AguaClara Flamenco presents
Saturday, May 27, 8:00PM
(Off Center Stage)
AguaClara Flamenco presents Agua de Mayo in a celebration of the improvisatory spirit of flamenco performance, with a refreshing splash of the unexpected. Under the artistic direction of dancer/choreographer/musician Clara Rodriguez, the Oakland, CA-based company forges a collaboration of both international and local flamenco dancers, singers, and guitarists in a production where the waters of spring merge with tradition. Featuring sensational guest dancer Manuel Gutiérrez and powerhouse gitano singer José Cortés, both hailing from France but with Andalusian roots, along with guitarists and Nevada City natives David McLean and Gopal Slavonic. Agua de Mayo harnesses the powerful charge of classic flamenco and embraces it with new colors and new forms, offering a panorama of musical influences that span centuries and continents.
AguaClara Flamenco was formed in 2011 in Oakland, CA. The company has presented full-length works Somos Tierra in 2012 and Diálogos in 2015 at the Cowell Theatre, produced by the Azahar Dance Foundation. In 2016 the company presented the work Cómpas y Corazón as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, and Martinete in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. AguaClara Flamenco has been featured as an ongoing performance cycle at The Sound Room of Oakland since 2012. Educational outreach includes year-round dance classes, student performances and presentations for children, as well as hosting workshops featuring guest flamenco artists from the US and abroad.
Clara Rodriguez is the artistic director of AguaClara Flamenco and dancer, choreographer and musician based in Oakland, CA. Born into a family of musicians in her native Santa Barbara, CA, she discovered flamenco as a young girl. She studied flamenco and classical Spanish dance as she simultaneously trained as a classical pianist, later earning a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA before returning her focus to flamenco dance. She has performed at esteemed venues such as Jaipur Palace of India, Tablao Albayzin of Granada Spain, The Palace of Fine Arts, War Memorial Opera House, Yerba Buena Center, Paramount Theater, the Greek Theater of Los Angeles amongst many others. Founded in 2011, her company presented full length works Somos Tierra in 2012 and Diálogos in 2015, produced by the Azahar Dance Foundation at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. AguaClara Flamenco presented works in the 2016 San Francisco International Arts Festival and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Rodriguez has been a soloist with the leading flamenco companies of California including Caminos Flamencos, La Tania Baile Flamenco and Theatre Flamenco San Francisco.
Manuel Gutierrez Cabello was born in Montpellier, France after his parents emigrated to South of France from Cordoba, Spain. He began to develop his unique style under the direction of Lita Peiro, José Galván and later with Joaquin Grilo and Javier Latorre. By age twenty Gutierrez had performed across Europe with legendary artists including Duquende, Chicuelo, Juan Carmona and Chispa Negra, and Redha. In 2008, Manuel was invited to choreograph the production Flamenco Flamen’ka which sold out the Lyric Theatre in London. The Telegraph in London called his work Fiery. Danse Magazine nicknamed him, “The Young Flamenco Prince”. A prolific performer and choreographer, Manuel has continued to perform with artists like Louis Winsberg, Souad Massi and Caminos Flamencos. Now based in Los Angeles, Manuel is Artistic Director for Global Gift Foundation which works alongside actress, producer and philanthropist Eva Longoria. In 2012 the production Juncal Street in collaboration with Fanny Ara was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award. He created his first U.S production, KOMPAZ, and has performed with the LA Opera.
José Cortés Fernández was born in the south of France into an important gypsy family from Almería. He was immersed in the world of flamenco with such foundational artists as Terremoto, Pansequito, Camarón de la Isla, Moraíto Chico and Tomatito. He has shared the stage with an array of premier flamenco artists including Antonio Carmona of Ketama, Belen López, Alfonso Losa, Sergio Arranda, Juan Ogalla, and a host of others. In 2010 he moved to the U.S. and performs regularly nationwide, including with companies “Caminos Flamencos”and “Theatre Flamenco” of San Francisco, Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutierrez, Juan Siddi Flamenco of Santa Fe and many others.
David McLean was introduced to flamenco in Granada, where he studied guitar for several years under renowned guitarists Rafaelin Habichuela and Emilio Maya, Jose Galvez, and others. Since returning from Spain, David has performed in hundreds of traditional and contemporary flamenco productions, from local venues to stages throughout the United States. He released his first album of original compositions in 2007 and has since composed music for several theatrical productions, including stage-adaptations such of Cervantes’, “Don Quixote” and Lorca’s, “Blood Wedding”.
Gopal Slavonic trained at the prestigious ‘Fundacion de Arte Flamenco Cristina Heeren’ in Sevilla, Spain studying with flamenco guitarists Miguel Angel Cortez, Jose Postigo, Antonio Carmona and Tino Van Der Sman. He frequently returns to Jerez de la Frontera where he studies with Jose Galvez and Luis Balao. He has performed with flamenco artists including Kina Mendez, Cerro Negro, La Fibi, Mark Taylor, Melissa Cruz, Carola Zertuche, Zahara, and Jose Galvez. In 2008 he released his second CD ‘Dos Orillas’ and leads the group Flamenco del Oro. Gopal was the featured guitarist in ‘Zahara Flamenco Al Andaluz’ at The Cowell Theater in San Francisco.
Clara Rodriguez, artistic director/dancer/piano/vocals
Manuel Gutiérrez, guest dancer/cajón/vocals
José Cortés, vocals
David McLean, guitarist
Gopal Slavonic, guitarist