Bay Area Flamenco Festival: JUANA AMAYA direct from Spain
Friday, February 1
"A true goddess of the dance... incomparable... indomitable." (ABC, Spain)
Juana Amaya was born into one of Spain’s most respected Gypsy flamenco families, known for artists such as the legendary guitarist Diego del Gastor and singer Luis Joselero.
While still in her teens, Amaya began performing as lead dancer in Mario Maya’s renowned company and toured the world with artists such as Cristobal Reyes, El Guito and La Chana in Cumbre Flamenca. Celebrated for her mesmerizing performances, she has appeared as guest artist with the companies of Paco Peña, Joaquin Cortés and Antonio Canales and has been featured several times at Seville’s prestigious Bienal del Arte Flamenco. In 2003 she and Farruquito toured the US presenting their show "Por Derecho" in major performing arts centers throughout the country, including UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. She later returned with her own company to festivals in Irvine and Albuquerque and as part of the NY Flamenco Festival’s “Gala Flamenco” in 2017.
Reviews of her performance last September at the 2018 Bienal put her on a par with legends of Gypsy flamenco dance such as Carmen Amaya and Manuela Carrasco, celebrating both her technical prowess and her extraordinary emotional expressiveness.
"Like a Nina Simone recording, her dancing is both an acknowledgement of her race’s suffering and a physical manifestation of defiance." (Miami Herald, 2017)
Founded in 2005, the BAY AREA FLAMENCO FESTIVAL has grown into a popular and vital annual Bay Area cultural event. Celebrating Spanish Gypsy music and dance as a living culture and a legacy of world stature, the Festival has presented some of the most important figures in the history of flamenco as well as prodigies form today’s generation of artists. Artistic director Nina Menéndez’s unique curatorial vision distinguishes the Bay Area Flamenco Festival/ Festival Flamenco Gitano and its particular focus on grassroots flamenco from the Gypsy communities of Spain.
"These artists are bringing the Gitano essence of flamenco into the 21st century," explains Festival director Nina Menéndez. "They have an ease for improvisation that comes from living the art as a part of everyday life. No choreography is required, only an intimate connection among the dancers and musicians who interact freely on the basis of a shared legacy and an insatiable hunger to find the spark of ‘duende’ that transforms the mundane into the sublime."