cantan los fuegos

On December 4th and 5th, 2004, Mojácar Flamenco and the Madrid Theatre presented an exciting evening of flamenco music and flamenco dance theatre drawing on the music and poetry of two of Spain's most influential artists:

Federico Garcia Lorca and Manuel De Falla.

About Lorca

About De Falla

featured works
romance sonambulo

The Romancero Gitano

as it originally appeared,

cover illustration by Lorca.

In July and August of 1924, Lorca began work on one of his most successful group of poems: Romancero Gitano - The Book of Gypsy Ballads.

He was inspired by the work and ideas of poet Juan Ramón Jiménez who described the ballad form as the "river of the Spanish language" for the way it flowed from Medieval balladeers to Golden Age poets to the modern era.

Romance Sonambulo (The Sleepwalker's Ballad) was the third poem Lorca wrote in this style. It tells the story of a bandit dying of his wounds as he tries to return to his lover, not knowing that she has thrown herself in a well out of despair of his ever returning.

The poem reflects a well-established 18th and 19th century tradition of romantic ballads about the notorious bandits who roamed the mountainous areas around the city of Ronda in Andalucia. Lorca imbued this form with impressionist imagery, given this ancient form a modern, mysterious voice.

The imagery of the poem reflects this contemporary voice:

Grandes estrellas de escarcha vienen con el pez de sombra que abra el camino del alba.

(Great stars of white frost come with the fish of shadows that opens the road of dawn.)

Stephen and Katerina came across this poem in different ways: Katerina while studying at the famed San Francisco Poetry Workshop in San Francisco, Stephen through his studies of American poet William Carlos Williams.

They decided to present it as a dance theatre piece. Stephen arranged the poem for baritone and guitar, Katerina created the choreography, and they programmed it as the featured work in their first joint production Canciones Nuevas Y Añejas at the New Performance Gallery in San Francisco in 1989. Unfortunately, the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake postponed the production until 1990, by which time Stephen had broken his arm and couldn't perform the piece. Katerina performed the piece to a recording Stephen had created with baritone Juan Pedro Gaffney.

This performance at the Madrid Theatre pairs a male flamenco dancer Alonzo Serrano and flamenco/modern dancer Catalina Rodriguez and, hopefully, Stephen and baritone Kevin Simpson performing the piece live for the first time.

canciones populares antiguas

Lorca and Argentinita

In 1933, Spanish poet Rafael Alberti presented a lecture at the Teatro Español in Madrid entitled La Poesia popular en la Lírica Española. To illustrate the talk Lorca and singer/dancer La Argentinita (Encarnación López Júlvez) performed a series of early 19th Century Adalusian songs, arranged by Lorca.

In 1995, flamenco singer Carmen Linares and flautist Juan Parrilla arranged these pieces for flamenco ensemble, recorded by Auvidis in the Flamenco Vivo series as Canciones Populares Antiguas.

We are adapting those arrangements for this program, using both classical and flamenco artists to create flamenco dance theatre pieces.

Click here to read Katerina's essay The political and artistic impact of Federico García Lorca's Anda Jaleo on flamenco in Spain and the United States, presented at the Flamenco History Conference at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1998.

tarantos/la tarara

The Tarantos is a traditional form from the mining region of Eastern Andalucia. It is a cante libre form, alternating between free, arhythmic passages and quick rhythmic bursts.

We encountered traditional tarantos during our artists' residency at the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar. Just north of Mojácar is the village of Turre, home to a family of Gypsy musicians and artisans headed by blacksmith and singer Antonio, "El Galina." We heard El Galina singing tarantos at the weekly markets in Turre and Mojácar. One of our prized possessions is a knife El Galina made from an automobile suspension.

As with most flamenco forms, this tarantos ends with a macho, a short section in a faster rhythm. In this case, we have chosen the song La Tarara as our macho. One of the traditional songs collected by Lorca for the Canciones Populares Antiguas, we have based our version on the version sung by the great flamenco singer Camarón de la Ísla.

cantan los fuegos

Antonio Gades

This piece is an arrangement of three movements from Manuel De Falla's El Amor Brujo - Escena, Canción del fuego fatuo, and Danza ritual del fuego - joined into a single piece and set to a 5/4 rhythm.

The inspiration for this piece comes from the film El Amor Brujo dancer/choreographer Antonio Gades made with director Carlos Saura in 1987. This work showed us what was possible with flamenco dance theatre. Gades passed away earlier this year and he is sorely missed. This performance is dedicated to his memory.

featured artists
Stephen Dick
Guitarist and composer Stephen Dick leads Mojácar Flamenco and writes the music for the group. Stephen studied flamenco guitar in Spain with Manolo Sanlúcar, Manolo Franco, José Antonio Rodriguez, Manuel Lozano "El Carbonero," and with Paco Arroyo in the United States.
Before focusing on the flamenco guitar, Stephen earned his M.A. in Music Composition at San Francisco State University where he studied with Pulitzer prize-winning composer Wayne Peterson. While at San Francisco State, Stephen was awarded the Frampton Award for Contemporary Music for his work as a composer. Stephen also studied guitar and composition at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. While still a student at SFSU, Stephen organized BACA, the Bay Area Composer's Alliance, and produced concerts of new music from local composers. Later, Stephen formed Enthusiasms Of The Hand, a performance ensemble dedicated to presenting a wide variety of music for the guitar.
Stephen began his alliance with dancer/choreographer Katerina Tomás when he created music for a series of dances she choreographed in 1986. The two artists later collaborated on Canciones Nuevas y Añejas, a program of original works on Spanish themes including "Romance Sonambulo."
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 1990, Stephen and Katerina formed L.A. Olé, a flamenco company focusing on traditional music and dance. L.A. Olé performed at numerous concerts and festivals around Southern California, including events at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, one event honoring Prince Felipe of Spain.
Mojácar was formed in 1997 and has performed in concerts across the United States. Stephen wrote all the music for Mojácar's debut CD Naranjas Amargas. Stephen's compositions for the guitar have been published in Italy by Bérben. His arrangement of four of Bartok's Bagatelles for guitar duo was published in the United States by Columbia Music Company. He won the Paulo Barsacchi award for guitar composition for his "Sonatina for Solo Guitar."
Stephen is an acknowledged expert on flamenco and classical guitar and has written over sixty articles on the guitar for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Fingerstyle Guitar, Classical Guitar, and Dance Magazine, as well as reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Reader.
Stephen was awarded two residencies at the Fundación Valparaíso artists' retreat in Mojácar, Spain, and a grant to study flamenco from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities in 1999.
Stephen grew up in London, where he first stated playing the guitar at the age of ten, and has studied guitar and composition in the U.S., England, Spain, and Italy.
Katerina Tomás

Flamenco dancer Katerina Tomás has over 30 years of training as a dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer, and is a recognized scholar of Spanish Studies in the United States and in Spain.

She has studied and performed flamenco with legendary artists in the field, including Spanish Gypsy dancer Rosa Montoya, Roberto Amaral, and Linda Vega, Juan Parra, Inmaculada Aguilar, Antonio Canales, Alejandro Granados, Eva "La Yerbabuena," and Joaquin Grilo. She studied modern dance for over 15 years, and performed in the dance company of Lucas Hoving, and she studied classical ballet with Jeanne Flood and Dorothy Percival.

With her partner guitarist Stephen Dick, Katerina formed the cuadro flamenco dance company L.A. Olé in 1993, and the group performed throughout the southern California region and the western United States until 1997.

In 1998, she choreographed, directed and co-produced the Olvera Street festival "Spanish Times." In 1999 she collaborated with Indian dancer Ramya Harishankar and the Pouian Persian Music Ensemble in "Triveni - an ocean of harmony" at the UC Irvine Barclay Theatre. With guitarist Stephen Dick, she performed at the Sur Jerez competition in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain in 2001. In 2003 she choreographed "Fiesta Flamenca," a cuadro flamenco performance piece for the internationally recognized BYU Folk Dance Team.

Katerina has conducted scholarly research on flamenco, the Gitanos, and on Federico García Lorca in Madrid, Jerez de la Frontera, Granada, and New York City. She received her Masters of Arts degree in dance at UCLA in 1994, and wrote the master's thesis, "The flamenco artistic lineage of Federico García Lorca and La Argentinita."

She has presented papers on flamenco, Lorca, and the Gitanos at UCLA, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of New Mexico, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and at Columbia University's Teachers College in New York City. She has published articles on flamenco and Spanish dance in the scholarly publication, The Dance Research Journal, and has received numerous awards and honors for her scholarly work and choreography.

Katerina has taught flamenco and Spanish dance at UCLA, UC Irvine, Cypress College, Orange Coast College, Los Angeles City College, the Pasadena Civic Ballet, and at Pointe by Pointe Dance Studio in South Pasadena.

Yvette Garcia, "La Sole"

Yvette Garcia "La Sole" was born in Rota and grew up in Sanlúcar de Barrameda i Southern Spain. She moved to California in 1985, but returns several times each year to study flamenco and perform in different cities of Andalucía.

She studied flamenco with Jose Antonio, Carmen Cortes, Ana Maria Buenos, Rafaela Carrasco, Eva " La Yerbabuena", Juana Amaya, Cristobal Reyes, Maria "Cha-Cha" Bermúdez and Andres Marin. Her performances in Spain include Noches de Bajo-Guia, Teatro Municipal, Palacio de la Infanta and La Merced Auditorium in Sanlúcar with Carmen Cortes and Gerardo Nuñez, La Feria de Cádiz and "Andalucia Hoy" for Canal Sur Television.

Her performances in southern California include appearances on Univision Television, the Ritmo Latino Music Awards, N.O.H.O Theater & Arts Festival, Santa Barbara "Old Spanish Days", the tablaos El Cid, Café de Sevilla-Carlsbad & San Diego, Café-Med, Spain Restaurant and Coppacabana.

La Sole teaches Flamenco and Belly Dance at Cal-Poly University, and in March 2002 she opened her own Performing Arts Studio, the "International Arts Academy", teaching flamenco & other world dances. She established a performance group "A Nuestro Aire" and a children's dance company that performs throughout Southern California at various events and festivals.

Alonso Serrano

Dance soloist Alonzo Serrano has studied flamenco in Spain with the masters of Flamenco, including Domingo Ortega, Paco Fernandez, El Guito, Maria Magdelena, Alejandro Granados, Fernanda Romero and Lorenzo Montoya. Alonzo is continuing his dance training with Gene Marinaccio in the Los Angeles area.

Alonzo has performed in numerous night clubs in the Los Angeles area including Alegría Restaurant, La Luna Negra, Tapas, Havana, Spago's, La Casona and the renowned El Cid Flamenco Show Restaurant.

Alonzo has been a featured artist in several Spanish dance concerts, appearing with the Linda Vega Dancers, the Carla Luna Dance Ensemble, Mojácar Flamenco, the Dallas Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, Westside Ballet, and with Cecilia Romero at the Fountain Theatre. He has toured the Northwestern United States with Clarita and the Arte Flamenco Dance Theatre. Alonzo was a soloist with the Los Angeles based dance company, the Men of Flamenco, and co-directs Los Tarantos Flamenco Dance Company with his wife, flamenco dancer Catarina del Sol.

Catalina Rodriguez
Flamenco and Classical Spanish dancer Catalina Rodriguez has studied with renowned artists in the field, including in the Los Angeles area with Roberto Amaral, Liliana de Leon-Torsiello, Yolanda Arroyo, Cecilia Romero, Linda Vega, and Kathy Cota. She has participated in flamenco workshops in Santa Barbara, California with Eva "La Yerbabuena," Belen Maya, La Tania, and Maria (La Cha Cha" Bermúdez. She studied flamenco in Spain with Juana Amaya, Israel Galvan, Alicia and Rocio Marquez, Adela Campallo, Ursula Lopez, Matilde Corral, Paco Romero, and Ana Maria Lopez. Catalina has performed in concert at the Fountain Theatre, The Electric Lodge of Venice Beach, The Madrid Theatre, and at Pasadena City College, and has been a featured soloist at numerous south California flamenco tablaos, including Alegría Restaurant, Habana, Tapas of Newport Beach, and Sangria Restaurant. This is her debut performance with Mojácar Flamenco.
Heather Calvete

Heather Calvete, soprano, has earned critical acclaim as a singer with "sensitivity, considerable power and a most attractive sheen." A performer with a "luminous and pleasantly blooming extension, crowned with solid top notes," Ms. Calvete has performed the roles of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Gildal in Rigoletto, Adina in L'Elisir d'amore, Mimi in La Boheme, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Lady with a Cake Box in Postcard from Morocco and the title character in Pauline Viardot's Cendrillion. She has appeared with Opera San Jose, Lyric Opera Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Opera's community touring productions and recitals among others.

A gifted soloist, Ms. Calvete's concert appearances have included performances with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, the West Hollywood Orchestra, and the Long Beach Festival Orchestra as well as the Bakersfield Masterworks Chorale and the California Master Chorale. She has also appeared in concert and recital in Croatia.
In competition, Ms. Calvete has merited awards and recognition on a notable scale. She earned third place in the 2003 Western Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after winning first place at the Orange County District competition. She was named the 2002 Young Artist of the Year by the National Association of Teacher of Singing, Los Angeles Chapter. She earned second place in Portland Opera's Eleanor Lieber Awards and California Opera's International Vocal Competition. She was a winner of the Ellen Faull Gordon Vocal Competition, the Octave Artist Management Excellence in Arts Competition, the Bel Canto Scholarship Fund Competition, American Educators of Italian Origin United Vocal Competition and earned first place in the Long Beach Mozart Festival Vocal Competition. She has received awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Leni Fe Bland Foundation.

Ms. Calvete holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Kevin Simpson
Hailing from Southern California, Kevin Simpson has performed in numerous venues both in the U.S. and abroad. He has studied voice with Robert Lopez, Richard Fredricks, and Paul Berkolds, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Peter Lightfoot. He has competed in several competitions within California, and was the first place winner of both the John Childs Walker and San Bernandino Country Young Artists competitions. As a soloist and choir member, he has performed such works as Faure's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, and Vaughan William's Dona Nobis Pacem, and in recent years has taken a particular interest in premiering new pieces, both solo and choral.
El Vito

Cantaor Vytas Barauskas has been long involved in various genres of pop, folk ethnic music and theatre, and had a long career in various capacities with the Renaissance Faires in California. As a singer/songwriter living in the SF Bay Area, he earned accolades from San Francisco Examiner jazz critic Philip Ellwood.

Having lit the fire of flamenco, he has studied cante in Jerez de la Frontera with Aroa Sanchez, Jaime Villar, the Agujetas clan, in the US with Jesus Montoya, Katarina Tomas, Christo Cortes, Pilar Moreno, Marisol Fuentes. To better understand the whole of the art, he has studied guitar with El Carbonero in Jerez, Eduardo Rebollar of Sevilla, Gabriel Reyna and Jake Mossman, and has taken baile with Laila del Monte, Esther Ponce, and Roberto Amaral.

He also sings tenor in the Valley Philharmonic Choir, and loves ethnic musics like Sufi singing, Greek Rembetika, and choral polyphony (Lithuanian and Balkan)

Elena Maria de los Angeles

Elena María de Los Angeles discovered flamenco in 1990 and continues exploring the art form. She has studied with masters in Spain and Southern California, including María Bermudez, Ciro, Linda Vega and Yolanda Arroyo. She began dancing professionally in 1993 at venues throughout Southern California.

Elena currently lives on Catalina Island with her beloved husband and 2 lovely daughters where she continues training and teaching flamenco dance, as well as tending their flamenco dance import business, "".

Elena María is thrilled to have this opportunity to honor Lorca and Falla through flamenco dance.

Johnny Sandoval

Sandoval, a native of Miami, Arizona was introduced to music by his familly who migrated to the USA from Almeria, Spain. Having a cousin who danced flamenco with Charro, and uncle's maintaining a Swing/Mambo/Rumba band, Sandoval began playing at a very young age. He started playing bongos, and continued to hone his skills as a multi-talented percussionist.

His performance credits include La Tania de Espania, Sister Sledge, Arturo Sandoval, Bloodstone, Joe Bataan, Heatwave, Oneway, Greg Adams, and many others. Sandoval can also be heard on movie soundtracks such as Mel Gibson's, "Ransom", and Brad Pitts, "The Devils Own", as well as the internationally popular television show "Sabado Gigante".

Paulo Gustavo

Bassist Paulo Gustavo began his career in his native Brazil where he began his formal music studies at the prestigious Musiarte in Rio De Janeiro. After moving to Los Angeles to further his career, he studied at the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA). He also studied privately with numerous leading bassists including Ed Lucie of the Buddy Rich Orchestra. He now works at LAMA as an ensemble player. He also teaches at the Pima Music School.

Paulo has toured the U.S. with numerous Latin Bands and has played with a diverse range of first rank artists including Airto Moreira, Peter Eskine, Jimmy Z and Steve Porcaro. He currently performs with Jackie DeShannon, Jacob Armen, the Brazil Brasil Show Band and is currently recording with Thorstein Kober.

Brian Farrell

Praised for his "powerful and moving" solo performances and "imaginative and sensitive" accompaniment, Mr. Farrell has performed with such artists as violinist Chao-Liang Lin, cellists Fred Sherry and James Kreger, and pianist Samuel Sanders. He is also a frequent collaborator in recital performances with tenor Robert White.

In 2000, Mr. Farrell became the Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Opera where he worked with Placido Domingo and Carol Vaness among others. Currently, Mr. Farrell holds the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Repertory Opera Company of Los Angeles.

As a 1st prize winner in the Yamaha Keyboard Competition, he has given numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe. His New York appearances have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, C. Michael Paul Hall, and the Juilliard Theatre, and live radio broadcast performances on WQXR of Beethoven's "British Songs" for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Mr. Farrell is a native of Pennsylvania and holds both the Bachelor and Master Degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal.

La Vane Y Lorena Santiago
Flamenco dancers La Vane and Lauren Santiago perform with Liliana de Leon-Torsiello's De LiRitmo Flamenco Dance Company. As well being an outstanding flamenco artist, La Vane is also a skilled performer and teacher of Ballet Folklórico, and was the principal dancer and taught for Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno in Oakland, California. Lauren has taught and performed both flamenco and Filipino dance in southern California. Both dancers graduated from UCLA in the World Arts and Cultures program, and they bring outstanding talent and energy to Cantan los Fuegos.

This program is a co-production of Mojácar Flamenco and The Madrid Theatre.

Support from this concert comes from a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Culture through the Program for Cultural Cooperation.

This is the fourth grant Stephen and Katerina have received from the Spanish Ministry of Culture through this program. Previous grants have been for study and scholarship in Spain. The concert is also supported by the Peña Andaluza en California, a Spanish social organization, and is co-produced by the Madrid Theatre of Canoga Park.