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Born of passion and desire, NOCHE FLAMENCA was founded in Madrid in 1993 by artistic director Martin Santangelo and his wife Soledad Barrio. Through years of persistence, hard work and love, Noche Flamenca has developed into one of Spain's most successful flamenco companies. Since its beginning, Noche Flamenca's goal has been to maintain the essence, purity and integrity of one of the world's most complex and mysterious art forms without the use of tricks or gimmicks. The company relies on the high standards of its artists as well as their profound understanding of flamenco. All aspects of flamenco - dance, song and music - are interrelated and given equal weight in Noche Flamenca, creating a true communal spirit within the company, which is the very heart and soul of flamenco.
The company regularly performs to sell out crowds in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Montreal, Toronto and Washington. In the past few seasons they have debuted in Denver, Seattle, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Miami and Hawaii. As well, in the first part of 2002 the company toured Australia and New Zealand for six weeks performing to great acclaim in every major city. They will return to Australia in August of 2004. The company's New York runs, whether at the Public Theater, the Connelly Theater, Joe's Pub or the New Victory Theater are always a smash and in the fall of 2003, they take up residence for five weeks at the newly restored Lucille Lortel Theater. As well as they have performed at the Hollywood Bowl, The Ravinia Festival, Wolf Trap Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and this summer will make debuts at the Florida International Festival, and An Appalachian Summer Festival. They will also perform a two-week run at the Zellerbach Playhouse in Berkeley and travel to Buenos Aires for their South American debut.
Some of Spain's most renowned artists have worked, and continue to work, with the company, such as; Soledad Barrio, Belen Maya, Alejandro Granados, Antonio Vizarraga, Rafael "Falo" Jimenez, and David Serva.
Noche Flamenca's vitality, energy and passion have won accolades around the world, with raves and standing ovations in Egypt, United States, Canada, Portugal and Spain. Because the company's core group of artists have devoted years to its goal, Noche Flamenca has continually delved deeper and deeper in its quest for a profound art.
MARTIN SANTANGELO (Artistic Director) is a resident of Madrid. He studied with Ciro, Paco Romero, El Guito, Manolete and Alejandro Granados. He has performed throughout Spain and the U.S. appearing with Maria Benitez's Teatro Flamenco, the Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts and Paco Romero's Ballet Espanol. He also appeared in Julie Taymor's Juan Darien at Lincoln Center. He choreographed a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Denver Theater Center and co-directed and choreographed Bodas de Sangre with Larry Kornfield at SUNY Purchase. Last year, Martin was nominated for Cal-Arts' Alpert Award in the Arts.
SOLEDAD BARRIO (Dancer) was born In Madrid and trained in flamenco and Classico Espanol, She has appeared as soloist with the Ballet Espanol de Paco Romero, Manuela Vargas, Blanca del Rey, Luisillo El Guito, Manolete, Cristobal Reyes, and El Toleo, She has performed throughout Europe, Japan and North and South America. Soledad recently received a "Bessie" award for Outstanding Creative Achievement 2000-2001 She is a founding member of Noche Flamenca and is married to Artistic Director Martin Santangelo. They have two daughters, Gabriela and Stella.
ISABEL BAYON (dancer) was born in Sevilla and began her dance training at age five with Matilde Cotral; by sixteen she was awarded the title of Danza Española. In the mid-seventies, she debuted in a production in honor of Antonio Ruiz Soler. She has appeared as a featured soloist and finalist in several productions of the Bienal de Arte Flamenco in Sevilla. She has performed as a special guest with such renowned companies as Compañía Andaluza, Compañía Joaquin Grilo, and Compañia de Fernando Romero. Isabel has also choreographed for Ballet Nacional de España and Compañía Andaluza de Danza. In the XII Bienal de Flamenco in Sevilla she presented her own company, Isabel Bayon Compañía Flamenca in a production entitled "Del Alma." This is her third season dancing with Noche Flamenca.
JESUS TORRES (Guitarist) was born in Barakaldo, Spain. After years of training in flamenco guitar, he moved to Madrid in 1989 and began performing with a host of renowned dancers, including, Manolete, Paco Fernandez, Sara Lezana, Raul, La China, Belen Maya and Elvira Andres. In 1991, he joined the flamenco company of Maria Rosa and performed throughout Spain and Japan. In 1993, he appeared at the International Festival of Dance in Madrid at the Albeniz Theater with Belen Maya. A year later, he joined the Compania Andaluza e Danza directed by Mario Maya and participated in the Bienal de Flamenco Festival. Jesus was also involved in writing the musical scores with Antonio Gades for productions of Carmen and Fuenteovejuna. He was commissioned by Michiko Okamoto of Japan to create the musical arrangement for productions of Carmen and El Amor Brujo. He has toured extensively in Australia, Europe and the US. This is Torres' fifth season with Noche Flamenca.
ANTONIO VIZARRAGA (Singer) born in Seville, he is a member of one of Spain's most distinguished flamenco families. He has sung for some of the finest dancers in his homeland, including El Farruco, Alejandro Granados, Mario Maya, Belen Fernandez, El Torombo, Manuela Carrasco and Belen Maya. This is Vizarraga's sixth season with Noche Flamenca.