Flamenco Powerhouse Leilah Broukhim Brings LA Debut of DEJANDO HUELLAS (TRACES) to The Soraya
After her wildly popular 2015 debut, flamenco dance dynamo Leilah Broukhim returns to The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Valley Performing Arts Center) with Dejando Huellas (Traces), a personal story about her own Jewish and Persian heritage. Broukhim's furious flamenco footwork exalts the Spanish art form, while her emotional expression tells the tale of a woman searching for meaning and identity. Dejando Huellas makes its LA debut after performances in Paris, New York, Madrid, and Copenhagen.
"Leilah Broukhim is the quintessential 'Music Knows No Borders' performer, as her background displays a diverse and complex heritage," said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. "Her appearance in 2015 with Compañia Flamenca José Porcel was so emotional and electric that we were thrilled to have her back, especially with this deeply personal performance and the backing of these phenomenal musicians."
Dejando Huellas (Traces) follows the personal and historic voyage of a Sephardic woman through flamenco dance. Inspired by the story of her Jewish and Persian ancestors and by her experience with the flamenco art form, acclaimed flamenco dancer Leilah Broukhim has created Dejando Huellas (Traces) an intimate and original expression of Ms. Broukhim's roots, her personal journey and the history of her people. The result is a moving and unforgettable work of music, dance and art, which reminds us that the traces of our past define our present and our future.
Tickets for Leilah Broukhim, priced from $33-$78, are now available at ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org or by calling (818) 677-3000. The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) is located on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330-8448, at the corner of Nordhoff and Lindley.
About Leilah Broukhim
Flamenco dancer Leilah Broukhim was born in New York of Sephardic Iranian parents, although she has been based in Spain since 2000. Leilah graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Film Studies. She began her flamenco dance formation with respected New York-based professors who gave her the necessary foundation to follow her growth in Spain. In Madrid, she continued her studies at the renowned dance academy Amor de Dios under great masters of flamenco, including Maria Magdalena, Manuel Reyes, Rafaela Carrasco and José Maya, while completing her knowledge of flamenco in Seville with the Farrucos.
Her professional career took off with the two most important flamenco dance companies of the USA: Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and María Benítez Teatro Flamenco. Leilah has performed in the principal tablaos of Spain, including Casa Patas, El Corral de la Morería, El Corral de la Pacheca, El Café de Chinitas, Las Carboneras, Tablao Villa Rosa, Las Brujas, Tablao de Carmen and El Cordobés. She formed part of such companies as Rafael Amargo, Paco Peña and Javier Barón. In 2006, she traveled to Japan where she taught classes and performed in the esteemed Sala Andaluza in Tokyo. Leilah is also the protagonist of Centro Sefarad-Israel's official promotional video.
In 2009, she was a guest artist in Gomaespuma's 10th Festival Flamenco Pa'tos sharing the stage with Marina Heredia, Carmen Linares and Eva la Yerbabuena. In 2010, she performed in the XVII Jornadas Flamencas de la Fortuna-Silla de Oro.
In 2011, Leilah premiered her show Dejando Huellas (Traces) at the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow and presented it again in Paris at the Museum of Art and History of Judaism, in New York as part of the Flamenco Festival USA 2012, in Madrid's Suma Flamenca Festival 2014, in the III Cumbre Erensya Sephardic Summit in Ávila, in the Jewish Culture Festival in Copenhagen, in Córdoba's Otoño Sefardí and very soon in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 2014, Leilah created her new show Embrujá which premiered with great success at the XI Festival Flamenco de Torrelodones in tribute to Paco de Lucía. Since then, she has presented the show in New York, Ibiza, at the Festival Arte Flamenco Mont-de-Marsan and very soon in Seoul, Korea.
This year, Leilah premiered her third show Hamsa for a Dream at Madrid's Teatro Fernán Gómez in celebration of Centro Sefarad-Israel, Casa Árabe y Casa África's 10th anniversary.
Performers & Creative Team
Artistic Director/Dancer Leilah Broukhim
Flamenco Singer Roberto Lorente
Flamenco Singer Chelo Pantoja
Flamenco Guitar, Oud, Saz Amir John Haddad
Flamenco Guitar Juan Jiménez
Persian Singer, Ney, Tombak Kaveh Sarvarian
Caligraphy and Artwork Elisabeth Louy
Lighting Carlos Arandojo
Sound Manuel Camacho
Music Knows No Borders Series
A musical melting pot comes to the Valley Performing Arts Center (The Soraya) this season, in more than 20 different performances. Curated by Thor Steingraber, The Soraya's Executive Director, the Music Knows No Borders events are inventive and bold, infectious and pulsating; putting a positive spin on current geopolitical themes such as migration, race, and religion. The digital age inspires musicians from every corner of the globe, delivering an endless expanse of musical styles, and inspiring innovation and fusion. More than ever before, global artists command a platform to spread their message of cultural unity and social activism. "At The Soraya we give voice to the musical diasporas," said Steingraber. "We are committed to a simple idea-the concert hall is an inviting and inclusive place. The communal joy of music and dance is immediate, intergenerational, and accessible. After all, ears know no borders. Hands clap and feet stomp regardless of nation-of-origin, religion, or cultural background."
About the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
The Soraya opened its 2017-2018 season on September 16 with a performance of AMADEUS Live (Milos Foreman's 1984 Academy Award-winning Best Picture with live orchestra) with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and members of the LA Opera Chorus. The evening honored the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Foundation in recognition of the family's recent $17 million gift that will rename VPAC as the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center, known as The Soraya. The gift is one of the largest in the history of the California State University and the system's largest single gift to support the arts; gift to support the programming and operations of the award-winning Valley Performing Arts Center - which has become one of the cultural jewels of the region in the six years since it opened.
The 2017-18 Soraya season signals a new era for the premier event venue. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, the renamed Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center expands its programming and outstanding multidisciplinary performances. The mission of The Soraya is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region but also work from around the world that appeal to all of LA's rich and diverse communities.
Located on the campus of California State University, Northridge, The Soraya's season offers a vibrant performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will serve to establish The Soraya as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning, 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as "a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events."
Photo Credit: Martin Guerrero.