Friday at 7:30 PM – 10 PM
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California 94705
Friday, December 14, 2018
Doors Open 7:30pm / Event begins 8pm
$16 Advance / $20 Door ($22 if paying with credit card)
In her sixth annual showcase, Flamenco artist Melissa Cruz presents her dancers performing new repertory and solo pieces, exploring the concept of “pellizco” in the art of flamenco. If pellizco can be described as a chosen gesture or personal expression, it is necessary to the study of any art form as part of its language – as important as color and technique. In flamenco, pellizco is the connection between artist and appreciator.
The cast of 17 dancers is joined by esteemed musicians, Roberto Aguilar and Azriel “El Moreno.”
Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 14 years. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya’s professional company. Apart from frequently performing in theatrical presentations, she teaches a full weekly schedule of flamenco dance classes and presents consistently in the local flamenco cabaret circuit. Melissa is also the dancer and percussionist for the band, LoCura, with who she performs and tours.
Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and currently presents her own apprentice dance repertory group. Melissa has performed as a soloist in the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2012 and 2016 and has presented in eight San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Tucson Flamenco Festival. Currently, she is principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company which debuted the show, “Mares” in September 2016.
As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: “Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende — the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art.”