Whether stomping and clapping the idiosyncratic beat of the music, gracefully curling and twisting wrists and arms to the emotional cante jondo, or punctuating a dancer’s performance with ecstatic jaleos. the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company quickly inflects its audience with its powerful stage presence. While the Company embraces the traditional roots of flamenco through passionate singing, syncopated rhythms and fiery footwork, Omayra adds a bold sophisticated element to the beautiful tapestry of flamenco. By blending the intricate rhythms of American jazz with traditional flameno song, she brings the artform to a sublime plane.
Cast: Omayra Amaya: Dancer/Choreographer; Roberto Castellon: Guitarist/Composer; Edwin Aparicio: Dancer; Jose Moreno: Dancer; Ruben "El Viejo": Singer; Amparo Heredia: Singer; Gonzalo Grau: Grammy nominated Pianist
Omayra Amaya's legacy is one of a deep and proud gypsy flamenco tradition. The daughter of Olga and Curro
Amaya and grandniece of arguably the greatest Flamenco dancer who ever lived, Carmen Amaya, Omayra
accepts the responsibility of her heritage with the same passion and uncontrolled vagrancy of Gypsy spirit as
those of her lineage. Her daily exposure to the cultural roots of flamenco, with all of its subtleties and fervency,
cultivated her innate love for the art and supplied the foundation of her style and technique.
Omayra first appeared on stage with her parent's company, often interrupting their performances. Her first
choreographed role came at age twelve, when she performed as her father's partner. By the time Omayra was
fifteen, she was touring and performing internationally with her parents and other companies such as: Rosario
Galan and Antonio Santaella. Already a seasoned performer, Omayra sought to expand and enrich her art by
studying other dance forms. She attended the Boston Conservatory where she received a BFA in Dance and
Choreography. As a student, Omayra caught the attention of numerous choreographers and respected
performers. She accepted invitations to perform with Ana Sokolow, Ann Marie Forsyth, and Jennifer Scanlon.
Upon graduating from the Conservatory, Omayra returned to Spain to study and visit her family when she was
offered a teaching position at The Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. She returned to Boston with the
resolve to establish her own company and write her own chapter in Flamenco history. Soon after Omayra
founded Amaya, Flamenco Sin Limites. Omayra quickly made a name for herself at her company's premiere in
1994. Audience members and critics alike raved about the program which mixed modern Spanish and World
Beat music with traditional Flamenco dance forms. The critics were quick to compare Omayra's style and
presentation to that of her great-aunt's. Her electrifying presence, lightening fast footwork and non-traditional
attire mirrored Carmen's revolutionary style and attitude.
As a faculty member of the Boston Conservatory, the Boston Ballet, Harvard University Dance Department and
Walnut Hill Performing Arts School, Omayra also taught and operated her own dance academy. Omayra and her
company performed a critically acclaimed nine-month run of Omayra y Flamenco at the Boston Park Plaza
Hotel. Due to popular demand, the show was repeatedly extended. The show garnered national media attention
and inspired a PBS documentary about Omayra and a film, Gypsy Heart, by Jocelyn Ajami. Omayra was also an
integral part of the award winning documentary Queen of the Gypsies, the most comprehensive video portrait, to
date, of Omayra’s legendary great aunt, Carmen Amaya.
Omayra was also the inspiration for a Spanish documentary by Canal Plus. This documentary features the
families of flamenco and was aired on April 26, 2000 in Spain. Omayra also filmed a documentary, Mi Abuelo,
produced by TVE Cataluna. The film aired in Spain in October 2001.
In 2004 Omayra Amaya was invited to perform by the “Asociacion Gitana de Madrid” during a week of
celebration of the Gypsy Culture of Spain in Madrid. In 2005 she was invited to perform at Festival Flamenco de
Butarque de Leganes, Madrid.
In 2006-2007, Omayra Amaya was invited to work as one of the choreographers with Franco Dragone, Director,
and Sarah Miles, Writer and Choreographer, in the Choreography for the Musical Carmen, which premiered at
La Jolla Playhouse summer of 2007. Also in 2007, Omayra Amaya performs at The Lincoln Center Summer
Arts Festival in Slow Dancing (World Premiere) Motion Portraits of Dancers – A Multi-Channel Video Instalation
at Lincoln Center NYC. Conceived and Directed by David Michalek.
Omayra Amaya performs a duet with Steve Martin in the Hollywood Film, The Pink Panther II. The movie will
premiere January 2009.
Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company and school is based in New York City. Omayra cherishes her legacy
and continues to push the boundaries of flamenco by creating a unique repertoire that reflects her energy,
creativity, passion and heritage.
Roberto began his flamenco career at a very early age. His father, guitarist and singer, Roberto
Castellon, was his first teacher. By the age of 6 Roberto Jr. was performing at the famous Chateau
Madrid in NYC, where he sang and played the guitar accompanied by his father. By the age of 9 he
was performing with his father in various Cultural Events and Festivals touring the east coast.
Roberto Jr. continued studying flamenco guitar under the great guitarist Manolo Baron. Roberto
was greatly influenced by the playing and singing of the great Sabicas, Paco De Lucia and
Camaron De La Isla. By the age of 19 he began touring with many companies such as the Jose
Greco Company. Later he toured with Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, Carlota Santana’s Flamenco
Vivo Company, Jose Greco Jr., The American Bolero Dance Company, Maria Serrano Alhama
Flamenco Dance Company in Germany, La Tania Flamenco and many others. He has toured the
United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, India, Taiwan, Greece and South America. Roberto has
worked with many well known artists such as: Rafael Fajardo, Andres Marin, Rafael Campallo,
Juan Andres Maya, Miguel Ortega, Omayra Amaya . Roberto is also an acclaimed composer, he
has composed and directed works for many flamenco productions such as Mano a Mano for
Carlota Santana’s company and also Bailaor from the production of Bailaor/Bailaora which was
featured at The New Victory Theater and at the Joyce Theater in NYC. In November of 2002
Roberto released his first CD titled La Guitarra. In 2004 Roberto was invited by the Gypsy
Association of Madrid, Spain to perform in their festival. In 2005 Roberto performs in the Festival
De Butarque en Madrid, Spain. In 2009 Roberto guest stars with the Anchorage Opera in “Hot
Spanish Nights”, where he received wonderful reviews.
Edwin Aparicio (Flamenco Dancer)
Edwin has been described by critics as “the most amazing dancer seen in years,” “a technical powerhouse dancing with
blistering conviction,” having “hellfire footwork” and choreographies with “beautiful, evocative imagery”.
Trained by the world renowned flamenco artists Tomás de Madrid and “La Tati”, Mr. Aparicio made his debut at the
legendary Casa Patas in Madrid in 2001 and in 2005 performed as a soloist and a company member with “Jóvenes Flamenco”
at the Centro Cultural de San Blas in Madrid. Mr. Aparicio performed with The Washington National Opera at The Kennedy
Center in El Gato Montés in 1997 and in Don Giovanni in 2003, under the direction of Plácido Domingo.
Mr. Aparicio has performed as a soloist throughout the United States with ensembles such as the “José Greco Spanish Dance
Company” and Reynaldo Rincón’s “Romería Flamenca”. He has shared the stage with such internationally celebrated artists
as Chuscales, Silverio Heredia, Roberto Castellón, Pedro Cortés, “La Truco”, Elena Andújar, Carmela Greco, Pastora Galván
and José Luis Rodríguez.
Gonzalo Grau (Piano)
Began his musical studies at the age of five in Caracas, developing along his musical journey skills in many instruments from
the viola da gamba to the flamenco cajón and many keys in between. A Berklee graduate, Gonzalo made his way into
flamenco as a multi-instrumentalist on percussion, cello and piano, but his varied credits ranged from performing with
vanguard Venezuelan music projects like Maroa and the Aquiles Baez Group, to US-based jazz icons like the Maria
Schneider Orchestra and the Latin jazz giant Timbalaye. Gonzalo currently leads his own salsa-fusion project, La Clave
Secreta, nominated for the 2008 Grammys in the Best Latin Tropical Album category. As a performer, Grau has recorded
over fifty CDs where he bridges both classical and popular music worlds. Wearing his composer/arranger hat, his
contributions include an arrangement of “El Carretero” for Sally Potter’s 2004 film Yes; collaborations with composer
Osvaldo Golijov for "La Pasión Según San Marcos" and the opera "Ainadamar"; and commissions for the Atlanta Symphony
and the Chicago Symphony. Future commissions include arrangements of “La Pasión” for the Labeque sisters with the
Seattle Symphony in 2009 and the National Orchestra of France in 2010.
Amparo Heredia Reyes, “la repompilla” (Flamenco singer)
Amaparo is the niece of the famous Enriqueta Reyes, “La Repompa de Malaga”, creator of the Tangos de la Repompa &
bulerias. She is the daughter of Rafaela Reyes (aka La Repompa de Malaga), flamenco singer and dancer, and Luis Heredia,
flamenco guitarist. Amparo comes from a gypsy family of accomplished flamenco artists. She began her singing career at
the age of 16 in Miami with her family’s company with which she toured the United States, Mexico, Canada, Spain and
Japan. She currently lives in Spain where she has worked with great artists such as: Compania de Juan Andres Maya, Rafael
de Carmen, La Lupi, the well known Habichuelas family. She has also worked with flamenco singers such as: El Gali,
Rafael de Utrera, El Ruio de Pruna and many others. She has performed in various tablaos in Spain: El Café de Chinitas,
Casa Patas and Flamenco Penas in Madrid and Andalucia.
Rubén López Jesús, “Ruben el Viejo” (Flamenco singer)
Born in Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz in 1985, Rubén is already an accomplished and seasoned flamenco singer despite his
young age. He had been featured in numerous flamenco festivals and tablaos of Spain, and collaborated on several
recordings of the Young Generation of Cadiz and El Puerto de Santa Maria. Rubén has performed with flamenco artists such
as Ramon de los Rios “El Pititi”, Antonio y Rafa “Los Cherokee”, Ramon de los Rios “Ramoni”, Jose Luis Torres “El Selu”,
Juan Antono de los Rios, Israel Paz, Jose de los Rios “Josele”, Noelia y Alba “Café con leche”, Ana Maria Gracia, Antonio
Alemania, Hermanas Cala, Ana Nuñez, Alonsito “Rancapino higo”, El Pipa, Omayra Amaya and many others
José Moreno (Dancer/Percussion)
Borned into a family of famous flamenco artists Estrella Morena (dancer) and Pepe de Málaga (singer), Jose began his
flamenco career at age 6 under the guidance of his parents. His debut was at the famous Tablao Costa Vasca in Miami.
Jose continued his studies with the Great Manolete, Farruquito, and Andres Marin. Jose has been invited to perform in
various companies and worked with distinguished artists such as: The Great Manolete, Joaquin Ruiz, Pastora Galvan, El
Pecas, Jose Cortes “Pansequito”, Jose Luis Rodriquez, Roberto Castellon, Pedro Cortes, Basilio Garcia, Jesus Montoya, La
Tania, Maria Montilla, Antonio Granjero and Omayra Amaya. In 2001, Jose choreographed and performed a collaborative
work with his mother Estrella Morena, and with renowned flamenco singer Carmen Linares with the New World Symphony
Orquestra at Lincoln Theater in Miami. In 2007, Jose performed with the internationally known Isabel Pantoja as a cajón
percussionist, alongside of flamenco guitarist Jose de Luna.