Austin Flamenco Festival

Genevieve Guinn - Artistic Director

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Originally from Austin, Texas, Genevieve Guinn began her dancing career in 1993 with Sylvia Keprta, responsible for igniting Genevieve's passion for Flamenco.  After studying locally for 6 years, Genevieve moved to Spain where she studied with world renowned flamenco artists like Cristobal Reyes, Jose Maya, Alfonso Losa, and Maria Juncal.  She performed regularly at respected tablaos in Madrid including Al-Andalus and Tablao Las Carboneras in Madrid and as a company member with “Compañía Maria Juncal". In 2003 she was chosen as an apprentice for the "Gitana Cortés Company" under the direction of Joaquín Cortés.  In 2004 Genoveva was invited to teach in Taipei,Taiwan at the International Dance Conference. 2005 saw Genevieve perform as a soloist at Gitaner ías in Mexico City.

Genevieve has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Spain, and Mexico and shared the stage with artists such as "La Tati", “La Truco”, Carmela Greco, and Genara Cortes.

Genevieve was the Assistant Artistic Director for FlamencoAparicio Dance Company in Washington DC under the direction of Edwin Aparicio from 2006 through 2010. 2006 marked Genoveva's Broadway debut in New York City and in 2007 she was the choreographer for the GALA Hispanic Theatre’s highly praised production of Frederico Garcia Lorca’s "Bodas de Sangre", directed by the acclaimed Hugo Medrano. In 2009 Genevieve was an invited solo artist at the Fo rd Amphitheatre's "Forever Flamenco: LA Ole!" in Los Angeles and a featured performer at The Kennedy Center in DC.  

In 2011 Genevieve moved back to Austin Texas and founded The Pink Flamenco Dance Studio, now Austin Flamenco Academy, providing classes to children, youth and adults. In 2014 she returned as a soloist to The Kennedy Center as well as performing in Fuego Flamenco X at Gala Hispanic Theater. Genevieve has most recently perfomed as a soloist at the Teatro Nacional Ruben Dario in Managua Nicaragua and with famous classical piano sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque in Naples Italy as well as competing in the first season of the NBC "World Of Dance" TV show produced by Jennifer Lopez.

Genevieve's unique strength and style has made her one of the most sought -after flamenco teachers and performers of her generation.

Gonzalo Grau - Musical Director

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GONZALO GRAU began his musical studies at the age of three in Caracas.  Along his musical journey he developed skills in many instruments, from the viola da gamba and the cello to the flamenco cajón and his principal instrument, the piano.  A Berklee College Suma Cum Laude, Gonzalo has established himself as a multi-instrumentalist and his varied credits include performances with Venezuelan music projects like Maroa, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Camerata de Caracas and the Simón Bolivar National Youth Orchestra, jazz icon Maria Schneider and the Latin jazz giant Timbalaye.  As a music director he leads two projects of hisown, "Plural" (Latin jazz-Flamenco-Venezuelan fusion) and "La Clave Secreta" (salsa fusion), nominated for the 2008 Grammys in the Best Tropical Album category.  As a recording artist, Grau has participated in over eighty productions that bridge both classical and popular music worlds.  His most recent productions include the studio recording of Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos (winner of the ECHO award 2010), the album "México" of Rolando Villazón (winner of the ECHO award 2011), and Nazareno with pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque, all released by the German label Deutsche Grammophon.  Also the production of West Side Story with the Labeque sisters (winner of the Choc the Classica) under KLM label.

Wearing his composer and arranger hat, his achievements include composition collaborations alongside Osvaldo Golijov for the opera Ainadamar and La Pasión Según San Marcos.  Original works include the overture “Pregunta y Respuesta”commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony (premiered in March 2008), “Café con Pan”, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for the MusicNow concert series (premiered in November 2008), “Nazareno” (suite for two pianos and full orchestra), commissioned by pianists Katia & Marielle Labeque (premiered in January 2010), the oratorio “Aqua” commissioned by the Bach Academy International, winner of the European Composer Award 2011, award given by the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin (premiered in August 2011); “Viaje”, suite for full-orchestra and Latin ensemble, commissioned by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra (premiered in June 2012), “Fantasía de Guayaba Habanera”, violin concerto commisioned by Johnny Gandelsman and the Community MusicWorks (premiered in May 2013), and “Five-legged-cat”, commissioned by the Brooklyn Rider Quartet (recorded in the album Almanac, 2014)

Guest Dancers

Edwin Aparicio

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Edwin Aparicio is considered to be one of the most sought-after flamenco performers, teachers and choreographers in the United States. He 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." He is a recipient of the Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, granted by the King Felipe VI of Spain.

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 (1997) and in Don Giovanni (2003), under the direction of Plácido Domingo, and in Carmen (2015).

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.

GALA Theatre has become Mr. Aparicio’s base for presenting his eclectic company and for premiering his newest works. Heis also the resident coordinator and a featured performer of the Theatre’s annual Fuego Flamenco Festival.

Since 2008 Mr. Aparico is a member of the faculty at the Washington School of Ballet. In May 2013 he performed as a guest artist in The Washington Ballet's production of Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises at the Kennedy Center inWashington DC.

2015 marked Mr. Aparicio's international debut as a director, when he presented his work Íntimo at the Teatro Nacional Rubén Darío in Managua, Nicaragua


Olivia Chacón

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Olivia Chacón is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, and instructor with a powerful dance style and dynamic approach to teaching students. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Olivia has danced flamenco for over fifteen years, and has spent five years studying flamenco and performing in Sevilla and Madrid, Spain with some of the world's best flamenco artists. She spent two years touring internationally throughout Spain, Mexico, and Cyprus with the Cristóbal Reyes Compañia de Flamenco, and also performed as a soloist in flamenco clubs in Spain and Germany. Olivia aims to keep the dance form alive in this country by performing frequently throughout Texas and the region, and teaching flamenco to a new generation of dancers at her studio, Flamencura Music and Dance, founded in Austin in 2010. Olivia is founder and Artistic Director of A’lante Flamenco, a performing company twice named “Austin’s Best Dance Ensemble” by the Austin Critics’ Table.

Fanny Ara

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Fanny Ara began her dance studies at age three, studying ballet and Contemporary dance at the Irene Popard School in St. Jean de Luz in the French Basque Country. As a child, she studied Spanish classical dance with Catalina Gommes, Isabel Quintero, and Antonio Najarro.  After earning a BA in Literature with a specialty in Music from The Bayonne School of Art, Ms. Ara relocated to Spain, where she studied flamenco with Juana Amaya, El Torombo, Manolo Soler, and Hiniesta Cortés. Ms. Ara was soon featured in flamenco tablaos in Spain and was accepted into the prestigious Academy of Mario Maya.

Ms. Ara resides in the San Francisco Bay.  She is a company member of Caminos Flamencos and has been a featured artists in a variety of flamenco festivals, including the Australia Festival de Guitarra. Ms. Ara has toured in Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Dubai, Seychelles, Israel and throughout Europe. Her most notable performances include her work with the grand pianist Diego Amador for the Eva Longoria Foundation in Paris, with the world-renown Antonio Carmona at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles (2013), and at the Davis Symphony Hall, accompanied by the renowned pianists Marielle and Katia Labeque. Ms. Ara self-produced a number of critically acclaimed shows since 2007. She continues to be an internationally sought-after choreographer and instructor of flamenco, with students and fans across the globe. Most recently, Fanny was the principal dancer at the Washington Opera’s season of Carmen and competed this spring in the NBC "World Of Dance" TV show produced by Jennifer Lopez. 


Defne Enç - Assistant Director

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Defne has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Spain, working with companies including Estuaria Cía Flamenca, Compañía Pepa Molina, Paco Mora Ballet Flamenco Español, Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company, Bailes Ferrer, Caminos Flamencos, La Tania Baile Flamenco, and Flamenco Vivo under the direction of Rafaela Carrasco.  She has been invited to participate in numerous dance festivals as both a dancer and as a choreographer, including Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA, Certámen Coreográfico DanSalt in Girona, Certámen Coreográfico de Danza Español y Flamenco in Madrid, Fuego Flamenco Festival in Washington, D.C., Flamenco in the Sun in Miami,and the ODC Pilot Program for contemporary choreographers in San Francisco. 

Her award-winning dance film “Time, Again”, co-directed with filmmaker Alonso J. Luján, screened at numerous film festivals throughout Canada, Brazil, Poland and the U.S. 

She began her dance trainging with ballet at the age of 5 in Los Angeles.  She later studied contemporary dance at Lines Ballet School and ODC in San Francisco, and at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City.  Her flamenco studies also began in San Francisco, with Yaelisa.  In 2005 she moved to Spain where, while working as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, she continued her education with the top dancers in the field including Marco Flores, Concha Jareño, Manuel Liñan, Yolanda Heredia, David Paniagua, and Alfonso Llosa. She has worked closely alongside Rafaela Carrasco and Belen Maya as repetidora for numerous workshops in the Festival Flamenco de Jerez as well as in other venues.

Defne is a highly regarded dance teacher and has taught throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, including at Lines Ballet School in San Francisco, University of California in Berkeley, Fazil's Dance Studio in New York, and Flamenco in The Redwoods.  She now lives in Austin, TX, and is currently teaching at Austin Flamenco Academy and at Ballet Austin, and recently competed in the first season of the NBC "World Of Dance" TV show produced by Jennifer Lopez.

Company Members


Genevieve Obregón

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Genevieve Obregón was born and raised in San Antonio, TX where she began dancing ballet folklorico and flamenco at age 6. Later in youth, she joined Danza Hispana Infantil under Huamantzin Lopez and Chiqui Linares who instilled a strong technique and respectful dance etiquette.

In HS, Genevieve was accepted into San Antonio’s Fandango Dance Troupe and began performing in ensemble stage productions. During college she took a hiatus from flamenco and joined the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown University bringing the culture of Mexico to her fellow student body.  

Upon graduation, in the nation’s Capitol, she joined the Maru Montero Dance Company with whom she promoted the joy and beauty of Latin culture and held the National Cinco de Mayo Festival. She later moved to Dubai with Laura Ortiz and los Quetzales to bring Mexican dance and music to the UAE’s Global Village.  

For the ensuing years, she danced on and off in San Antonio with Raíces de Arte Español and even traveled to Madrid to study with La Truco at Amor de Dios, but ultimately took a lengthy break from dance to complete her doctoral degree in physical therapy.

Genevieve resumed her flamenco training in 2015 upon moving to Austin, TX where she has studied with talented women including: Defne Enc, Genoveva Guinn, Illeana Gomez, and Olivia Chacón. She has been lucky to live in an area rich with opportunities in flamenco and has taken workshops with such famed artists as Juan Paredes, Maise Marquez, Águeda Saavedra, Maria Moreno, Lucia Campillo, Jose Maya, Miguel Vargas, Manuela Barrios, and Adrian Santana

Drea Pacot

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Drea Pacot’s career in flamenco began in her twenties. Before discovering the art of flamenco she dedicated her dance to modern and contemporary dance while she attend UC Davis earning her bachelor’s in Design. There she danced and choreographed with the student companies at UCDavis. Originally, from California Drea studied in the heavily immersed Bay Area with instructors such as  Yaelisa, director of Caminos Flamencos and La Tania. She also studied at Amor de Dios in Madrid, Spain. 

Before moving to Austin, Drea was the artistic director of Flamenco del Oro in Northern California. She received a grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Council to showcase her students in 20007. Deciding to move on from flamenco as a career she went back to school to study Chinese Medicine and study in Austin. Here in Austin she has danced with Pilar Andujar and performs with Geneiveve Guinn and Austin Flamenco Academy.

Musicians


Diego "El Negro" Alvarez - Precussion

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Diego "El Negro" Alvarez master cajón player born in Venezuela. He lived 16 years in Spain where he developed his career alongside the most prestigious flamenco dance companies such as Joaquin Cortez, Antonio Canales, Sara Baras, Nuevo Ballet Español and Paco Peña among others. With more than 12 nominations to the Latin Grammys, winner of a Latin Grammy in 2010 for best Rock album of the year for "Sera" by La Vida Boheme. Promoting El Cajon as a universal instrument, showing its main roots the Peruvian and the flamenco. Now lives in Los Angeles California, where he continues working with different musical projects between flamenco and jazz.

Celia Corrales - Cante

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Celia Corrales was born in El Puerto de Santa Maria Cadiz, on the Southeast coast of Andalucía. She grew up in a Flamenco family, and spent many late nights watching singers and dancers throughout her youth. She was singing flamenco as soon as she was able to talk, and never stopped. She met the love of her life, a US Navy sailor, and they were wed. Two years later, they moved to the US, where she soon found other Spanish natives and began singing here. After 10 years in Tucson, Arizona, they moved to Austin, where she continues her passion for traditional Spanish music. She is a member of A’lante Flamenco, collaborates with the Austin Flamenco Academy, and also works with Flamenco groups in San Antonio and Houston.

José Manuel Tejeda - Guitar

José Manuel Tejeda graduated from The University of Arts (ISA) in his native Cuba in 2007 with emphasis on classical guitar, guitar instruction and professional solo guitar performer. After thirteen years of classical guitar training with Master Guitarist: Bernardo Hidalgo, Rolando Morales, Alejandro Coira, Francisco Rodríguez (Pancho) and Martin Pedreira, He began to focus on flamenco and took master classes with Spanish guitarists Alfredo Lagos, Andres Martinez, Paco Cruz, Pascual de Lorca and others, and collaborated with flamenco companies such as Melisma, Ecos and Alma Flamenca. His passion for all types of music brought on studies in jazz, Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican, sephardic as well as a multitude of other Latin styles. While in Cuba, he had the opportunity to record with famous musicians such as Lucia Huergo, Liuba María Hevia, Orlando Valle “Maraca”, Dayani Lozano and many more. José moved to the United States five years ago and is currently member of the world music band "ATASH" and "A'LANTE FLAMENCO" Company. He is also working as a guitar teacher, solo and duo performer, and collaborator with different Music Bands and flamenco companies based in and out of his hometown of Austin, TX.