's why flamenco is universal and reaches all social classes and cultures. Because [flamenco] is like going back to the beginning and rediscovering who we are."

That search, both professional and deeply personal, resulted in Latente, a striking solo piece presented in a spare setting.

"Latente, as they say in Spanish -- 'latent' in English -- refers to something dormant or hidden inside that from time to time manifests itself as instinct," he says about the show. "It is something you are not totally aware of. So it's a personal, inward search, an intimate journey where I discover the source of my instinct. I dance to my 'other self' in The Shadows."

Maya is supported by an ensemble comprising the exceptional cantaores (singers) Juana la del Pipa, Enrique el Extremeño and Manuel Tañé, and the guitarist Pino Losada, but also utilizing pre-recorded music and projected visuals. Maya offers a narrative that moves, in 13 vignettes, from what critics have described as "tradition with a postmodern minimalist patina" to a fiery dialogue between dance and cante (flamenco song). It´s a performance that has reminded flamenco critics of the simplicity of the old tablao flamenco, and with good reason.

"The cante is the source of my inspiration," explains Maya, who cites Gypsy singer Juana la del Pipa as the inspiration for the show. "The old style opens a door for me to feel and go after what is invisible. I have been listening to cante since I was very young, and it is what interests me the most. Juana la del Pipa is from one of the great flamenco families of Jerez [de la Frontera, Andalusia]. It's impossible to find anyone more flamenco than she is. It is a true privilege to have her in my show."

The results are "an extraordinary flamenco show [that] constitutes a true tribute to the most pure ... tablao flamenco," wrote Spanish journalist Pablo Garcia-Mancha in his blog "It's hard to dance with a more natural expressiveness, with a greater Homeric class and flamenco distinction than that of José Maya on Latente," noted the blog Cultura Hispana.