June 15th MANUELA CARRASCO Flamenco Company Direct from Spain at FESTIVAL OF FLAMENCO ARTS & TRADITIONS
The Bay Area Flamenco Partnership is proud to present the 2010 FESTIVAL OF FLAMENCO ARTS & TRADITIONS
featuring, direct from Spain, MANUELA CARRASCO Flamenco Company with EL TOROMBO and RAFAEL DE CARMEN in Suspiro Flamenco.
Manuela Carrasco with El Torombo and Rafael de Carmen
Enrique el Extremeno, Samara Carrasco, Joaquin Amador, among others
The absolute queen of Gypsy flamenco dance, Manuela Carrasco is known for her great strength, temperament and mesmerizing stage presence. She brings unprecedented energy and imagination to her performances.
She was born in Triana, a neighborhood in Seville once known for its Gypsy blacksmith shops, where important chapters of flamencos history were forged. As a young child she displayed a natural instinct for flamenco dance and learned by watching her father Jose Carrasco, El Sordo.
Her career began as a pre-teen in the tablao El Jaleo, in Torremolinos and by the age of thirteen Manuela Carrasco undertook a two-year tour of Europe (against the wishes of her parents) with the flamenco company of Curro Velez. From then on her career snowballed. She was featured in many of the premier flamenco establishments of Spain including, Los Gallos in Seville, and Los Canasteros in Madrid.
When she was only 18 years old she was named Goddess of Flamenco Dance by the Spanish Gypsy congressman and social activist, Juan de Dios Ramirez Heredia.
In 1974 she won the prestigious Pastora Imperio National Dance Award in Cordoba and this was the start of many trophies and honors that she would receive during her career, including the International Award for Dance in San Remo, Italy in 1976.
In 1976 she was featured in a show called Gitano, in which she appeared along side Cameron de la Isla (her compadre), Pansequito, and El Lebrijano.
Manuela Carrasco was one of the principle figures on the festival circuit in the 1970s and 80s, appearing at the Potaje Gitano and the Festival de la Puebla de Cazalla. In fact most of the festival stages in Andalucia have been blessed with her impeccable and profoundly Gypsy style of dance.
In 1986 she toured the US with the legendary show "Flamenco Puro", accompanied by La Fernanda de Utrera, El Farruco and El Chocolate, some of the most influential names in flamenco at the time.
In 1995 Manuela performed in the Carlos Saura film "Flamenco" along with guitarist Moraito Chico and singer Jose Merce. She also appears in Saura's film "Sevillanas".
She founded her own dance company in the nineties and has since presented several critically acclaimed shows, including "Asi Baila Sevilla" and "Jondo Adonai." She astonished audiences in the Maestranza bull ring during the 1992 Bienal de Flamenco in Seville, with a show called Y Sevilla directed by Jose Luis Ortiz Nuevo. During the 2002 Bienal de Flamenco she triumphed with the show "Escencias" accompanied by singer El Chocolate. Her show "Un Sorbito de lo Sublime" featured guest artist Manuel Molina and received the award for best flamenco production of 2007.
One of her most recent offerings is a show called "Romali" which traces the links between Indian music and dance and Andalucian Gypsy flamenco. She is accompanied by a Hindu Kathak dance, performing traditional dances of Rajastan, Northern India, and AndalucÃa.
The virtuosity and depth of her artistry have been recognized at the highest level of Spanish society. In 2007 she was honored by Spain's Ministry of Culture with the Premio Nacional de Danza and in 2008 she received the Medal of Andalucia.
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