very proud to here present information about the two flamenco dance companies
that she directed in the United States. The first comany, Perla Flamenca,
was founded in Atlanta, GA, in 2001, and the second, Mirada Flamenca,
in Washington D.C. in 2005.
FLAMENCA DANCE COMPANY - Washington D.C.
Dance Company was founded on October 9th, 2005. The
dancers, Debra Belo, Sharon García, Renée Gokey, Jackie
Perodin, Olivia Rassenti, María Roncal, and Nicole Totah, came
together in Washington D.C. under the direction of Ulrika Frank.
word mirada has many meanings in English. In this particular case, the
word mirada refers to the usage of the eye, a quick look, glance. Ulrika
chose the name because she believes the eyes are the mirror of the soul,
which needs to be involved to sincerely express the art of flamenco.
vision with the company is to create a more modern flamenco dance style
based on traditional movements and music. She believes in the challenge
to combine the modern with the traditional, give and take from both forms,
to keep the art form alive and constantly developing.
classes consist of technique training (feet, arms, hands, turns, upper
body, etc.) and learning choreographies. The company is also taught the
structure of the different palos (songs) in theory, combined with practice.
Improvisation, musicality, and individual performance skills, are other
important goals for the company members to achieve during the weekly classes.
For more information
about the company, please contact the Director Ulrika Frank via email
or phone 571.225.4627.
viva el flamenco!
FLAMENCA DANCE COMPANY MEMBERS
ROJO was trained in jazz and ballet, and professional
ballroom before embracing flamenco as a student, performer, and
director of her own company, Flamenco y Más. Cultivated the
Arizona flamenco audience and brought together community, students
and international artists for 13 years. In 2001 Olivia was awarded
recognition by the Governor for the preservation of Spanish culture
in Arizona. She has collaborated with many US flamenco artists and
studied with masters from Spain, including Juana Amaya, Matilde
Coral, Antonio Canales and Jose Galvan. Olivia currently teaches
at DC Dance Collective.
BELO has performed with Pablo Rodarte (CO), The Denver
Symphony Orchestra, the dance companies of Carlos Lomas and Vicente
Romero (NM). She has also conducted workshops in Germany, and has
appeared as a solo artist with both the "In Series" Zarzuela
productions and The Washington National Opera. She continues
to study with some of Spain's most elite artists. Debra currently
performs and teaches locally in the Washington Metro area.
PERODIN initially studied flamenco in Quebec, Canada,
through a series of workshops with various artists. In 1998, she
joined a group of performers called Luna Flamenca as a performer,
as well as an events coordinator. In Boston, MA, she had the opportunity
to study with Omayra Amaya and La Meira. While in D.C., she has
followed classes with Sara Candela, Anna Menendez, Edwin Aparicio
and Ulrika Frank prior to joining the Mirada Flamenca Dance Company.
TOTAH has been dancing ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop,
belly dance, and, since 2002, flamenco. She joined her first dance
company in high school, the Potomac Dance Ensemble. Thereafter,
she performed and choreographed for her college's dance company,
Arts House Dance, and performed and choreographed in the DC area
with Jam Crew. Nicole initiated her flamenco instruction with Ana
Martinez in Washington DC, and then continued her studies with Anna
Menendez and Ulrika Frank.
GOKEY began her training at the U of New Mexico with
celebrated U.S. teachers including Eva Encinias-Sandoval, Pablo
Rodarte, Joaquin Encinias, and Omayra Amaya. She has studied and
performed with the Spanish Dance Society at Gaulladet U and at the
Carnegie Institute in Washington, D.C. She has studied in Spain
and at the Festival Flamenco with various artists including Monica
Bermudez, Carmela Greco, Karime Amaya and Antonio Vargas.
RONCAL trained intensively at the Fundación
de Cristina Heeren and Academia de Baile de Manolo Marín
in Sevilla, Spain where she lived from 2002 to 2003 learning from
flamenco masters such as Milagros Menjíbar, Manolo Soler,
Rafael Campallo, Carmen Ledesma, Asunción Pérez, Adela
Campallo, Pili Ortega and Manuel Betanzos. She has performed at
Café Sol, Café Cantante in Sevilla and in theatres,
events, and festivals all over the Washington DC area. Currently
Maria teaches flamenco dance at DC Dance Collective.
GARCIA-OLVERA was born in Monterrey,
Mexico. She has been dancing jazz, tapp and modern dances. She began
studying flamenco at "Instituto Real Flamenco de Monterrey"
with dancer and choreographer Betty Villarreal. She then joined
Betty Villarreal's flamenco dance company as a performer. While
in Washington, D.C., she followed workshops with Antonio Vargas
and "La Truco", and continued her studies with Ulrika
FLAMENCA DANCE COMPANY - Atlanta, GA
and choreographer: Ulrika Frank
Flamenca captures a Spanish cultural tradition that is centuries old.
With Middle Eastern, Oriental and Latin American roots, flamenco expresses
a way of life by showing love, sorrow, happiness and frustration.
as no two pearls are alike, each dancer of Perla Flamenca is unique. Dancers
hail from Japan, Latin America and the United States, and have studied
individually from teachers all over the world, including Spain.
dancers came together in Atlanta under the direction of Ulrika Frank in
September 2001. The group has performed across the Atlanta area, including
at Music Midtown, Oglethorpe University, Carnival de Peachtree, Athens
International Street Festival and many more venues. The premiere of their
first theatrical flamenco performance was held at the Cannon Chapel at
Emory University, Atlanta, in December, 2002.
In September 2003, a group of new talented dancers was added to the company.
They will make their debut at the Perla Flamenca's second theatrical appearance
in the spring of 2004.
Perla Flamenca offers performances at Spanish fiestas, professional conventions,
festivals and other events. For further information and booking, please
contact director Ulrika Frank
viva el flamenco!
FLAMENCA DANCE COMPANY MEMBERS
Kim Christopher began flamenco instruction with the Birmingham Hispanic
Dance Company in 1995, and has since studied in United States and
in Spain with Mercedes Amaya, Joaquin Encinias and other modern flamenco
stars. She continues her flamenco education with Atlantans Marta del
Sid and Ulrika Frank.
Julie Galle has studied dance for 20 years, with training in ballet,
tap, jazz and precision dance. She added flamenco to her repertoire
in 1997, under the instruction of Teresa Romero Torkanowsky in New
Orleans. She has since studied flamenco in southern Spain and Atlanta.
Julie enjoys flamenco because of its complex rhythms, self expression
and rich cultural history.
José Giocamea descends from a long line of dancers and musicians
of Mexican and Pascua Yaqui Indian heritage. While living in Jerez
de la Frontera, Spain, José discovered his zeal for flamenco
and began studying with various teachers from Jerez. José has
studied with Soledad de Sevilla and Julia Lopez, and is currently
under the direction of Ulrika Frank and flamenco master Gloria de
Jerez. José is the current president of Flamenco Arts Cultural
A native of Japan, Rina Motokowa Menosky encountered flamenco while
searching for training as a dancer, in 1999. Since then, she has deepened
her understanding of flamenco through learning from various instructors,
including those at the world-renowned flamenco studio Amor de Dios
in Madrid. She perceives flamenco as life transcending through art,
culture and history.
Gloriela "Loly" Rosas is a native of Panama, and has been
dancing since an early age. Her talent earned her performances at
the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and a spot on the Reebok Dance Team.
Gloriela began studying flamenco dance in 1999 with Ulrika Frank.
Darbi Abramson took her first flamenco dance class on Valentine's
Day 2002 and fell in love. She is mesmerized by the intensity and
passion of flamenco, and enjoys expressing all of her feelings and
emotions through dance. Her mentors in Atlanta include Ulrika Frank,
Marta del Sid, and John Jaramillo.
Lisa Vash Herman became enamored with flamenco dance during a semester
in Spain in 1987. She began studying flamenco in 2001 with Ulrika
Frank, and has since also studied with Marta del Sid. Lisa joined
Perlita Flamenca in 2003. Lisa finds flamenco dance a unique way to
maintain her sense of self and express her individuality.
With a ballet background, Karina Martinez began studying flamenco
in her native Mexico in 1995 with Olinka, and later with Roxana Nadal.
Karina enjoys flamenco's soulful expression. For her, the art is the
perfect blend of spirit (arms) and reason (feet). Karina continues
her flamenco studies in Atlanta with Ulrika Frank and Martha del Sid.
Kim Nolte has been studying dance since age 4, with training primarily
in jazz. She performed professionally with a Brazilian samba troupe
in New Orleans for five years. Kim enjoys many other styles of dance
including tango, zydeco, Cajun, African, Middle Eastern. She added
flamenco to her repertoire in 2000 at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore
under Nancy Sedgwick.
Erica Shantzek, a native of Miami, Fla., studied ballet, tap, jazz,
and modern throughout childhood, and went on to study guitar at Atlanta
Institute of Music. Through her studies there, she became interested
in flamenco guitar, and was eventually reeled in by the dance. Erica
studied flamenco dance in Atlanta under Ulrika Frank, and in Spain
at the the Cristina Heeren Flamenco Foundation in Sevilla and at the
Manolo Marín Flamenco School in Triana.
Angélica Silva studied classical ballet and figure skating
for many years, until in 1993 she dicovered the amazing expressive
power of Spanish dances and flamenco. Feeling the connection with
her Spanish ancestors, Angélica began learning and performing
flamenco in her native Chile with Fernando Sebastián and Madelaine
Dupré. She came to Atlanta in 2001, and continues dancing flamenco
with Ulrika Frank.
Melissa Stiers began to study and perform dance in college, with a
repertoire of modern, ballet, and jazz. Flamenco first seized her
in a little theatre in Rome while studying abroad, stripping her perception
of beauty to its marrow. Melissa has sought that experience in life
since. She began to study flamenco dance with Ulrika Frank in 2000.