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 toroprensa.com. "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.

Jose Maya (José Rafael Maya Serrano) was born in Madrid in 1983 to a Gypsy family that includes writers, playwrights, and painters as well as cantaores, such as hisuncle Rafael Romero El Gallina, who he calls "one of the great maestros of cante flamenco," and an important dancer, Fernanda Romero, "the only bailaora of my family [...] and a wonderful bailaora who was an innovator. "

"From them I inherited my artistic discipline, vision and a particular way of seeing and feeling things, and above all a deep passion for all forms of art," he said in a recent interview.

José began his dance career at age nine, sharing the stage of the fabled Teatro Albéniz in Madrid with flamenco legends such as Antonio Canales, Joaquín Grilo and Enrique Morente.

He was educated not only in flamenco but ballet and modern dance, and he is known for the subtlety which which he has incorporated them into his own Gypsy-rooted style. One of flamenco's rising stars, he has performed with other new-generation dancers Carmen Cortés and Farruquito, with singer Estrella Morente, top flamencoguitarists Tomatito and Gerardo Núñez and the fabled group Ketama. He has also opened for international pop artists in Spain, such as Beyoncé, Marc Anthony and Björk.

Maya has made his home in Paris since 2010. There he has founded a flamenco dance academy, and also premiered Latente in the Théatre Le Palace in Paris.

"Latente is a very simple show because I feel that flamenco is strong enough on its own and does not need other ingredients," says Maya. "Just the guitar, the cante, a good dancer, good lighting and good sound. That is enough."

IF YOU GO:

José Maya in Latente: A Flamenco Journey (NY DEBUT)

Friday February 17, 2017

Schimmel Center

3 Spruce Street, Manhattan
Lobby 6:30PM / Doors 7PM / Performance 7:30pm

Tickets $29, $39, $49

schimmelcenter.org/event/jose-maya

Curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds

Schimmel Center's dance series is supported by SHS Foundation

Jose Maya will also perform Latente: A Flamenco Journey on Sunday February 19th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, as part of the 12th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival. Visit bayareaflamencofestival.org/Home.html for details.

Pictured: Jose Maya. Photo by Juanlu Vela.