Arte Flamenco de San José
Carola Zertuche entered her dance career in Mexico City’s Tablao Mesón de Triana. Her studies have led her to such renowned teachers as Manolo Vargas; Ciro; Belén Maya; Andrés Marin; Israel Galván; and Jota master, Pedro Azorín. She has been featured as a soloist in Pilar Rioja’s company Reflejo Español and danced with the Maria Elena Anaya Company under the artistic direction of Manolo Vargas. In addition, she has performed with many different companies such as Los Tarantos, La Tania’s Teatro Flamenco, and the Maria Benitez Company. Her dance has been showcased in such festivals as the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco; the Santa Barbara Flamenco Festival, and the Monterrey Mexico Flamenco Festival. The year 2002 found Carola touring Mexico and the U.S. with the “Sentido Flamenco” show starring Alegría Suárez, Cano, Mercedes Amaya, and Santiago Aguilar; in the same year Carola was nominated for the Isadora Duncan Award in the soloist category. In 2003 she toured with the Maria Benitez Company and presented her first full show of flamenco “El Color del Flamenco.” Recently, 2005 witnessed her presentation of “Verde” with the participation of Pastora Galván and José Anillo. In October 2005 she danced as a guest artist with Domingo Ortega Flamenco Company in Los Angeles and Andrés Marin Company in the First Flamenco Festival in San Francisco. And in 2007 Ms. Zertuche became artistic director of Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco. In 2007 and 2008 she was awarded Best Flamenco Classic in San Francisco Magazine and Best Flamenco Show in SF Weekly. In Spring 2008, she toured the Middle East with the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theater Company and performed at the summer season in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Roberto Zamora has been a performer of flamenco song and dance for 35 years. He is a well-known and welcome guest at regional festivals in Andalusia, southern Spain, where he has immersed himself for many years in Andalusian culture and its gypsy flamenco heartbeat. Roberto’s style and knowledge has been inspired through close association with flamenco legends “La Fernanda" and "La Bernarda,” Pepe Rios, “Anzonini del Puerto,” “el Funi,” Agustín Rios, and Juan del Gastor and the gypsies of Morón de la Frontera. He has performed in Spain with Juan del Gastor, in Canada and throughout the U.S. with various companies, among them La Tania Flamenco Music and Dance, La Monica Pasión Flamenca, Rosa Montoya Bailes Flamencos, and is an active member of Yaelisa’s Caminos Flamencos.
David Gutierrez has studied flamenco guitar in both the United States and Spain since 1973. His teachers have included masters of the traditional style (Mario Escudero, Pedro Bacán), as well as some of the leading players of modern style flamenco (Manolo Sanlucar, Carlos Heredia, and José Valle "Chuscales"). He began performing professionally with Los Flamencos de la Bodega at the original Old Spaghetti Factory, went on to perform with numerous Bay Area Spanish dance companies (including El Cuadro Flamenco, Teatro Flamenco, Rosa Montoya's Bailes Flamenco and Arte y Compás) and co-founded the group Flamenco Vivo. He has appeared in concert frequently at Bay Area venues, such as San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Berkeley's La Peña Cultural Center, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, and San José's Montgomery Theater. In addition to performing and teaching guitar, Mr. Gutierrez travels to Spain periodically for extended visits to study and pursue his lifelong afición for the art of flamenco.
Brian Cason has studied flamenco guitar with Guillermo Rios, David Serva, and José Valle "Chuscales" and has also studied classical guitar with Charles Ferguson. He has performed with flamenco companies such as Rosa Montoya's Bailes Flamencos, Diana Alejandre's Arte Flamenco de San José, the Virginia Iglesias Dance Ensemble, Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, and well-known flamenco artists such as Guillermo Rios, José Galván, Jesús Montoya, and Pastora Galván. He is currently the musical director of Flamenco de la Bahía, a San Francisco Bay Area flamenco ensemble.
Regina Elmore (singer) began her flamenco studies as a dance student in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her interest in the dance evolved into a desire to learn about flamenco cante. Subsequently, she studied with Paco Albiac and Roberto Zamora. She currently performs with local dance groups and continues to expand her knowledge of flamenco cante.
David McMahon is the main guitarist for ¡Hassa! Flamenco. Mr. McMahon studied classical guitar in England prior to taking up flamenco. He has studied with Spanish maestros Jesús Torres, José Luis Rodriguez, El Carbonero and Chuscales, as well as local masters Jason McGuire and Mark Taylor. He is excited to be making his debut as a guitarist in Arte Flamenco's 2010 show.
Artists of Arte Flamenco de San José
Flavia Geist received a B.S. degree in Dance with emphasis in performance and teaching from Skidmore College. She has performed, choreographed, and instructed with regional dance, theatre, and opera companies and studios in New York, New England, Barbados, and throughout California. Her original studies focused on ballet and modern (Graham technique) although she explored many genres such as character, jazz, tap, and ethnic. Ms. Geist is currently a ballet instructor for Roundhill Studios, Santa Clara. Her passion for the arts and music moved her to first study classical Spanish with Juana Cristiano which then led her to flamenco. Her first serious study of flamenco started with Diana Alejandre. Other local study has been with Adela Clara and Carola Zertuche. On the international scene she has studied with Jose Galván, Concha Vargas, and others both in the here in the U.S. and in travels to Spain. Ms. Geist performs locally with ¡Hassa Flamenco! and Arte Flamenco de San José.
Diana Alejandre is the founding artistic director of Arte Flamenco de San José and currently serves as Artistic Director Emeritus and a board member of the organization. Ms. Alejandre had a vision to build a flamenco program that would promote the art of flamenco and allow dancers of all levels to develop and perform. Her tenacity, creativity, and standards of excellence built a well-respected organization.
Cyndie Zikmund began her flamenco studies with Diana Alejandre and Arte Flamenco de San José in 1996. Since then she has studied and performed with leading local artists such as La Tania, Carola Zertuche, and Yaelisa. She has also studied and performed with visiting artists such as Concha Vargas and José Galván. Ms. Zikmund travels to Spain regularly and has studied with Rafaela Carrasco, Yolanda Heredia, Angelita Vargas, and Juan Paredes, to name a few. In addition to teaching flamenco dance classes for Arte Flamenco and the City of Sunnyvale, Ms. Zikmund is the Artistic Director and a founding member of ¡Hassa! Flamenco, a cuadro group that performs regularly around the South Bay and the Peninsula.
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