For decades, Portland Ovations has shared the world’s artistic traditions with audiences in Maine. Tonight’s performance, with renowned flamenco artist Farruquito is exactly what we espouse to in the presentation of artists from around the globe: a mix of both the traditional and the contemporary.
Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, aka Farruquito, was born in Seville, Spain in 1982, son of flamenco singer El Moreno and dancer La Farruca. He is also the grandson of one of the greatest dancers in the history of flamenco, El Farruco, which gives him a flamenco background that is second to none.
As heir to this great flamenco tradition, Farruquito works in a classical form yet pushes it into contemporary ideas. Driven by innovation, technique, and modern influences, his style is both flamboyant and theatrical, yet polished and choreographed. He is not a traditionalist looking to preserve flamenco as a museum piece.
Tonight also weaves together two of Ovations’ ongoing thematic initiatives, Raise the Barre and Seeking Resonance. Raise the Barre encompasses all of our contemporary dance programming, on stage and off, and welcomes audience members – whether present or former dancers or simply lovers of movement – to deepen their connection and knowledge of dance, to come together to share in the exhilaration of bodies in space. Earlier this week, in partnership with Mayo Street Arts, Maine’s own flamenco artist Lindsey Bourassa led a joyous flamenco workshop for all experience levels, bodies and abilities.
Since 2016, Seeking Resonance has been a forum for delving deeper into artforms and themes that connect artists and audiences with cultural artforms, exploring religion and spirituality, stories of migration, prioritize artists of color, while speaking to a sense of home. With ties to Africa and most commonly associated with the Andalusian Roma people of southern Spain, flamenco by definition is a diasporic artform rich with Roma, Arab, Christian and Jewish influences.
Tonight as you are swept away by the grace, athleticism and artistry of Farruquito, keep an eye out for those moments of duende – when dancer and musicians are also swept away into an ecstatic state of movement and music.
Aimée M. Petrin
Executive & Artistic Director