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El Cuadro Flamenco – Melissa Cruz Flamenco 5th Annual Showcase
December 16, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$15 Advance/ $20 Door
Doors open at 7:30pm / Show starts at 8pm
La Peña Cultural Center presents:
In her fifth annual showcase, Flamenco artist Melissa Cruz presents her dancers performing new repertory and solo pieces in a setting for a fiesta, where the dancers and musicians – collectively referred to in Flamenco as “el cuadro”- converse to create art in the moment. The cast of 15 dancers is joined by esteemed musicians, guitarist David Páez and singer Jose Cortes.
Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 14 years. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya’s professional company. Apart from frequently performing in theatrical presentations, she teaches a full weekly schedule of flamenco dance classes and presents consistently in the local flamenco cabaret circuit. Melissa is also the dancer and percussionist for the band, LoCura, with who she performs and tours. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and currently presents her own apprentice dance repertory group. Melissa has performed as a soloist in the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2012 and 2016 and has presented in eight San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Tucson Flamenco Festival. Currently, she is principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company which debuted the show, “Mares” in September 2016. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: “Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende — the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art.”