Wed, July 24th

MedFest 2013: La nuit espagnole-Flamenco & The Spanish Vanguard

classical Festival TICKETS

Doors 6:30pm
Show 7:15pm
Advance Price $15
Door Price $20 (Students $15 w/ School ID)

Advanced online ticket sales stop at 5pm on day of show
If available, more tickets are available at door

MedFest 2013:
La nuit espagnole: Flamenco & The Spanish Vanguard

Presented in Partnerhsip with Between The Seas Festival 2013


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The spectacle La nuit espagnole: Flamenco and the Spanish Vanguard” is a multi-disciplinary experience that illuminates via dance, song and projections the protagonists of early 20th century Flamenco culture: dancers Antonia Mercé “La Argentina”, Encarnación López “La Argentinita” and Vicente Escudero, and the artists of the European Vanguard that were drawn to them.  

Spanish music specialist mezzo soprano Anna Tonna, Flamenco dancer Rebeca Tomás, Spanish dancer Anna de la Paz, Spanish pianist Maria de los Ángeles Rubio, together with Flamenco guitarist Pedro Córtes and Flamenco singer Barbara Martínez join forces to create an evening of original dance choreography to  music by Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albéniz, Federico García Lorca, Gustavo Pittaluga among others, which interplay with images and poetry  by painters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Frances Picabia, poets Federico Garcia Lorca, Rafael Alberti and photographer Man Ray, bringing to life these artists of the European Avant-garde of between the wars, and their inspired creations upon Flamenco culture of the 1920's and 30's.


Córdoba by Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)

Baile by Julián Bautista (1901-1961)

Polo Gitano by Tomas Bretón (1850-1923)

Excerpts from El amor brujo by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)

Anda Jaleo by Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)

Romance de Solita from the ballet La romería de los cornudos by Gustavo Pittaluga (1906-1975)

La corrida by “Quinito” Valverde (1875-1918) castanet solo

Traditional flamenco arrangements of Farruca and Alegrías


Inspiring romantics such as Theophile Gautier, Gustav Becquer and Edouard Manet, flamenco music, flamenco dancers and other nascent Spanish musical forms such as the “cante jondo” continued to feed the imagination of composers, writers and painters well into the of the European vanguard of the early 20th century.  These “muses” of the early European Avant-garde where intimately involved in the output and artistic creations by composer Manuel de Falla such as in his groundbreaking El amor brujo:

“'We have made a strange work, whose effect on the public we cannot predict.”

Manuel de Falla, La Patria Madrid, 15 de abril de 1915.

Pablo Picasso and Francis Picabia obsessed with images of the guitar and Spanish dancers in their paintings; in turn, these same artists from flamenco culture themselves were directly influenced by the aesthetics and ideas of the Avant-garde, as can be clearly seen in this quote by the dancer Vicente Escudero:

 “One night I dreamed that I was dancing to the sound of two motors, and soon afterwardI brought this dream to life and performed it on the stage of Salle Pleyel in Paris, in a concert where I presented a flamenco gypsy dance accompanied by two dynamos of different intensities.  In breaking the monotony produced by the electrical sound, I managed to compose the rhythmic-plastic combination that I was determined to present, which for me represented the struggle between man and machine, between improvisation and mechanical technique.”


In La nuit espagnole: Flamenco and the Spanish Vanguard, high and low culture collide, Spanish classical genres of song and dance are shaken with the influences of flamenco rhythms and song; classical voice melts into vibrant flamenco cante; classical Spanish dance and Flamenco can be seen side by side in an unforgettable evening of of dance, song, poetry and painting that inspired the European Vanguard before the Spanish Civil War.


Rebeca Tomás has been deemed by the critics "awesomely fiery" (New York Times), "masterful" (Eva YaaAsentawaa), and "a postcard image of the feminine Flamenco dancer" (Kansas City Metropolis). After years of freelancing as a solo dancer and company performer with such companies as Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, she began to create her own work and founded the  A Palo Seco Flamenco Company.  As artistic director and choreographer of the company, Tomás debuted her first production in May 2010 at Theatre 80 St. Marks in New York City, described as "a feast for the eyes and the ears" (Linsday Miller, Theatre On-Line).  In addition to directing and performing with her company, Tomás works throughout the country as a solo dancer, instructor, and choreographer.  Rebeca began her formal dance training in Granada, Spain and later moved to Madrid, where she studied at the internationally renowned Flamenco Academy Amor de Dios. 

Anna de la Paz is a dance performer and teacher specializing in classical and folkloric Spanish dance and flamenco. After living in Spain and studying with such great master teachers as Mariemma, La Tati, Pedro Azorín and María Magdalena, she moved to New York City in 1999 and began working with Gabriela Granados and American Bolero Dance Company. Anna also performed with other ensembles, including Danzas Españolas, Amigos de la Zarzuela and The Liria Ensemble. She created and produced her own shows Alegría Española and Migración, and is currently working on her most recent show, a Spanish dance, tap, jazz, African, reggae fusion project called Making Music Dance, which premiered at the Jazz en Rafale Festival in Montreal in March 2013.


Mezzo Soprano Anna Tonna has been described as “mezzo heroine who knows how to sing Rossini” by the (Rossini Gessellschaft) and as “showing off her warm, secure mezzo-soprano to maximum advantage” by the (New York Magazine); accolades such as these explain her constant demand as a recitalist and opera singer in both Europe and the Americas. The combination of a highly developed coloratura with a full, balanced, flexible lower register have guaranteed her acclaim as a lyric mezzo, both in familiar roles Rosina, Carmen, Dorabella, as well as in more rare repertoire by Paisiello, Vivaldi, Mascagni, Zandonai and Giordano.  She has sung at  both the Alice Tully Hall and Rose Center of Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall, New York's Town Hall, Weil Recital Hall as well as at the Hispanic Society of America. She has collaborated with Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico, Música de Cámara, Joy in Singing, Elysium Between Two Continents among others.  Her recital of “Songs of post civil war Spain” at the Fundación Juan March of Madrid was broadcast on Radio Television Española and hailed as “a tour de force” by the Spanish newspaper ABC.  She can be heard in “Las canciones de Julio Gómez” with Spanish pianist Jorge Robaina with discographic label VERSO.


Pianist Maria de los Angeles Rubio is known for accompanying song recitals, notably Spanish repertoire, and her work in opera at Thüringen Schlossfestspiele, Prinzregententheater in Munich and the Arc Light Theater in New York in The Barber of Seville, The Elixir of Love, and Wiener Blut. She has played in song recitals in Spain, Mexico, Germany (Theater Heidelberg and Erfurt, Schloss in Karlsruhe), Austria (Musikverein, Vienna), Italy, Croatia and Switzerland for singers such as tenor Ismael Jordi and  soprano Marija Vidovic, and recently played flamenco music in the tour of Spain of

Que suenen con alegria with Jesus Mendez, Manuel Lombo and other notables.


MedFest 2013