Manuela Rios is a renowned flamenco dancer from Sevilla, Andalucia, who began her studies with Manolo Marín, José Galván, Farruco and La Toná. Manuela performed at a young age at the La Trocha tablao, at theaters with the Farruco family, and toured with the Fernandez family in international festivals. She danced as a soloist in Japan with Joaquin Cortes under the direction of Yoko Komatsubara. She was awarded as a young dancer from Triana, the historic flamenco and artisan quarter of Sevilla, during her participation in “Triana Viva” in the Bienal of Sevilla in 1992. In 1993, Manuela joined the company of the legendary Cristina Hoyos, and was featured in a video with tenor Plácido Domingo. She won second prize in the contest of the Festival of La Union.
Manuela performed in the Bienal of Sevilla in 2004 in “Alicia” with the Compañía Los Ulen. In 2007, she toured internationally with “Meridiana,” a show with Ballet Flamenco Javier Baron. That same year, she debuted her solo show “De Tablas” in the Festival of Jerez. She’s been an invited artist in the shows of Joaquin Grilo, Juan de Juan, Duquende, Miguel Poveda, and the pianist Dorantes. She was a featured soloist in the closing show of the Bienal of Sevilla in 2012, “De la Raiz a la Punta.” She presented a show of her work, “Consuelo de Penas” in the Festival of Jerez in 2013. She has worked in famous tablaos in Sevilla, and teaches in her home city and abroad, beloved by students for her focus on integrating steps with traditional singing, and her generous instruction style.
Alfonso Losa is one of the great talents of the current generation. This year, he has presented his own show “Bailaores” in the Festival of Jerez, performed as an invited artist with Farruquito’s show “Improvisao,” and presented his latest show “Un Mundo Flamenco” in Mexico. In June, he impressed U.S. audiences at the International Flamenco Festival of Albuquerque with his rigorous choreography in “Tendencias – Flamenco a Tres,” with invited dancers Nino de Los Reyes and Jesus Carmona.
As a child, he studied with Rafael de Cordoba, then at Madrid’s Real Conservatorio de Danza. He was soon recognized for his natural abilities and went on refine his skills with great masters such as El Güito, Manolete, La China, Antonio Canales and Javier La Torre. At age 15, he won the most important choreography contest of danza española and flamenco at Teatro Albeniz in Madrid, going on to win the award on many other occasions. Losa has performed as a guest artist in the companies of Adrian Galia, Ricardo Franco, Manolete, El Guito, Manuela Carrasco, Ruben Dantas, Enrique del Melchor, La Susi, Gerardo Nuñez, Niño Josele, Montse Cortes, and Guadiana. In 2009, Losa’s own show, “Miradas Atras” premiered at the “Flamenco Pa Tos” festival held by the Gomaespuma Foundation, an event which also billed Tomatito, El Guito, and Estrella Morente. Shortly afterwards, Losa was invited to present this concert at some of the most important flamenco festivals such as Festival de Jerez, Festival Internacional de las Minas, La Suma Flamenca, and Festival de Mila. In 2010, he collaborated with the phenomenal Jose Maya to create the show “Grito,” which premiered at the Festival Torelodones. Losa presented the work in 2010 at the Suma Flamenca festival in Madrid and the Bienal of Sevilla.
Cristina Hall, born and raised in San Francisco California, has been living and performing flamenco in Sevilla Spain for over twelve years. She has studied with renowned flamenco artists such as Andres Marin, Manuela Rios, Israel Galvan, Antonio Canales, Farruquito, Eva Yerbabuena, amongst many others.
In 2004 she performed with Israel Galvan’s company in the production “Torero Al-Lucinogeno” in the Teatro Central of Seville. In 2008 she embarked on a tour throughout the U.S. and Canada with her own personal creation “El Sonido del Silencio.” In 2010 she presented yet another production, “Ensueño,” in the Off Bienal, parallel activities of the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla.
In 2011 she was a finalist in the “Saddler’s Wells” dance choreography competition in London, England, for her creation “Blackbird.” She participated as a soloist in the “Festival Flamenco Empirico” at the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona under the direction of Juan Carlos Lerida. In June of 2012 she placed second in the “ I Concurso Internacional del Tablao las Carboneras de Madrid” which then led her to form part of the cuadro. In March of 2013 she collaborated with Manuela Rios in the production “Consuelo de Penas” in the Festival de Jerez. In the summer of 2013 Cristina was invited to perform as guest artist in Vigo and Ourense, Galicia, with the Orquestra 430 de Vigo. In December 2013 she collaborated with the Cuarteto Castalia performing flamenco to Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.8 at the Teatro Cajasol de Sevilla.
In the spring of 2014 the company A4 was formed, together Cristina and its integrating artists created “La Charla,” a production that has toured throughout Holland and recently premiered at the CICUS – Flamenco circuit in Seville. Cristina currently created “Monocromo” for the Bienal de Sevilla 2014 alongside fellow dancer Ana Perez under the artistic direction of Andres Marin.
Cristina’s great passion with Flamenco lies in performing and teaching regularly in Spain and as well as other countries worldwide.
JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ
Rodríguez is among the most important guitarists of his generation. Considered the continuation of the school of Mario Escudero, his music is characterized by his capacity of interpretation and composition, which supports itself with impeccable technique.
After years at the hand of his teacher Mario Escudero he recorded his first album “Andalusí” (1986) for the Organization of American States (OAS) and toured the United Status in a show by the same name. After being a finalist for the Giraldillo in 1990, his career took a differentpath and he began to accompany important figures in Flamenco such as Carmen Linares, Naranjito de Triana, José Mercé, La Susi, Manolo Marín and Isabel Bayón, while beginning to compose music for various Flamenco dance companies. José Luis Rodríguez composed music for Cristina Hoyos’ prestigious Flamenco dance company Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía. With this company his most recognized works are “Al compás del Tiempo”, “Yerma”, “Tierra Adentro” and “Viaje al Sur”, along with the soundtrack for the film “Despacito y al compás”. In 2011 he relocated to the US, where he debuted “Intimate Spaces,” a new work that pushed the boundaries of flamenco as we know it. This “Nu” flamenco is characterized by a technical rigor that is not subjected to form, but rather is driven by the conceptual frame-work of the topics and themes that transform the space and offer audiences an experience that goes beyond a musical concert. In the same year, Rodriguez recorded “flamenco abstractions”, an experimental work in collaboration with David Font (electro-acoustic musician and composer).
In Spring 2014 he will debut, “Resonancias”, an interdisciplinary project commissioned by FUNDarte Inc. as part of their Knight Arts Challenge Program.
Flamenco singer Ismael Fernandez has performed with his legendary Sevillan flamenco family in festivals all over the world since a young boy, joining the “fin de fiesta” party that closed the shows. His uncle, Curro Fernandez, was his mentor. He began singing professionally at El Cordobes tablao in Barcelona, La Carboneria in Sevilla, and in the famous caves of
In 2004, Fernandez won the National Contest of Cordoba, and was a finalist in the prestigious Festival del Cante de la Union. He has performed with his family in the Bienal of Sevilla, and on world tour with internationally renowned dancer María Pagés throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. He has sang for some of the best of his generation, including alongside singer Marina Heredia, and for dancers El Torombo, Leonor Moro, Marco de Ana, Rafaela Carrasco, Alfonso Losa, and Manuel Liñan. He created his own show “Entretiempo” with the dancer Sonia Olla in 2010, debuting in Barcelona and Madrid.
In 2014, he performed in the Flamenco Festival USA, and joined singer Esperanza Fernandez in presenting her new album “Mi Voz es tu Palabra” live in Madrid. He toured with dancer Sonia Olla, presenting “Tiempo Al Aire” in the historic Boulevard Theatre of Queens, in the Chicago Flamenco Festival, and in New York City’s Lincoln Center Out Of Doors festival.
José Méndez was born into the legendary Méndez clan of Gypsy flamenco singers from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. A direct descendant of La Paquera, he is his nephew and the grandson of the festero “El Pili”. A member of Cristina Hoyo’s company for many years, José Méndez has specialized in singing for dancers. He has worked with such notable dancers as Mario Maya, El Güito, Manuela Carrasco, Carmen Cortés, Eva la Yerbabuena and El Mistela, as well as with the legendary Farruco in
the World Exposition of 1992 in Barcelona, Spain.
In addition to working with dancers, he is also an outstanding soloist and has worked as a soloist in festivals and peñas throughout Spain as well as in international festivals throughout Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France. A tireless and studious expert of his art, Jose interprets cante in a very peronal way. He adds to his mastery of technique and flamenco palos a depth of emotion that unmistakeably echos that of La Paquera.