The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to present Flamenco Vivo II on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:30pm. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, this five-member ensemble of artists, under the direction of Carlota Santana, presents an evening of flamenco music, song and dance. Intense speed, sensual partnering and stiletto movement are trademarks of Santana’s artists who are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary season.

Carlota Santana, Artistic Director and Founder of both Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and Flamenco Vivo II, has been designated "The Keeper of Flamenco" by Dance Magazine in recognition of her commitment to creating new works and developing young artists and choreographers. She has dedicated her company to the mission of building bridges between cultures using the universal spirit of flamenco.  Since 1983, Santana’s companies have grown to be the leading flamenco companies in the United States with a mission to: 1) promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of Hispanic heritage, 2) create quality new works to present in major theatrical venues and 3) present arts education programs to catalyze connections among people of different cultures. 

Artists performing as part of Flamenco Vivo II will include guitarist Joaquin Gallegos, singer Chayito and dancers Jesus Munoz, Laura Peralta and Leslie Roybal.

Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Joaquin Gallegos comes from a family of artists and musicians and began playing the guitar at age 9. He lived among gypsy clans in Sacromonte, Granada, learning the art of accompanying cante and baile. Gallegos won 1st prize at the 2002 EXPO Flamenco Competition at the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque and was finalist at the 2007 II Concurso Internacional "Nino Ricardo" de Murcia.
Chayito Champion began singing at an early age carrying the legacy of her family of flamenco artists. Recent engagements include such prestigious venues as Repertorio Español, Thalia Theater, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. She has toured the world with such artists as the late Jose Greco, Antonio Vargas, Teo Morca, NaNa Lorca, Pilar Rioja and Luis Montero, to name a few.

Jesus Munoz performed with the National Conservatory of Flamenco from 2003-07.  In 2007, Muñoz then premiered as a choreographer and soloist for Maria Benitez's Teatro Flamenco and began working with Carlota Santana companies. He is the founder of Casa Flamenca, a non-profit organization supporting the growth and development of the flamenco art form. 

A native of New York City, Laura Peralta began her flamenco studies with Omayra Amaya and Jose Moreno.  She has performed with Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company in Santa Fe and recently travelled to Seville, Spain where she studied with Adela Campallo, Pilar Ogalla, Torombo and Esperanza Fernandez. 

Leslie Roybal, a native of New Mexico, began her career at age 5 performing with a Mexican folkloric dance company.  Proficient in both contemporary dance and flamenco idioms, Leslie performs in many of the New York tablaos, is the Director of Murray Spalding Mandalas, performs with M’oro Flamenco and has appeared in La Traviata and Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff and $10 for students.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

This performance culminates a four day residency by Flamenco Vivo II who will be conducting various outreach activities both on and off-campus.  As part of the residency, there will also be a special morning matinee performance for high school groups on Friday, October 4 at 10am.  Information and reservations for this matinee are available by calling the Performing Arts Center office at (518) 442-5738.