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Guest Artists

Olga Pericet was born in Cordoba, Spain in 1975.  A graduate in Danza Española and flamenco and well-versed in contemporary dance, Pericet is widely recognized as one of the most innovative artists in today’s flamenco scene. She has studied with such flamenco greats as Matilde Coral, Manolo Marín, Maica Moyano and José Granero.  In 2004, Pericet made her debut as a choreographer and soloist in the work Bolero, Carta de Amor y Desamor, and, one year later, created Cámara Negra with Manuel Liñan. In 2011, Rosa Metal Ceniza was Pericet’s first full-length solo work, which was nominated for an award at the Danza en XV Premios Max. She also created De Una Pieza in 2012 and Pisadas in 2014.  Her latest work, FLAMENCO UNTITLED was presented in 2015 at the Repertorio Español de Nueva York. Olga Pericet has been featured at many prestigiuos festivals, theaters, and galas such as Flamenco Festival Washington, Emerson Majestic Theater in Boston, New York City Center, London’s Sadler ́s Wells, Maison de la Danc in Paris, Festival Días de Flamenco in Tel Aviv, Flamenco Viene del Sur, Festival Dansa Valencia, Festival de Jerez, and the Bienal de Sevilla. Her many accolades include the Premio Extraordinario de Teatro Ace Awards in 2016; Premio MAX 2015 for Pisadas; Premio Ojo Critico 2014; Premio Flamenco Hoy in 2012; Premio Artista Revelación at the Festival de Jerez in 2011; Premio Nacional de Flamenco Pilar López; Premio Villa de Madrid in 2006; and the Primer Premio de Coreografía y Música at the Certamen de Danza Española y Flamenco de Madrid in 2004.

Elizabeth Aldrich is internationally known for her work in period dance.  She has provided choreography for nine feature films, including The Age of Innocence; The Remains of the Day; and Washington Square, with film directors Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, Agnieszka Holland, and Rob Minkoff.  She has taught and choreographed for organizations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.  Aldrich is the author of the book From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Dance (1991); the Introduction, International Encyclopedia of Dance (1998); and has contributed chapters to publications, including "Social Dancing in Schubert's World" in Schubert's World: Vienna in the Reign of Francis I (1997); "Plunge Not into the Mire of Worldly Folly: Nineteenth-Century and Early Twentieth-Century Religious Objections to Social Dance in the United States" in Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion (2008); and "The Civilizing of America's Ballrooms: The Revolutionary War to 1890," in Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake (2008).  Aldrich served as managing editor for the International Encyclopedia of Dance and was responsible for the Library of Congress's online presentation, An American Ballroom Companion, c.1490-1926.  In 2006 she was named the first curator of dance at the Library of Congress.


Concha Jareño, a highly qualified, prize-winning Spanish dancer from Madrid, is one of the most important flamenco artists of our time. She is often a guest artist in famous tablaos around Spain, and teaches in the legendary school ¨Amor de Dios¨ as well as around the world. She began her career in 1998 with the Rafael de Córdoba dance company. Projects with Yolanda Heredia and Rafaela Carrasco took her to some of the world’s most important festivals. Concha Jareño also has been awarded numerous prizes including Best Solo Dancer in the Madrid´s Flamenco and Spanish Dancing Choreography Contest, as well as second prize, dancing in the ¨Concurso de Cante Flamenco de las Minas¨, and the ¨Premio Revelación¨ in the Festival de Jeréz. She will be a guest artist for the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance in the Spring of 2013.


Maria del Carmen Rivas Aranda, known in the flamenco world as “La Talegona,” began her dance career at an early age. From Cordova belonging to the Flamenco family "The Talegones," at 14 she traveled throughout Andalucía, sharing the stage with artists such as José Mercé, La Macanita, Chano Lobato, El Pele and Enrique Morente. Her dance career as a teacher and performer has taken her around the world performing as a soloist in outstanding companies, including those of Rafael Amargo, Blanca del Rey, and Manolete. La Talegona taught at the flamenco school “Amor de Dios” in Madrid until 2006 when she was invited to become faculty at the “Fundación Conservatorio Casa Patas,” where she continues to teach.


Johanna Hongell-Darsee has been a performing artist for over 30 years and has taught Bharata Natyam, Classical Indian Dance, since 1990. She received an education in mime and theater at the Lecoq School in Paris, France and later studied Bharata Natyam, Classical Indian Dance, for 15 years with Gurus Sri Kama Dev in Paris, France, and Smt Savithri Jagannatha Rao in Chennai, India. She also studied Abhinaya, the mimic part of the dance, with Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan and her disciples Uma Sundarajan and Nityakalyani Vaydjanathan in Chennai, India. Over the years she has developed a style of performing with elements from mime, theater, dance and song. Before moving to New Mexico in 2001, she led a dance and theater company (Theater Bava) in Malmo, Sweden as well as toured throughout Sweden, Europe, USA and India. After relocating to New Mexico in 2001, she has taught Bharata Natyam and performed music and theater together with Scott Darsee and has toured throughout the USA.


Niece of the great flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, Heather Woodburydaughter of Antonia Amaya and the singer "Chiquito de Triana", Mercedes Amaya began her professional career in the 1980s and by the early 1990s built her own company, performing and presenting her original work in Latin America, The United States, Japan, Spain and around the world.

In addition to her work as choreographer, dancer and director of a company, Amaya presides over a Center of training dedicated to forming flamenco artists. Amaya has a special vocation for teaching flamenco at all levels. Flamenco in Mexico has spread, thanks to Amaya’s artistic talent and her ability to convey the true tradition of this art to thousands of people.


Heather WoodburyBorn in Australia, Zoë Knights, is a singular artist and performer who has carved a unique niche in the field of contemporary performance. Her creations are distinct for their unity of sound, movement, lighting and design, inventions that produce transformative moments and mesmerizing synchronizations. After graduating from David Atkins Dance Studios in Sydney with honours Zoe, continued her training and choreographic development at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. In 2000 she received her diploma and began working as a performer in her own work, as well as with other choreographers, including Continuum/Brice Leroux, Martin Nachbar, Mia Lawrence, Krystina Lhotakova, Cabula6 und Lawine/Torren. Her productions have been praised for their visual and acoustic coherence, as well as their intensity and inventiveness. Knights continues to work with other artists and to explore other fields of performance presentation. Zoe Knights works internationally as a choreographer, dancer, vocalist, and actor. She has been awarded various prizes for her choreographic and vocal work. She regularly teaches yoga, contemporary dance and choreography, and mentors bachelor and masters students.


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