Four Great Female Flamenco Choreographers: Rafaela Carrasco, Manuela Carrasco, Carmen Cortés and Olga Pericet
Flamenco Festival 2012, presented by New York City Center and the Flamenco Festival, will celebrate the tradition of great female flamenco choreographers and will showcase four of today’s most acclaimed bailaoras (flamenco dancers): Rafaela Carrasco, Manuela Carrasco, Carmen Cortés and Olga Pericet. The Festival, presenting four unique nights of dance, each a New York premiere, will run March 1 – 4 at New York City Center, 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
Flamenco Festival 2012 will open on Thursday, March 1 with the New York premiere of a mixed-bill gala program featuring three of flamenco’s most explosive female dancers: Carmen Cortés, Rafaela Carrasco and Olga Pericet, accompanied by four young male dancers and live musicians. The bailaoras will share the stage in a virtuosic dance display of styles, ranging from the Gypsy roots of flamenco to contemporary innovations.
Carmen Cortés is celebrated worldwide for her performances of flamenco puro, Rafaela Carrasco is one of the most acclaimed flamenco dancers and choreographers of the new generation, and Olga Pericet has created a sensation in flamenco circles in recent years and is considered one of the most outstanding dancers of the younger generation.
Friday, March 2 brings the New York premiere of Suspiro Flamenco (2009), Manuela Carrasco’s newest work, inspired by the purity and essence of Gypsy flamenco. She will be accompanied by three male dancers, three singers and live musicians.
Manuela Carrasco was born in Seville into a family of Gypsy flamenco artists. Over a career spanning four decades, Carrasco has become famous for her unrivaled natural instinct for the art form. She has been awarded many prizes for her unique and natural style of baile gitano (Gypsy dancing) and has toured America and Europe in other choreographers’ works as well as with her own company.
On Saturday, March 3, Compañia Olga Pericet will present the New York premiere of Rosa, Metal, Ceniza (Rose, Metal, Ash (2011), a work that blends contemporary dance and traditional flamenco, and showcases Pericet’s demanding technique and versatility. Ms. Pericet will be accompanied by two dancers, two guitarists and three singers.
Olga Pericet is a rising star and one of the most versatile flamenco bailaoras performing today. Her work spans traditional flamenco to contemporary and Spanish classical dance.
On the Festival’s final evening, Sunday, March 4, Compañia Rafaela Carrasco will perform the New York premiere of Vamos al Tiroteo (2008) featuring four male dancers, musicians and two flamenco singers. Set to a selection of popular Spanish folk songs originally recorded by Federico García Lorca in 1931, Vamos al Tiroteo brings new life and energy to the music that inspired a hugely influential generation of flamenco artists.
Rafaela Carrasco, known in her native Spain as the Queen of Gypsy Flamenco Dance, began dancing sevillanas when she was 6 years old and soon began studying classical Spanish dance at Seville’s renowned Maltilde Coral academy. She trained as a soloist in Madrid and performed as a lead dancer with many companies across Europe. In 2002 Carrasco formed her own company, and that same she year won prizes for Best Choreography, Best Composition, and Outstanding Dancer at Madrid’s Spanish Dance and Flamenco Choreography Competition. The Rafaela Carrasco Company has mounted five productions, which have received awards such as the Giraldillo and the Press Award for best choreography. Ms. Carrasco previously appeared at City Center in the 2010 Fall for Dance Festival.
The 2011-2012 Dance season is made possible, in part, by Frederic and Robin Seegal and New York City Center Dance Council.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival and a partnership with London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, remain central to City Center’s identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People’s Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.
New York City Center is located on 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Flamenco Festival 2012 will run March 1 – 4 according to the following schedule: Thursday – Saturday evenings at 8 pm; Sunday at 7 p.m.
© 2012 Danza Ballet