hen Spanish native Julia Lopez arrived in the United States, she brought
with her what she knew and what she loved - flamenco! Founded in
1986, Flamenco Ole! is the only company in the region dedicated to flamenco.
It is known for seeking and exploring new trends and influences in flamenco
while celebrating the tradition of classical dance. This exciting ensemble
becomes an instant favorite among presenters and audiences wherever they
go. Flamenco Ole! has toured extensively up and down the East Coast and
Midwest, dazzling audiences of all ages with their creative choreography
and diverse programming. Since the beginning, Musical Director Carlos Rubio
has accompanied the group. In
addition to a busy touring schedule, Flamenco Ole! has presented spectacular
main-stage events in Philadelphia, performing a delightful mix of traditional
and new flamenco for its ever-expanding audience of dance enthusiasts. Recently,
they were featured in Dance Boom at the Wilma Theater on the Avenue
of the Arts in Philadelphia. Long before they opened, Flamenco Ole! sold
out every performance. The Wilma Theater's sponsors added extra performances
to accommodate Flamenco Ole!'s fervent fans. With continued support from
Dance Advance and The Pew Charitable Trusts, Flamenco Ole! is able to commission
new works and premiere them in both state-of-the-art venues like the Wilma
Theater and smaller more intimate ones.
One of Ms. Lopez's most dynamic collaborations has been with renowned flamenco artist Luis Montero, who takes the best of modern and classical Spanish dance to create dances especially for Flamenco Ole!. In 1996, Mr. Montero choreographed Bolero, a dance/theater piece that has been integrated into their touring repretory and continues to astound audiences throughout the region. In summer 2000, Montero and Lopez performed Bolero for over two thousand people who watched the sultry duo dance to Ravel's music, which was played live by the entire York Symphony Orchestra. Following the success of Bolero, Montero choreographed Cafe de Chinitas for the company's 2001 main-stage event. The new work premiered at the Mandell Theater at Drexel University in Philadelphia to sold-out houses. Critics cheered the new work and how remarkably it showcased the talents of Flamenco Ole!'s dancers. In 2002, Dance Advance supported Flamenco Ole! who commissioned the renowned artist Antonio Granjero to create a dance for the company. Granjero and the entire company spent two intensive weeks workshopping "El Rocio" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, home of the National conservatory for Flamenco Arts. They were joined by solo artist Martin Gaxiole, who returned to Philadelphia with the company for its premiere. The Philadelphia City Paper praised Granjero's dancing: "It played like a jazz solo, with the artist smoldering and exploding to riveting effect." In 1992, Ms. Lopez established the Mt. Vernon Dance Academy, which now serves as a center for flamenco instruction and home for Flamenco Ole!.
Whether performing in concert, for schools, festivals, cultural organizations or corporate functions, Flamenco Ole! strives to capture the essence of flamenco each time they perform.