The Santa Ana Sentinel

Reyes Barrios Shines in Santa Ana

Posted in Arts & Culture, Flamenco en Inglés by Omar Ian Ávalos on September 21, 2011

Fiesta Tangata, an event that is part of the New World Flamenco Festival, was held at the Bowers Museum on Tuesday night. In performance were singer Reyes Barrios, guitarist Pedro Cortés, and dancers Fanny Ara and Vanessa Acosta.

The event in Santa Ana, like the others in Costa Mesa and Laguna, was for promoting the larger concerts at UCI’s Barclay Theater, where the New World Flamenco Festival was normally held in years past. The festival returned this year after a two-year hiatus, but without the headlining companies from Spain that audiences became accustomed to. Instead, this year’s festival features many local flamenco performers from throughout California and other parts of the United States.

The quartet performed three roughly twenty minute sets on a small tablado, or dance floor, which allowed for a more authentic performance in comparison to those set on large theatrical stages. The performance began with a set of Sevillanas, which are a group of four strophic short songs, each one typically has two verses and a chorus.

Vanessa Acosta then did a solo over a Soleá por bulerías to end the first set.

The second set began with Reyes Barrios singing the song Válgame Dios by famed flamenco singer Niña Pastori.

Fanny Ara then did a solo over an Alegrías rhythm to end the second set.

The final set ended with Fanny and Vanessa dancing over a Tango flamenco and bulerías. Flamenco performances commonly end with a fin de fiesta in a bulerías rhythm and all the performers do a short, fun and improvised pataíta (from the Spanish word patadita). This is where Reyes came out to do her pataíta much to the surprise and delight of the audience.

The guitarist Pedro Cortés was a solid accompanist and adorned the dances with falsetas, which are short compositions, some of these were not his original ideas and others were new to me.

The most important component of a flamenco performance is the cante, the singing, and this is where Reyes Barrios stood out and excelled. This is an area where flamenco in the Los Angeles area is weak, being that there are very few good flamenco singers in the area and not enough diffusion and instruction of the artform, and Reyes lives and is most active performing in the San Diego area.

Overall, Reyes Barrios took the cake.

Below: An excerpt of a Sevillanas set.

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“Semana Flamenka” in Santa Ana is Sold Out

Posted in Arts & Culture, Flamenco en Inglés by Omar Ian Ávalos on September 14, 2011

Fiesta Tangata, an event that is part of this year’s New World Flamenco Festival, is sold out according to the festival director and flamenco dancer Yaelisa of San Francisco, CA.

The festival comes to Santa Ana for the first time this year, after being confined to the Barclay Theater at UC Irvine and Tapas restaurant in Newport Beach in years past.

This year the festival spreads out of UCI and into Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Laguna. All of the “fiesta” events, outside of the Barclay, are sold out.

In performance at Fiesta Tangata at the Bowers on Tuesday September 20th are dancers Fanny Ara from the bay area and Vanessa Albalos (who teaches at the Images dance studio across the Bowers), singer Reyes Barrios of San Diego, CA and guitarist Pedro Cortés of Spain.

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The New World Flamenco Festival Comes to Santa Ana

Posted in Arts & Culture, Flamenco en Inglés by Omar Ian Ávalos on August 19, 2011

The New World Flamenco Festival Comes to Santa Ana, and other parts of Orange County including Irvine, Laguna and Costa Mesa.

This will be the first time that the festival officially comes to Santa Ana. There was an attempt made to bring a workshop here during Juan Talavera’s time as a flamenco dance instructor at Santa Ana College, about five to seven years ago. There is no mention yet of any guitar or dance workshops, which were a common component of the festival in years past. This festival ran annually at the Barclay Theater at UC Irvine but had some funding issues in the last year or two.

The theme for this year’s festival is Semana Flamenka, which means flamenco week. The festival runs from September 19th to the 25th and will come to the Bowers Museum on Tuesday, September 20th for an event called Flamenco Tangata, in reference to the restaurant on site at the museum.

More info is available at the Barclay’s website.

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