February 7, 2003

Fiery Flamenco Puro From Spain’s Juana Amaya y Farruquito Blaze in ‘Por Derecho’

High praise follows Farruquito everywhere. At age 20, he has already been hailed by the New York Times as “…one of the great flamenco dancers of this new century!” He is complemented on stage by Spain’s legendary gypsy dancer Juana Amaya, about whom London’s The Independent declared “If you see only one flamenco dancer in your lifetime, Amaya is the one.”

Farruquito (Juan Fernández Montoya) is the grandson of Gypsy dancer El Farruco—Spain’s undisputed master of flamenco puro. Farruquito was so obviously gifted at such an early age that he had made his Broadway debut at age five. By the time he was 12, Farruquito had made his mark in Carlos Saura’s celebrated film Flamenco and—accompanied by his family, also dazzled audiences in the Canal+ documentary Bodas Gloria.

Flamenco dancers Juana Amaya y Farruquito

When El Farruco died in 1997, Farruquito was only 15 but he took on the responsibility of continuing his grandfather’s artistic heritage. Four years later, his father died suddenly and Farruquito also became the Montoya family patriarch at the ripe old age of 19. Today he is the world’s foremost exponent of flamenco puro, which he says means “to go back to your roots. And dance in pure style. …With no script to follow, no need to act or put on any kind of persona. …Baring your soul. A journey to the roots of flamenco.”

Born in Seville, Juana Amaya is one of the most potent, charismatic and accomplished dancers in flamenco today. A dance phenomena at aged six, by the time she was 14, Amaya had leading roles in the dances of renowned flamenco legend Mario Maya. She continued as Maya’s dance partner until she was 17.

Amaya’s subsequent international tours left indelible impressions at international venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Carre Sylvia Monfort Hall in Paris.

Juana Amaya is a dazzling jewel in flamenco’s crown. Farruquito and Jua-na Amaya have only just started dancing together, but Farruquito has known Amaya nearly all his life. She and his mother were members of and close friends in the same dance troupe. Farruquito remembers sleeping in Amaya’s arms as a child. They have been so close for so long, both feel their remarkable chemistry is inviolate. They have an innate understanding of each other’s talents and techniques; both stand as proud celebrants of their gypsy heritage as well as the world’s finest and most exciting exponents of flamenco baile .

Juana Amaya y Farruquito will perform on Sunday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mandeville Auditorium. Tickets are $30 General Admission, $27 Senior Citizens & UCSD Faculty/Staff and $20 for all Students.

Information on this event and the entire 2002-2003 season is available on the Internet at: http://ueo.ucsd.edu.

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