Category Archives: singer

Roberto Amaral to be Honored at ‘Forever Flamenco at the Ford’ Gala Concert Aug 9

Roberto Amaral (Ford Amphitheatre, 2009)

Roberto Amaral (Ford Amphitheatre, 2009)

This Saturday night, August 9th, the Fountain Theatre honors LA flamenco pioneer Roberto Amaral at our Forever Flamenco at the Ford  gala concert at the beautiful Ford Amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills. Lontime dancer, choreographer and teacher Amaral was instrumental in first launching our flamenco program at the Fountain with Deborah Lawlor more than 20 years ago.   

“Roberto is a flamenco visionary with a trademark style,” comments Forever Flamenco producer Deborah Lawlor. “As he continually strives to find new and refreshing approaches to the form, he has also found an enormous sense of gratification and pride in his dedication to teach and mentor others. Many of his former students and protégés have gone on to become stars in their own right.”

Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki Phillips)

Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki Phillips)

Roberto Amaral began his professional career at the age of 17 and has since achieved worldwide acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, singer, composer, artist and master teacher. From 1968 through 1976, he enjoyed success as principal dancer and guest artist with many of the world’s foremost Spanish dance companies, touring extensively with the companies of José Greco, José Antonio, Ciro, Alberto Lorca, Rafael de Cordoba and Antonio Ruiz. Also during this early period of his career, he laid groundbreaking musical history as co-founder, co-lead vocalist, writer, arranger and choreographer of the legendary band CARMEN. It was the first musical group to ever combine flamenco with rock/pop music, both audibly and visually, performing alongside such musical luminaries as David Bowie, Jethro Tull, ELO and Santana. For television, Roberto has been a featured dancer and choreographer on numerous programs, including The Academy Awards (twice), The Tonight Show,The Barry Manilow Special and the Madrid-based Antología de la Zarzuela. He is the recipient of an EMMY Award for his collaboration with choreographer Walter Painter on the television special Lynda Carter’s Celebration. He has founded several critically acclaimed dance companies, including Danzas de España, Ballet Español de Los Ángeles, España Clásica and Fuego Flamenco — each of which has influenced the pulse of flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Southern California — and he has produced, choreographed  and designed over 500 dance solos, ensemble pieces, flamenco ballets, conceptual suites and production numbers.  In his nearly 50 year career, Roberto has been privileged to perform in many of the world’s great concert halls, theaters, arenas and nightclubs, including the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, Sahara and Hilton International. In Europe he has performed at London’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’ Olympia Theatre, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, Madrid’s Teatro de La Zarzuela and Milan’s La Scala Opera House.

The Fountain’s Forever Flamenco series has been called “the city’s preeminent flamenco series” by the Los Angeles Times and “L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco” by the LA Weekly.Working Authordesignates it “the rarest of treats… for both connoisseur and novice alike, ‘Forever Flamenco’ offers the opportunity to luxuriate in the incendiary passions of flamenco.” Dance writer Debra Levine says, “Performances feature superb gypsy guitarists and singers. Do you enjoy seeing the body in spellbinding motion? Great artistic individuality? Live music? Then go,” and Stage and Cinema’s Tony Frankel writes, “Thrilling, sexy and sensuous.”

Forever Flamenco at the Ford will celebrate Amaral’s seminal 49-year career with performances by dancers Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutiérrez, Pamela Lourant, Timo Nuñez, Rocio PonceMizuho Sato, Yaelisa, Alexandra & Ryan Zermeño; singers Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya; guitarists Adam del Monte, Jason McGuireEl Rubio,” José Tanaka and Antonio Triana; and percussionist Joey Heredia.

To Order tickets: FordTheatres.org

Passionate Star Power Lights Up ‘Forever Flamenco at the Ford’ on Aug 9

Mizuho Sato (photo by Bruce Bisenz)

Mizuho Sato (photo by Bruce Bisenz)

by Ernest Kearney

Those who frequent my site will be well aquainted with my boundless enthusiasm for the “Forever Flamenco!” series presented monthly at the Fountain Theatre. If you’d care to see from where this passion first arose, then your chance is coming. “Forever Flamenco!”, the once a year“Juerga”, returns to the Ford Amphitheatre on Saturday, August 9th.

For those never exposed to flamenco this is an opportunity of the rarest sort. Imagine attending a single night at the theatre and being treated to the talents of Olivier, Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench. Or imagine going to a concert and seeing on the same stage Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, The Stones, Kurt Cobain, Lady GaGa and Chuck Berry.

This is what “Forever Flamenco! at the Ford” offers: a gathering of the greatest artists across the generations.

Manuel_Gutierrez

Manuel Gutierrez (photo by Bruce Bisenz)

Among those featured this year will be Manuel Gutiérrez, who began dancing flamenco at the age of four and was winning flamenco dance competitions by eight. Gutiérrez is the soul of “coraje” or spontaneity and to watch him perform is to realize that nothing expresses the masculine vigor in dance as flamenco does. You come to believe that when he dances the world must tremble under his feet.

Yaelisa is a dancer who can stake out a small portion of the stage and through her “cierre” (dance steps) bring forth a “desgarro”, “wildness” that is a tempest of tempo.

Mizuho Sato is a Japanese-born dancer and a testament to the global appeal of flamenco. When she comes on stage be prepared for magic.

Jason McGuire, “El Rubio”, does not “play” the guitar – he dominates it, and performs with the dynamism you’d expect of “The Big Bang”.

Yaelisa_Jason_Two

Yaelisa and Jason McGuire

Cantaor Antonio de Jerez is a talent one feels grateful for having seen. When singing, one hears the history of Spain in his voice.

Nowhere can you find grace more infused with power, nor the sorrow of the human condition expressed with greater perfection than in the music and dance of flamenco. All art forms evolved outward from ancient origins, and, sadly, in that process which serves to define their artistry that primal potency, the intensity of their source, is lost.

Not so with flamenco. It has held onto its dark and tragic history, and that pain which breathes life into the cante jondo, the grand song, is as profound today as it was three centuries ago.

Roberto Amaral

Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki Phillips)

This year’s audience is also gathering to pay homage to one of flamenco’s most esteemed figures Roberto Amaral. In a career spanning half a century, Amaral has excelled in every facet of flamenco – dancer, singer, choreographer, composer and teacher.

He has performed with the greats of flamenco such as José Greco and José Antonio as well as Santana, Jethro Tull and David Bowie.

The Ford’s open air stage, with the stars on display above, makes it the perfect venue for an evening profuse with this city’s rich history, for The flamenco baile (dance) and cante (song) were part of California dating back to the 1700’s and the ranchos of the Spanish crown. The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre was originally built in 1920, by author and playwright Christine Wetherill Stevenson who saw the rugged beauty of the Cahuenga Pass as the ideal setting for her “The Pilgrimage Play”, a work on the life of Jesus “transcribed from the Scriptures”.

The play was performed there yearly until the original wooden structure was destroyed by fire in 1929. In 1931 the structure was rebuilt, designed in the style of “ancient Judaic architecture”. Though “The Pilgrimage Play” performances were ended in 1964, the Ford Amphitheatre continues to resemble the gates of ancient Jerusalem.

Antonio Triana

Antonio Triana

The LA Weekly has hailed this event as “the rarest of treats…for both connoisseur and novice”, and I couldn’t agree more. But where they call the Fountain Theatre’s Forever Flamenco! series “L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco”, I say rather, it is flamenco’s most significant venue in all of North America. With the Ford show, the most diverse and cosmopolitan audience in the world is given the opportunity of experiencing not just the star of flamenco, but its legends.

Forever Flamenco at the Ford SAT AUG 9th (323) 461-3673

‘Forever Flamenco at the Ford’ Dancers Take Center Stage in New Episode of TV’s ‘Eye on LA’

On location at The Ford for the TV shoot.

On location at The Ford for the TV shoot.

TV Episode to air Sat July 26 at 6:30pm on KABC-TV

Lights! Camera! Action! Two dancers from our upcoming Forever Flamenco at the Ford  will be featured on an upcoming TV episode of Eye On LA. Flamenco dancers Alexandra Zermeno and Ryan Zermeno taped the episode on the outdoor stage at the Ford Amphitheater on Friday, July 11, with Eye on LA host and senior producer Tina Malave.  The Forever Flamenco at the Ford episode of Eye on LA airs Saturday, July 26th, at 6:30pm on ABC channel 7 in Los Angeles. 

The popular TV program highlights new and exciting things to see and do in Los Angeles.  This new recently-shot TV segment highlights our thrilling Forever Flamenco at the Ford on Saturday, Aug 9th, celebrating flamenco in Los Angeles and honoring LA flamenco pioneer Roberto Amaral.   

Alexandra and Ryan Zermeno had a great time shooting the TV episode on stage at the Ford. Emmy-winning TV host Tina Malave was charming with a playful zest for fun, dressed in flamenco dance attire. Alexandra showed Tina some basic dance steps and hand/arm movements. Tina did her best with her own enthusiastic flair and good-natured spirit.  Fun was had by all. Alexandra and Ryan were able to share with Tina their excitement about appearing on stage with the all-star flamenco line-up at the Ford on Aug 9th.  

Forever Flamenco at the Ford is the most prestigious flamenco event of the year in Los Angeles. International, national and local artists come to the Ford to perform in this magical one-night event. And audiences flock in from all over the region to savor the passion of the art form and the beauty of the gorgeous outdoor venue on a warm summer night.

Last year’s Flamenco Gala sold out. This year’s event is already selling fast. Get tickets at FordTheatres.org or call 323-GO-1-FORD (323-461-3673.  For VIP Tickets (the best seats in the best section, includes private catered reception) call the Fountain Theatre at (323) 663-1525 or go to FountainTheatre.com  

Photos from the ‘Eye on LA’ TV Shoot

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“Thrilling! Sexy and Sensuous” Gala Event ‘Forever Flamenco at the Ford’ Returns August 9th

Yaelisa

Flamenco dancer Yaelisa.

It’s back! The Fountain Theatre returns to the beautiful John Anson Ford Amphitheatre with an all-star line-up of local, national and international flamenco artists to celebrate Forever Flamenco and honor LA flamenco dancer/choreographer/teacher Roberto AmaralForever Flamenco at the Ford  is the premiere flamenco event of the year in Los Angeles. Under the artistic direction of renowned flamenco dancer Yaelisa and guitarist Antonio Triana and produced by Deborah Lawlor, the Gala Event takes place on Saturday, August 9th at 8:30 pm at the Ford Theatres in Hollywood.

Last year’s Forever Flamenco at the Ford was a thrilling success and sold-out the 1200-seat venue. Tony Frankel of Stage and Cinema declared it “Breathtaking! Explosive! Thrilling! Sexy and Sensuous!”

Manuel_Gutierrez

Manuel Gutierrez

We are holding 100 of the BEST SEATS – center section, down front, up close and personal  — and offering them only to our private Fountain VIP patrons.  These prime seats are not available to the public. With these Fountain VIP tickets you get:

  • The best seats  in the house: down front, up close, center section
  • Exclusive VIP pass to the private pre-show catered party with the artists
  • Festive hand-crafted gift bag with free flamenco swag

These prime VIP TICKETS are limited and will sell out.   Click here to order online. Or call the Fountain box office (323) 663-1525. Note: These VIP tickets sold by the Fountain Theatre are tax deductible. 

Since 1990, the dancers, musicians and singers of Forever Flamenco have been delighting Fountain Theatre audiences with the intensity, precision and exhilaration for which flamenco is known. Now Forever Flamenco returns to the outdoor stage at the Ford Theatres with this passionate expression of Spanish culture in a tribute to LA Flamenco pioneer Amaral.
FOREVER FLAMENCO at FORD title image

Forever Flamenco at the Ford will be a once-in-a-lifetime gala event gathering some of flamenco’s finest artists together on stage, including dancers Fanny AraManuel Gutierrrez, Pamela LourantTimo Nuñez, Mizuho Sato, Yaelisa and Ryan Zermeno; singers Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya; guitarists Adam del MonteJason McGuire “El Rubio”, Jose Tanaka and Antonio Triana; and percussionist Joey Heredia. Watch for more surprise artists, as well as a few guests and dignitaries honoring the accomplishments and contributions made by Amaral to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

Roberto Amaral

Roberto Amaral (photo by Sari Makki-Phillips)

Sari Makki-Phillips

Roberto Amaral began his professional career at the age of 17, and has since achieved worldwide acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, singer, composer, artist and master teacher.

From 1968 through 1976, he enjoyed success as principal dancer and guest artist with many of the world’s foremost Spanish dance companies. With the companies of Jose Greco, Jose Antonio, Ciro, Alberto Lorca, Rafael de Cordoba and Antonio Ruiz, Roberto toured extensively throughout Europe and the Americas.  Also during this early period of his career, he laid groundbreaking musical history as co-founder, co-lead vocalist, writer, arranger and choreographer of the legendary band CARMEN. It was the first musical group to ever combine flamenco with rock/pop music both audibly and visually, performing alongside such musical luminaries as David Bowie, Jethro Tull, ELO and Santana.   As a television performer, Roberto has been a featured dancer and choreographer on numerous programs, most noteworthy being The Academy Awards (twice), The Tonight Show, The Barry Manilow Special and the Madrid based Antologia de la Zarzuela. In 1981, he  collaborated with choreographer Walter Painter on the television special Lynda Carter’s Celebration. For this collaboration Roberto received the prestigious EMMY AWARD honoring his contributions as flamenco consultant and lead dancer.  Most recently in 2012, he and renowned choreographer Liz Imperio collaborated on an exciting flamenco number which was featured on both the tv shows Q Viva and The Ellen Show. In 1977, Roberto formed his first of several dance companies, each of which have greatly influenced the pulse of flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Southern California for the past 37 years. The critically acclaimed companies Danzas de Espana, Ballet Espanol de Los Angeles, Espana Clasica and Fuego Flamenco are all companies Roberto has conceived, artistically directed and starred in.  As a result, he has produced, staged, designed costumes, sets and lights for, and choreographed over 500 dance solos, ensemble pieces, flamenco ballets, conceptual suites and production numbers.  In his nearly 50 year career, Roberto has been privileged to perform in many of the world’s great concert halls, theatres, arenas and nightclubs.  In the United States they include California’s  Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Ahmanson Theatre, San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts ;  New York’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden ;  Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, Sahara and Hilton International.  In Europe he has performed at London’s Victoria Theatre, Paris’ Olympia Theatre, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, Madrid’s Teatro de La Zarzuela and Milan’s La Scala Opera House.  In 1990 Roberto began a critically acclaimed 7 year run of performances at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood. It was during this time that many California Flamenco stars graced the Fountain Theatre stage alongside Roberto in his landmark company Fuego Flamenco.  Also during this period, Roberto choreographed and worked alongside Deborah Lawlor on her prestigious theatrical accomplishment “The Women of Guernica” as well as the Fountain Theatre filmed documentary L.A. Ole!.

Roberto is and will always be known as a visionary, with a trademark style of dance, music and art that he wants to be regarded and remembered as unique, innovative and impressionable.  As he continually strives to find new and refreshing approaches to his artistic creativity, he has also found an enormous sense of gratification and pride in his dedication to teach and mentor others. Many of his former students and proteges have gone on to become stars in their own right. This commitment  to dance garnered Roberto the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara Flamenco Society in 2004. Roberto still looks forward to many more years of creating new projects and to the continued training and nurturing of his current and future students.

Ford Amphitheatre

John Anson Ford Amphitheatre

Forever Flamenco at the Ford takes place on Saturday, August 9th. Doors open for picnicking at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 8:30 pm. Reserved seating is $50 and $75. Purchase tickets on or before August 2 and save $5. Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (323 GO 1-FORD). For Fountain VIP Tickets call (323) 663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

Antonio Rodriguez Jimenez “El Chupete” from Spain Ignites ‘Forever Flamenco’ June 15th

Mizuho Sato

Mizuho Sato

Antonio Rodriguez Jimenez

Antonio Rodriguez Jimenez

Called “hot, gritty and intoxicating” by the Village Voice and “a wild man… [who] makes me scream out ‘Ole!’” by Dance Insider, dancer Antonio Rodriguez Jiminez (“ El Chupete”) comes from Sevilla, Spain to headline the June 15 edition of L.A.’s premier flamenco series, Forever Flamenco! at the Fountain Theatre. This month’s line-up also includes guitarist/artistic director Gabriel Osuna; guitarist Jose Tanaka; singer Antonio de Jerez; percussionist Gerardo Morales; and dancers Mizuho Sato and Pamela Lourant. With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre is the perfect venue to experience the art of flamenco. Produced by Deborah Lawlor.

MORE INFO and buy tickets (323) 663-1525

Gabriel Osuna and Company Jazz Up ‘Forever Flamenco’ on Feb 16 at the Fountain Theatre

Dancer Fanny Ara

Dancer Fanny Ara

The inclusion of piano makes Osuna’s show unique

The hottest flamenco is at the Fountain! With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre is the perfect venue. Each performance features a roster of world-class Flamenco dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of Flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from San Francisco, Albuquerque and Spain. This month’s line-up, under the artistic direction of guitarist Gabriel Osuna, includes Fanny Ara from San Francisco and Elena Osuna from Albuquerque, as well as Matthew Amper on piano, a unique addition under Osuna’s direction.

Gabriel Osuna

Gabriel Osuna

The Company of Artists:
Artistic Director/Guitarist: Gabriel Osuna
Dancers: Fanny AraManuel GutierrezElena Osuna 
Singer: José Cortes
Pianist: Matthew Amper
Percussionist: Gerardo Morales

Founded and produced by Deborah Lawlor, Forever Flamenco is now enjoying its 13th sold-out year at our intimate Fountain Theatre. Stage and Cinema recently hailed it as “an assemblage of the greatest flamenco artists anywhere.”  

Forever Flamenco Sunday, Feb 16 8pm (323) 663-1525  MORE

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: ‘Forever Flamenco’ at the Fountain Theatre

company bowEnjoy these glorious photos by Bruce Bisenz capturing the passion and excitement of our Forever Flamenco concert on January 19 starring Lakshmi Basile and company. Featuring artists Lakshmi Basile, Pedro Cortes, Luis de la Tota, Jesus Montoya, and Jeff Pekarek. Produced by Deborah Lawlor and now in its 13th smash year, our Forever Flamenco series has established the Fountain the hottest flamenco venue in Los Angeles. Check out Bruce’s photos and see why! 

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All-Star Flamenco Weekend Launches 2014 at the Fountain Theatre Jan 17-19

Manuel Guiterrez

Manuel Guiterrez

Fanny Ara

Fanny Ara

Forever Flamenco! presents an All-Star Flamenco Weekend: Antonio Triana and Company on Jan. 17 and 18, featuring magnificent singer José Cortés (from Spain) and mesmerizing dancer Fanny Ara (born in France, trained in Spain); and Lakshmi Basile and Company on Jan. 19, featuring two guest artists – guitarist Pedro Cortés and percussionist and festero Luis de la Tota, who brings joy and fun to every show he’s in.

With only 80 seats in four rows, The Fountain Theatre is the perfect place to view Flamenco. Each show features a roster of world-class Flamenco dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of Flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from San Francisco, Albuquerque and Spain.

PROGRAM:

Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 pm and Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 pm

  • Antonio Triana and Company
    • Guitarristas (Guitarists) – Gabriel Osuna, Antonio Triana
    • Cantaores (Singers) – José Cortés, Antonio de Jerez
    • Bailaores (Dancers) – Vanessa Albalos, Fanny Ara, Manuel Gutierrez

Sunday, Jan. 19 at 8 pm

  • Lakshmi Basile and Company
    • Guitarrista (Guitarist) – Pedro Cortés
    • Cantaor (Singer) – Jesus Montoya
    • Palmero/Cajonero (Percussionist) – Luis de la Tota
    • Up-right Bass – Jeff Basile
    • Bailaora (Dancer) – Lakshmi Basile

Forever Flamenco Jan 17-19  (323) 663-1525  GET TICKETS

Just Added! Explosive Dancer Manuel Gutierrez Joins ‘Forever Flamenco’ this Sun Nov 10 at the Fountain Theatre

Manuel Gutierrez at 'Forever Flamenco at the Ford'

Manuel Gutierrez at ‘Forever Flamenco at the Ford’

If you were fortunate to be at our summer gala concert Forever Flamenco at the Ford at the 1200-seat John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, then you remember the explosive dancer Manuel Gutierrez. His show-stopping passionate dance style was unforgettable.  Well, good news. He’s back! Manuel Gutierrez will now be joining the already stellar lineup of Forever Flamenco this Sunday, November 10 at 8pm , at the intimate Fountain Theatre.

The show this Sunday night, led by the artistic direction of percussionist Joey Heredia, was already promising to be exciting and innovative with the inclusion of jazz musicians Pablo Medina (piano) and Oskar Cartaya (bass).  Joining them will be dancer Mizuho Sato, guitarist Kai Narezo, singer Antonio de Jerez and singer/guitarist Jose Garcia. Tickets are going fast. You don’t want to miss this one! 

Now in its 11th smash year, Forever Flamenco is a Los Angeles phenomenon.

“Once a month at the Fountain Theatre, Deborah Lawlor presents Forever Flamenco, an assemblage of the greatest flamenco artists anywhere.”   – Stage and Cinema 
Percussionist Joey Heredia.

Percussionist Joey Heredia.

Forever Flamenco Sun Nov 10 8pm (323) 663-1525  MORE

Timo Nunez Ignites ‘Forever Flamenco’ on Sunday, Nov 10 at Fountain Theatre

Timo Nunez

Timo Nunez

“Once a month at the Fountain Theatre, Deborah Lawlor presents Forever Flamenco, an assemblage of the greatest flamenco artists anywhere.”   – Stage and Cinema

With only 80 seats in four rows, the Fountain Theatre, named “the foremost venue of flamenco in Los Angeles” by the LA Weekly, is the perfect place to view flamenco. Each show features a roster of world-class dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of Flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from San Francisco, Albuquerque and Spain.

Forever Flamenco_Clara Rodriguez_1This month artistic director/dancer Timo Nuñez will be joined by dancers Clara Rodriguez and Briseyda Zarate; singer Jesus Montoya; guitarist Gabriel Osuna; and percussionist Joey Heredia.

Passionate. Exhilarating. World class flamenco in an intimate setting. 

Forever Flamenco Sunday, Nov 10 8pm  (323) 663-1525  MORE