San FranÂ's 2nd Oldest Professional Dance Company Celebrates 44th Anniversary
There is nothing like an original: A painting by Picasso, a play by Lorca or a soaring piece of architecture from Calatrava. Add to that list of Spanish cultural exports to the world Theatre Flamenco (www.theatreflamenco.org), San Francisco's second oldest professional dance company. For three performances only, the "power, intensity, and rhythmic virtuosity" (Pasatiempo) of Artistic Director Carola Zertuche's vision takes to the stage of San Francisco's Cowell Theatre (November 12 & 13 at 8pm and Sunday, November 14 at 2pm) with the 44th Annual Home Season production, Una Nota Flamenca.
"This production is an expression of flamenco dance that embodies the emotion ignited from a single musical note -- una nota flamenca - that will captivate the senses," says Zertuche. "Una nota Flamenca combines extraordinary footwork and invigorating music into a deeply moving theatrical experience."
Traditionally, orchestral instruments accompany the flamenco guitar, cajon and cante as dancers hearing the same musical note interpret the music through their own unique and alluring style of flamenco. Joining Zertuche and her company onstage will be renowned guest artists from Spain Manuel Gutierrez, Juan Siddi and Cristina Hall. Musical direction for Una Nota Flamenca is by Jose Valle "Chuscales" and Gypsy singers Silverio Heredia and Jose Cortes. Onstage musicians are Tregar Otton (violin), Alex Conde (pianist) and Jesse Wolff (cellist)
Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco is the second oldest dance company in the Bay Area (after the SF Ballet). Founded in 1966 by Adela Clara, Theatre Flamenco was conceived during a flowering of cultural pride in the 60s that led to the revival of Latino arts. The Company's purpose was to fill what was then a dearth of Spanish dances in the Bay Area. Theatre Flamenco was the first American dance company to stage full productions of Spanish dance in the United States and is one of the oldest dance companies in California. Every year since its inception Theatre Flamenco has presented a home season of performances in San Francisco.
Over the years, Theatre Flamenco has served as a beacon of cultural pride, a reservoir for the diverse traditions of Spanish culture, and a vital source for artistic collaboration. The Company is dedicated to the research, presentation and education of a full range of Spanish dance including classical, neo-classical, regional, folk and escuela bolera.
In 2008, Theatre Flamenco's long-time artistic director, Miguel Santos was recognized for his substantial contributions to the Bay Area and to the art of flamenco by the Isadora Duncan Dance Award (IZZIE) whereupon he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, an award for re-staging MISA FLAMENCO and a Lifetime Achievement Award from World Arts West Ethnic Dace Festival. Santos continues to work with Theatre Flamenco as a Board Member.
Theatre Flamenco shunned percussive footwork in favor of a lovely Ronde'as: a female quintet marked by sensuous unisons and wonderfully expressive shoulders, sheathed in blinding white dresses and the traditional trains.
Under the leadership of new Artistic Director Zertuche, the vision for Theatre Flamenco is that of a highly professional company that, in addition to the annual home season, has an annual touring schedule and presents a quarterly community outreach series.
Tickets for Una Nota Flamenca are $30 / $ 26 for students and seniors. Performances are Friday & Saturday November 12 & 13 at 8pm and Sunday, November 14 at 2pm at San Francisco's Cowell Theatre (Fort Mason, at the intersection of Marina Blvd. and Buchanan). For tickets, call (415) 345-7575 or go online to www.fortmason.org
About Carola Zertuche
Carola Zertuche entered her dance career in Mexico City's Tablao Meson de Triana. Her studies have led her to such renowned teachers as Manolo Vargas; Ciro; Belen Maya; Andrés Marin; Israel Galván; and Jota Master, Pedro Azorín. She has been featured as a soloist in Pilar Rioja's company "Reflejo Español" and danced with the Maria Elena Anaya Company under the artistic direction of Manolo Vargas. In addition, she has performed with many different companies such as "Los Tarantos ", La Tania's Teatro Flamenco and Maria Benitez' Company. Her dance has been showcased in such festivals as the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco, the Santa Barbara Flamenco Festival and the Monterrey Mexico Flamenco Festival.
The year 2002 found Zertuche touring Mexico and the U.S. with the "Sentido Flamenco" Show starring Alegría Suarez, Cano, Mercedes Amaya and Santiago Aguilar. In the same year she was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award in the soloist category. In 2003 she toured with the Maria Benitez Company and presented her first full show of flamenco "El Color del Flamenco".
2005 witnessed her presentation of "Verde" with the participation of Pastora Galván and Jose Anillo. In October of that year, Zertuche danced as a guest artist with the Domingo Ortega Flamenco Company in Los Angeles and the Andres Marin Company in the San Francisco's first Flamenco Festival. In 2007, Zertuche became Artistic director of Theatre Flamenco In Spring 2008, she toured the Middle East with the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theater Company and performed at the Summer Season in Santa Fe.
Along with her role as Artistic Director for Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, Zertuche continues teaching flamenco dance classes at her dance studio "La Solea" in San Francisco as well as local and international flamenco dance workshops.