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history
w 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.

 

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This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsyvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

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