Ulrika Frank studied dance in her native Sweden at the University College of Dance in Stockholm, earning a degree equal to a BFA in Dance Education. Being accepted after audition, she took courses in dance method, music, rhythmics, anatomy, pedagogy, psychology, dance history, improvisation, composition and teaching/performing practice. Ulrika graduated in 1990, with a specialization in flamenco, modern, jazz and character dance.
Flamenco and several scholarships, including the Carina Ari - scholarship for Swedish young dancers took Ulrika to Spain, where she lived periodically between 1991 and 1998. She studied at Amor de Dios in Madrid with famous flamenco artists, such as Manolete, Carmen Cortés and Cristóbal Reyes. Since moving to Atlanta in 1999, she has attended annually flamenco festivals in New York and Albuquerque. Her master teachers at the festivals have been Antonio Canales, Israél Galván, Mercedes Amaya, Eva la Yerbabüena, Mercedes Ruíz, and others.
moving to Atlanta, Ulrika taught and performed throughout Scandinavia
and Europe. She took different forms of dance, such as flamenco, jazz
and modern to the stage in Finland and Sweden, and character dance in
Russia. Her flamenco career started in Stockholm, Sweden, with the Carmen
Lucena Flamenco Dance Company. She also danced and choreographed with
other flamenco groups performing at theaters, festivals and schools. Eventually,
she started to produce her own performances, managing both the performing
and marketing herself. Her productions have been nationally acclaimed
on television, in newspapers and in other media.
After graduating from the University College of Dance in Sweden, Ulrika immediately received offers to teach regularly and give master classes in modern, jazz and flamenco at various dance schools in Stockholm. She was frequently invited by the dance schools to choreograph for her students at recitals.
In Atlanta, Ulrika taught flamenco dance in the Emory University Dance program and at Casita Flamenca, her own dance studio. Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education gave her the first opportunity to teach in Atlanta, where she started in their Adult Open Division. She was invited to teach at Atlanta Ballet's summer program in Midtown and Milledgeville several years, a teaching offer which she accepted with great enthusiasm.
Ulrika founded Perla Flamenca Dance Company in 2001 to give her most talented flamenco students in Atlanta a chance to perform on stage. A group of new talented students was added to the company in September, 2003, and they performed with the company in the spring of 2004.
In addition to leading Perla Flamenca, Ulrika also performed in the Atlanta area with various artists. In the spring of 2000, she helped found the flamenco group Pasión Flamenca, an Atlanta Flamenco Productions company. She choreographed and danced with Pasión Flamenca at numerous festivals, theaters and different Spanish events, such as the Cuban Club, Georgia Museum of Art and Andaluz Tapas Bar, where the group was awarded "Best Entertainment in Atlanta" by Creative Loafing. The group performed their own production, ¡Vivir! (to live), with great success at the Cannon Chapel at Emory University and Roswell Cultural Arts Center, both in Atlanta.
Ulrika moved to Washington D.C in August, 2004. She was excited to continue her flamenco career in another part of the United States, even though she was sad to leave her colleauges, her company and the growing Atlanta Flamenco Community behind. To view article about her work in Atlanta, click here. Her legacy in Atlanta was also mentioned in Airtran's inflight magazine in January, 2005.
Ulrika started teaching at Joy of Motion in Friendship Heights, D.C., in the fall of 2004, and shortly thereafter she started to give classes at D.C. Dance Collective. She was introduced to the D.C. Flamenco Community by Michael Perez, D.C's own flamenco web master, who published an article about Ulrika's teaching philosophy. Almost directly she also started teaching private classes at home.
After an audition in D.C, Ulrika started a new company on October 9th, 2005, which she called Mirada Flamenca Dance Company. Ulrika´s vision with the company was to create a more modern flamenco dance style based on traditional movements and music, since she believes in the challenge of combining the modern with the traditional, give and take from both forms, to keep the art form alive and constantly developing. The company performed at numerous D.C. events and with Ulrika at her own productions, Dentro, in March 2006, and Café Flamenco, in March 2007.
Besides producing her own flamenco performances in D.C., Ulrika has been invited to perform together with the local artists at various D.C. establishments such as La Taberna del Alabardero, Restaurant Tutto Bene Italian Bar & Grill, and D.C.'s own Flamenco Feria, to mention a few.
During the years of 2007-2011, Ulrika extended her teaching to Stockholm, Sweden, where she taught flamenco dance classes at DansCompagniet and at the University College of Dance. In addition to her own classes and together with flamenco guitarist/singer, Marija Temo, Ulrika established a teaching method in 2008 called Flamenco Completo that focuses on of letras (verses of flamenco singing), how the structure varies, and how it is improvised in different ways. The great success with this concept has been that dancers, guitarists, singers, are all taught together in the same class. The 'Dynamic Duo' has been very well received throughout the United States, both teaching and performing, and made their international debut in Managua, Nicaragua, in the spring of 2011.
past, present and future has been, is and will always be the art of flamenco
her true passion in life. She dedicates her talent to her grandmother
who taught her the beauty of life; her father who gave her inner strength;
her husband who never ceases to support her; and last, but definitely
not least, her daughter who gives her life the utmost meaning.