CULTURE

Traditional, modern fiery flamenco nights at Lycabettus Theater

A flamenco fiesta celebrating dance and music will take place in Athens early next month, featuring a two-day dance panorama dedicated to the past, present and future of the fiery flamenco. Five celebrated dancers will be joined by musicians, singers and an acclaimed virtuoso of the Spanish guitar in two evenings full of surprises, which are to take place at the Lycabettus Theater on June 8 and 9. The elements The performance is based on the presentation of nature’s four elements – fire, water, earth and wind – with each dancer giving his own take of one of them. Carmen Cortes, one of flamenco’s most popular artists, will interpret passion, heat and the destruction of fire. Born to Andalusian parents in Barcelona in 1957, Cortes took up flamenco at a very young age. She attended courses in classical ballet at the Escuela del Ballet Nacional, eventually becoming a soloist in 1994. In 1990, Cortes presented her own production, «Cantes de ida y vuelta,» based on Latin American songs and flamenco tradition. During the 1993-1994 period, she starred in «El Amor Brujo,» while in 1995, she staged «A Federico,» a dance performance based on the idea of flamenco influencing Federico Garcia Lorca and his work. Following this show, she starred in a touring production of the great poet’s «Yerma.» The artist is well known for her efforts toward broadening flamenco’s audience, while, as a dancer, she moves comfortably between traditional flamenco and its modern versions. Through movement, dancers Belen Maya and Rocio Molina will express the flexibility, energy and security of water. A seasoned dancer, Maya has performed alongside legendary flamenco figures such as Manolete, Javier Baron and Alejandro Granados. A Carlos Saura muse, she is considered one of flamenco’s top contemporary dancers, someone who manages to fuse her personal style into the tradition. At the age of 19, flamenco’s rising star Rocio Molina has earned a number of awards, while dancing (worldwide) and choreographing for the Compania Maria Pages. Through her exceptional solos, the young dancer has won the hearts of critics and audiences alike. Symbolizing the earth, dancer Alejandro Granados will interpret the role of the father-hunter. A critically acclaimed artist and choreographer, Granados is a member of the Compania Andaluza de Danza at Seville’s Lope de Vega Theater. Granados’s art is heavily influenced by flamenco’s highly emotional «Cante Jondo.» Miguel Angel, the production’s surprise act, will capture the wind’s freedom and impulsiveness. A castanets virtuoso, he is a leading figure on Spain’s contemporary dance scene. Born in Saragossa in 1968, Angel began dancing the jota dance – Saragossa’s and Aragon’s traditional dance – at the age of 8. Also part of the upcoming performances is renowned guitarist Gerardo Nunez, who will be accompanied by his orchestra. For more information call 210.921.3310.