Leonor Leal's Contemporary Flamenco

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Leonor Leal, Jose Luis Rodriguez, and Francisco Orozco present contemporary flamenco during the John Hope Franklin Center's Wednesdays at the Center series. Leonor Leal is considered one of the best flamenco dancers in Spain today. She began her dance education in Jerez de la Frontera in classical and Spanish dance. Later she also took up flamenco, studying with several prominent teachers both in Jerez and Seville. Her first professional engagements were in the companies of Antonio El Pipa, Andrès Marin, Javier Baron and in the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia conducted by Cristina Hoyos. She performed in the well-known productions such as “Femenino Plural”, “Alicia” , “El Pais de las Maravillas”, “Serenata Andaluza”, “Jovenes Valores del Flamenco” and “Viva Jerez.” In 2008 she presented her first choreography “Leoleole” at the festival of Jerez 2008. It was a performance which allowed her to break through both in Spain and abroad. That same year she was also awarded a recognition for being the most outstanding female dancer at a renowned contest in Madrid. She also danced in several Sevillian tablaos and taught at the “Andres Marin-Flamenco Abierto” academy in the Spanish capital. Jose Luis Rodriguez was born in Morocco. The son of a Flamenco aficionado, his earliest memories were of hearing the islamic chants of the region and then later being surrounded by Flamenco culture in his hometown of Huelva, Spain. Following the oral traditions of one of the Flamenco greats from the second generation, at 15 years of age, Jose Luis was fortunate to become the prized pupil of the legendary Mario Escudero. Rodriguez has won numerous prizes such as the Premio Jóvenes Interpretes-Bienal de Sevilla (1984), Festival de Jerez (1985), Premio Asociación de la Prensa-Huelva (1988), Finalista Giraldillo del Toque-Bienal de Sevilla (1990), and Cuarto Cabales (2011) among others. In 1995 he appeared in Felix Grande's book "Agenda Flamenca" as one of the twenty best guitarists in Spain. He has performed in numerous countries such as Belgium, Holland, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, England, France, Russia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Japan, Canada, and the United States. Francisco Orozco “Yiyi” is from Andalusian family, born in Barcelona, and was introduced to Flamenco rhythms at the tender age of four. Yiyi was trained by Flamenco singer and father– “Joselón de Jerez” in his Spanish peña named “Peña Fosforito”. Since that time he has performed with “Compañia Flamenca Alhama” throughout Europe and Japan; with internationally known María Benitez “Teatro Flamenco” on Broadway and throughout the U.S.; Domingo Ortega in Venezuela as well “Casa Patas” in Madrid; Jose Greco II in the United States of America and Taiwan; and world-renowned guitarist Serranito . This presentation was made possible by the John Hope Franklin Center and the Duke University Dance Program.

Posted on: November 21, 2022 by Danceus Staff