“A fistful of Spain’s greatest dancers colluding in a foot-stomping, shawl-swirling, castanet-clicking party” — The Stage (UK)
Gala Flamenca has long been the centerpiece of Flamenco Festival, bringing together exceptional dancers and singers in an evening that demonstrates the range and vibrancy of flamenco. In honor of Flamenco Festival’s 20th Anniversary Season, this year’s very special Gala de Andalucia presentation features Eduardo Guerrero, known for his “marvelously eccentric solos” (The New York Times); María Moreno whose astonishing dance pays tribute to the traditional style of Cádiz, Mercedes Ruiz, lauded for her “commanding truth and virtuosity” (Financial Times); and rising singer Maria Terremoto, the youngest artist ever to receive the Giraldillo Award for New Artist at the Seville Flamenco Biennial. These remarkable dancers are joined on stage by a cadre of musicians and a special guest artist: La Chana, a 1960s-80s legend who vanished from the public eye at the height of her career.
Mercedes Ruiz (Jerez de la Frontera, 1980) is at the forefront of the evolution of traditional flamenco. She is primarily self-taught, and then studied under the most important maestros as they worked together on stage. At the age of seven, she joined the company of Manuel Morao and Gitanos de Jerez. Later, after years of flamenco training, Mercedes Ruiz worked with the companies of Antonio El Pipa, Eva Yerbabuena and Adrian Galia, three different artists who helped Mercedes develop her personality, a personality that gained early recognition from the jury of the 16th National Contest of Córdoba, who gave her the Antonio Gades Award.
Specialized critic said that he is brutal, radical. He dances with fury and from the guts. Naked. An exorcism. But this Flamenco dancer never loses his elegance, the style that is his hallmark. It was in 2002 when he started to work with major artists on the national scene who valued Eduardo’s physical ability, flawless technique and evident quality developing leading roles in: the company of Aída Gomez, Eva La Yerbabuena, Rocio Molina, The Spanish Ballet directed by Javier Latorre, Amador Rojas’ dance company, Antonio Canales, David Palomar…
Right now is this great dancer’s moment. His contemporary aesthetics, refined technique, profound knowledge of the Flamenco essence, his artistic talent and powerful force, places Eduardo Guerrero among the greatest names of the International Dance scene.
María Moreno was born in Cádiz in 1986. When she was eight years old, she began to train at the Professional Dance Conservatory of Cádiz, along with masters such as Javier Latorre, Rafaela Carrasco, Antonio Canales and Eva Yerbabuena among others.
In 2004 she joined the Eva Yerbabuena Company, with which she premiered the shows ‘A cuatro voces’, ‘Eva’ and ‘5 mujeres 5’ and toured the most emblematic venues in the world.
She collaborates as a guest artist in a cante recital of Arcángel, celebrated in Abu Dhabi (Arab Emirates) and with José Mercé in the Gran Teatro Falla de Cádiz.
In June 2017, María Moreno traveled to New Mexico to present ‘Alas de recuerdo’ at the Albuquerque Flamenco Festival and to Madrid, where she performed at the Suma Flamenca program. In september 2018, this artist presented her show ‘De la Concepción’ at the Bienal de Flamenco of Seville.
María Moreno also has the First National Award of Bajo de Guía, held in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) and the First National Dance Award for Alegrías held by the Peña la Perla de Cádiz.
María Terremoto was the youngest ever artist to lift the Giraldillo award for the Revelation at the Seville Flamenco Biennial. Following a career replete with glowing reviews, in which she has been labelled “The flagbearer for young cante singers”, she is now releasing her first album, La huella de mi sentío, in which she records the cantes that have been with her since childhood. An orthodox expression of cante that mainains coherence with the modern sounds of flamenco.
“And surely the most extraordinary of those solos was performed by La Chana, who gave the illusion that she was as much a sorceress as a dancer. She rushed onstage with desperate urgency. Slashing at the air with her arms, she could have been a woman possessed by spirits. When her feet moved quickly, they appeared to quake and tremble. But never was there any loss of control in this outburst. Rather, her heelwork produced dry rattling noises and led to an amazing sequence of trills in which the sounds of her feet against the floor built in a tremendous crescendo, only to dwindle away to exist on the edge of a silence that La Chana made as awesome as her storms.” – The New York Times
Antonia Santiago Amador (born December 24, 1946; better known as La Chana) is a Catalan gypsy dancer. Born in Barcelona in 1946, Amador Santiago is best known as a flamenco dancer with the stage name of La Chana, inherited from her uncle, the guitarist El Chano. She had two significant periods in her professional career, between 1966 and 1979 and again between 1985 and 1991.