Festival Flamenco Artist Reveal #6

The sixth artist announced for FFI 31 is Pedro Córdoba featuring Javier Latorre & Gema Moneo (Karime Amaya was originally scheduled but was soon after replaced by Gema; as Karime is a star dancer for the Tablao El Cordobes in Barcelona, my guess is she could not take the full time away to go to the ABQ festival at the beginning of the summer tourist season in Barcelona!).

My 2016 ABQ Flamenco Journeyers will remember Pedro as he did a main stage show, but an even better tablao show! We also heard that he was a great teacher.

P Cordoba.jpg

Pedro was born in Cordoba and here is his bio from La Barraca

Pedro Cordoba started his dance training as a child, taking ballet, classical Spanish dance and flamenco classes. His flamenco training was under the guidance of Manolete, Eva La Yerbabuena, Antonio Canales, Javier Latorre and Javier Baron, among others.
Even though he is still quite young he can already present an impressive record of performances. This is a small selection from his resume:
- In ’97 he worked with Enrique Morente for the concert series “Omega”. The choreography was realized by Javier Latorre.
- In ’98 he became a member of the Compañia Andaluza de Danza under the guidance of Jose Antonio. He danced in numerous performances such as Latido Flamenco and Cosas de Payos, choreographies by respectively Manolete and Javier Latorre.
- In 2000 he joined the company of Eva La Yerbabuena. Their first show together was in Granada, in the performance “Eva”.
At the Sevillian Biennial of that same year, he danced with the companies of Eva La Yerbabuena and Javier Baron in respectively “5 Mujeres 5” and “Baile de hierro baile de bronce”.
- In 2004 he did guest performances at concerts of Duquende, Chicuelo en Miguel Poveda.
He also danced in “Triana” by Javier Latorre. In 2004 still, he shared the stage with Paco de Lucia, Esperanza Fernandez and Israel Galvan at the Festival of Argèles-sur-Mer in France.
In 2006 he established his own cuadro and was invited to perform at the Sevillian Biennial and at the Corral del Carbon in Granada.
Up until today he also does quite a few guest performances with the company of Vicente Amigo.
Pedro Cordoba is a renowned performer, the favourite dancer of many artists and non-artists.
His style is impressive because of its force and technical control. And yet Pedro Cordoba is first and for all a remarkably expressive and versatile flamenco dancer.

Javier Antonio García Expósito born in 1963 and better known as Javier Latorre is a Flamenco dancer most renowned for his choreographic career. He began dance training at just 4 years old, specializing mainly in Spanish classical dance, and at age 16 he joined the Spanish National Ballet, created by Antonio Gades. He started as a soloist and went on to become a lead dancer a couple of years later while the company was under the direction of Antonio El Bailarín.

A few years later in 1988, feeling the need to express his own creativity, he created Ziryab Danza – a dance company in which he would play the roles of director, choreographer and lead dancer. A year later he crushed the competition at the Concurso Nacional del Arte Flamenco, winning three national prizes for Alegrías, Bulerías and as overall Best Dancer.

He would spend the next decade working in collaboration, both as dancer and choreographer for leading Flamenco artists including Vicente Amgio, Enrique Morente, Antonio Canales & Eva la Yerbabuena. Realizing his true vocation he retired from the stage in 2003 to dedicate himself completely to choreography and teaching. In 2006 he signed a contract with the Instituto Municipal de Artes Escéncias de Códoba and opened the Centro de Danza Javier Latorre, his dance company would also become the resident company in the Gran Teatro de Códoba. He continues to teach and choreograph, working with major names within the Flamenco world, most famously for his work on Carlos Saura's 2010 film Flamenco, Flamenco, and is perhaps the most respected Flamenco choreographer alive today.

Javier is a fixture at the annual Festival de Jerez, and when you see him on opening night of the Festival in the lobby of the Teatro Villamarta, you know the Festival de Jerez has begun!

Javier Latorre

Javier Latorre

Gema Moneo is from the legendary Moneo clan of Gypsy flamenco singers and guitarists in Jerez de la Frontera. Niece of the famed singer El Torta, she grew up in the middle of an ongoing flamenco fiesta with constant singing and dancing at home and at family gatherings. She started studying dance with cousin Manuela Carpio, and soon began to work in the peñas and tablaos of Jerez. At the age of 18 she joined Farruquito’s company and has appeared with him all over Spain and at festivals including the 2010 Bienal de Flamenco in Sevilla. Last year Gema debuted in the US with the all-star ensemble led by Diego del Morao, Fiesta Jerez at Festival Flamenco Gitano USA 2012 with shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York CIty. A featured performer at venues such as the prestigious El Cordobés in Barcelona and Madrid’s Las Carboneras, Gema continues to perform regularly with dancers such as  Farruquito and El Choro, guitarist Diego del Morao and many more.

My 2016 Flamenco Journeyers will remember Gema from El Choro's main stage show Aviso: Bayles de Jitanos that year, and we are still talking about the Zambra number she danced in that show, and of course she crushed it at the tablao! Gema was a guest artist with Antonio Canales and El Farru in the Gala Flamenca La Chana, in which the great La Chana also performed, in February at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre presented by the Flamenco Festival London.

Gema Moneo's Zambra number from  Aviso: Bayles de Jitanos

Gema Moneo's Zambra number from Aviso: Bayles de Jitanos

Pedro is presenting the world premiere of his show Otro Genios at the ABQ festival, and here is his description of the show:

"I still can not describe in words what I felt as a child when I heard Camarón de la Isla sing titiritando de frío, or the new doors that Morente opened in my mind with Omega, or as an adult, how my tears fell when Paco de Lucía passed ...

These memories and experiences have led me to create this small tribute to those Otros Genios (Other Geniuses) that have fed and influenced  my artistic growth and expression directly and indirectly throughout my entire artistic career.

Javier Latorre, Tío Borrico, Chocolate, Ray Heredia, Fernando de la Morena, Vicente Amigo and Peret compose seven of the eight scenes of the show. The eighth  is reserved for a friend who will take the stage with us, without even knowing it ... will he or she be one of those "Other geniuses" for the generations of flamenco to come?"