North Miami's PAN, Performing Arts Network is a professional coalition of artists and organizations who:
· promote community
Special thanks to all our supporters, audiences, public and private donors and foundations.
These programs are made possible with the support of The State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, The Miami-Dade County Deparatment of Cultural Affairs, The Cultural Affairs Council, The Mayor and The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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artists @ PAN, Performing Arts Network
Jazz Saxophonist/ Composer
Eric Allison holds both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in music and has been a working professional musician for over 30 years. Mr. Allison lives in the music-rich Miami, Florida area and plays all the standard woodwinds-saxophones, clarinet, and flute-with authority and authenticity in such styles as mainstream, Bebop, Funk Jazz, New Orleans Second Line, Swing, and Dixieland.
Mean Streets Beat, Allison's debut for Contemporary Records (part of the Fantasy Records family), served as an excellent introduction to his talents. Working with several ensembles-comprising such top talent as pianist/organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, saxman Turk Mauro, and bassist Phil Flanigan, Allison offered up ten lively mainstream jazz originals replete with melody, invention, and vitality. "His main calling seems to involve making a stomping, effervescent swing," commented one reviewer, "...a superb cooking feel."
Mr. Allison's exemplary follow up, is a concept album that sprang from the suggestion by executive producer Bob Weinstock that he include an updated arrangement of Avery Parrish's "After Hours," which was a huge hit for the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra in the 1940s. Allison then "wrote like a maniac for a couple of months," producing nine new compositions heard on After Hours. The CD reached #20 on the Gavin Report for national radio airplay (jazz format) in 1998, and stayed on the chart for 13 weeks.
Weinstock, renowned as the founder of Prestige Records, said he had decided to launch Allison because "I was so impressed with him. This guy has his roots in mainstream jazz and he's a swinger."
Born March 7, 1951 in South Bend, Indiana, Eric Allison at first had little regard for the records his father played: big band music of Count Basie and Stan Kenton, traditional jazz from Louis Armstrong and Bob Crosby. When he was in junior high school in Sarasota, Florida, Eric says, "I got hit by the jazz virus, never to be cured." Soon, he was listening to early jazz recordings by brassman Armstrong, clarinetist Irving Fazola, and tenor saxophonist Eddie Miller. "Instead of buying the newest music, I wanted to know where jazz came from," he says.
He took up alto sax in junior high school, and was mostly self-taught. Then, while in high school, he discovered the music of bop giant alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who became his idol. Serious saxophone studying began when Allison entered Northwestern University near Chicago. There, he came under the tutelage of legendary saxophonist Fred Hemke. Allison also studied jazz with Joe Daley, a great tenor saxophonist from Chicago. After graduating from Northwestern with a bachelor's degree in Music Education, Allison returned to Florida, and entered the jazz studies program at the University of Miami, where he earned a master's degree in Jazz Pedagogy in 1975. Since that time he has been a leading performer in the top jazz clubs and concert venues in South Florida, and has worked with a virtual litany of jazz greats both past and present, including Zoot Sims, Ira Sullivan, Paquito d'Rivera, Richie Cole, Scott Hamilton, Curtis Fuller, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Nat Adderly and Buddy Tate.
Mr. Allison's talents as an arranger and performer for other artists' concert and recording projects are in great demand. In addition, he leads a variety of different bands for corporate events (IBM, General Electric, Pepsi-Cola), institutional functions (University of Miami, Orange Bowl Committee, Miami Dolphins), and private parties. These include the Wonderland Swing Band, a horn-heavy group performing the repertoire of both the big bands and the 'jump' tunes so popular in the recent Neo-Swing revival; and a Dixieland band playing authentic New Orleans jazz. A recognized expert in the evolution of jazz, Allison has taught jazz history at the University of Miami.
In 2000, Eric married well-known Canadian jazz singer Cheryl Fisher. The two work extensively together and now divide their time between the United States and Canada. Their recent appearances have included the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Blue Note in New York City, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Floating Jazz Festival aboard the S/S Norway and S/S Masdam, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the "JAM" Festival in Indianapolis, the TD and C-Jazz Festivals in Calgary, the Jazz City International Festival in Edmonton, the Florida Philharmonic under the direction of Peter Nero, soloist with the new Gene Krupa Orchestra, and the Montreal Bistro in Toronto. Beginning in 2005 he has toured Japan and Korea annually with pianist Eddie Higgins, and since 2007 has been the Music Director of the Gold Coast Jazz Society Band.
As a busy, committed working musician, skilled jazz composer, and innovative recording artist, Eric Allison is bringing his talents to the world at large—to the pleasure of an ever-widening audience.
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Teacher/ Co-Artistic Director of Tango Axis
Mariela Barufaldi began studying classical dance at a young age. She studied theatre in college, producing and directing numerous plays. She trained intensively in Argentine Tango with various tango masters. Ms. Barufaldi went on to join Jeremias Massera and created Tango Axis. They are the resident tango company at PAN, Performing Arts Network, where they opened their School of Argentine Tango.
Writer/ Teacher/ Performer
Dennis Bass began his study of music at the age of four. He read music before he read words. He vividly remembers playing "Blue Skirt Waltz" with the accordion resonating in his chest and the little girls in blue taffeta swirling around him in a spotlight upon the shining wooden floor of the stage.
When he was five, looking out at the garden, his mother asked if he saw the fairies dancing between the bushes. He sadly confessed that he didn't. "That's because they're invisible," she said.
Mr. Bass went on to write poetry, fairy tales, radio broadcasts and dance-play librettos. He has performed piano and vocals with dance bands and played solo piano performances since 1966.
In 1986, on an otherwise all-dance program, Bass presented his stationary performance piece, The Tragedy of Vaslav Nijinsky: A Dancer Out of Work. He was then matched with a choreographer and scene designer through the Painted Bride Art Center's commission program. They created Our Amusement Park, based on Bass's memories of Riverview Park in Chicago. He set the plot and text to the music of de Falla's flamenco ballet, El Amor Brujo. (Saura's film version of the ballet premiered the same weekend.) Dance plays remain his favorite way to communicate.
His dance plays include: Our Amusement Park, Things Gone and Things Still Here, Every Time It Happens Every Time, Joan of Arc On Memorial Day, and Why Must I Fight Amongst Myselves? These have been presented in Philadelphia at the Painted Bride Art Center, Community Education Center, Conwell Dance Theatre (Temple University), Movement Theatre International's Tabernacle Theatre, and at Mayfair Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bass's radio plays and features include: An Imaginary Interview with Gertrude Stein, She Couldn't See Looking Any More, Being Poe In Philadelphia, Joan of Arc and Bluebeard, A Lecture-Play On Fairy Tales, Why You Better Vote, The Portrait of Gertrude's Time, Two Statues Of Women In Gold, History and Being In the Mood, Autumn and the Time For Growth, and Not Looking Into People's Eyes When They Talk. These were broadcasted in Philadelphia on NPR affiliates WXPN-FM and WHYY-FM (on Terry Gross's Fresh Air).
In celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution, Mr. Bass wrote and co-produced radio documentaries for Voices of Dissent that honored singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson, Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, and Native American artist Fritz Scholder. The pieces were introduced by Black Arts Movement poet Sonia Sanchez, and broadcast on Philadelphia radio station WXPN-FM.
His performance art pieces include The Tragedy of Vaslav Nijinsky: A Dancer Out of Work, The Guilt Of Not Saying Gesundheit and Serious Text with Snoopy Drummer-Toy. These were presented at Painted Bride Art Center, Community Education Center, and Theatre Center Philadelphia.
Mr. Bass's stage plays include an adaptation of The Dybbuk performed in Philadelphia and short plays presented at Arts at St. John's, Miami Beach.
Mr. Bass lectured extensively with "The Gertrude Stein-Lizzie Borden Connection." Presentations include the Lizzie Borden Centennial Conference, Fall River, Massachusetts, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference, Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr College, Temple University, La Salle University, Community College of Philadelphia, Northwest Regional Library, Philadelphia, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, Nexus Art Gallery, Philadelphia, Lombard Swim Club, Philadelphia, PAN, Performing Arts Network and Mensa.
Dennis Bass has been a middle and high school English teacher in Chicago and Philadelphia, and an English tutor in Philadelphia and Miami.
For ten years Mr. Bass was an educational counselor at a workshop for people with developmental disabilities in Miami. He wrote skills acquisition programs, played piano and sang for the weekly dance, and wrote dance plays performed by the clients at holiday parties.
Hannah M. Baumgarten
Dancer/ Teacher/ Choreographer/ Co-Artistic Director of Dance Now! Miami
Hannah M. Baumgarten
Hannah Baumgarten, Founding Co-Director of Dance NOW! Miami, holds a B.F.A from the Juilliard School and is winner of the State of Florida Choreographic Fellowship. A California native, her work has been presented internationally in Honduras, and nationally in New York, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. She has taught and choreographed at Florida International University, New World School of the Arts, PAN, Performing Arts Network the Cincinnati Conservatory, Peridance Capezio Center New York, Rutgers University, West Texas A & M, Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp, University of Pennsylvania Ballet, Mercersburg Academy, the Instituto de Danza at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Institutto Bellas Artes, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and at regional and National High School Dance Festivals. Ms. Baumgarten is mat certified in Pilates from Core Dynamics and has served as a grant panelist for the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. She danced with Utah Ballet, Michael Uthoff DanceTheatre, Labyrinth Dance Theatre, William Adair and Dancers, Karen Peterson & Dancers, Momentum Dance Company, Giovanni Luquini and Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. Ms. Baumgarten directed the Magnet Dance Program at Dillard Center for the Arts in Ft. Lauderdale Florida for 10 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the Academy of Arts and Minds. Her company, Dance NOW! Miami, founded with Diego Salterini, remains the preeminent contemporary dance company of South Florida, with National and International touring. With Diego Salterini, Hannah Baumgarten has pioneered initiatives such as the Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler, the Miami Dance Festival and Miami Open Stage, as well as the Dance NOW! Little Haiti Cultural Center Summer Dance Intensive.
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Teacher
Marisol Blanco is a professional dancer, instructor and choreographer in Zumba, Afro-Cuban Folklore, Salsa or other Latin dance styles.
Her teaching experience in Zumba includes the National Zumba Convention, Miami, FL (2009), Lady of America in Westchester and Cutler Bay, FL (2009), Pro Fitness Center, Miami, FL (2009), Brickell Body Fitness Center, Miami, FL (2009) Ballys Gym, Miami, FL (2009) and Dance Arts Fitness Studio (DAF), Miami, FL (2008-2009).
At Barnyard Community Center, Coconut Grove, FL (2009), Ms. Blanco instructed and choreographed the Afro-Cuban Fusion dance class. Ms. Blanco was also an instructor for Dance Art and Fitness Studio (DAF), Miami, FL (2008-2009), where she taught Zumba, Cuban Salsa, Rumba, Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance and Children's Ballet. From 2002-2008 Ms. Blanco taught Contemporary Dance and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance at Conjunto Femenino de Percusión, Canto y Danza, and Obbini Bata in Havana, Cuba. Ms. Blanco also worked with Music Agency Antonio Maria Romeo Dance, Havana, Cuba (2002-2004) as an instructor of Contemporary Dance, Fusion, and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance. Marisol Blanco also instructed Afro Cuban Folkloric Dance from 1995-2002.
She has performed with Ballet Folklórico de Miami (Afro-Cuban dance) (2009), Cubana de Television (2009), Advanced Entertainment Group (2009), Mano Santa (Afro Brazilian group) (2009), Delirious Brazil Entertainment Group (2009), Circus Cabaret Entertainment Group (2009), Conjunto Femenino de Percusión, Canto y Danza, Obbini Bata (Cuba's first all-female dance and drumming group, with international performances at the Nacional School of Art and Superior Institute of Art in Havana, Cuba) (2002-2008) and Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba (1999-2000).
Ms. Blanco choreographed for Ballet Folklorico de Miami (2009), Mano Santa (Zumba, Batucada, Ache, Afro Brazilian dance styles) (2009),La Fortuna (fusion dance) (2009), Conjunto Femenino de Percusión, Canto y Danza, Obbini Bata (Cuban popular dance, fusion, Afro-Cuban and contemporary dance), and The National School of Art (Afro-Cuban dance) (2000-2002).
Marisol Blanco holds a Master in Arts, Superior Institute of Art, Havana, Cuba (specialized in Dance) (1999) and is a graduate of the National School of Art high school, Havana, Cuba (1995).
Flamenco Vocalist/ Teacher
Almudena Caceres was born in Mondejar, Guadalajara and began singing at a young age. Ms. Caceres began studying Flamenco singing at the age of 16 with Juan de Madrid. In 1999, while on tour in Japan, she met the guitarist Sivi Rodriguez and they became partners in life as well as artistically. They toured the U.K. and the U.S. together, and now live in Miami, FL, where they work with Ballet Flamenco La Rosa as well as in various Flamenco clubs or "Tablaos".
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Director of Sumaj Tusuy Andean Dance Company
Betty Caloretti was born in Ayacucho, Peru. Her passion for folk dancing began when she was 15 years old and since then she has been immersed in the folk dance culture. In 1978, she began formal training under the tutelage of Master Elvis Ore, a researcher of folk dance from the Central Andes of Peru, who had studied at San Marcos University. Ms. Caloretti entered the National School of Folklore where she graduated in 1982 as a Professor of Folk Dances, History, Customs and Performance.
Betty Caroletti is the Director of Sumaj Tusuy ("beautiful dance" in Quechua) Andean dance company. Ms. Caroletti specializes in dances from the central and south Peruvian Andes and some dances from the coast. She performs both original choreographies and ancient forms of Andean dance.
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Teacher
Carly Dorman was born in New York and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts in Miami, under the direction of Daniel Lewis, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She also trained in New York at the Alvin Ailey, Jose Limon and Paul Taylor Schools. Additionally, Carly was awarded scholarships to study with Axis Dance Company in California and at the Florida Dance Festival. Carly has danced and performed with Florida Grand Opera, Fashiontv, Karen Peterson and Dancers, The Dancing Wheels Company, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brazarte Dance Company and Celebrity Cruises in association with FJM and Hardrive Productions, Mike Moloney Entertainment Company, Poet Theatricals and Vox Lumiere. She has had the opportunity to perform in works by several notable choreographers including Peter London, Robert Battle, Nai Ni Chen, Stuart Pimsler, Dianne McIntyre and Robert Wesner and she danced in a World Premiere choreographed by the legendary Donald McKayle. Ms. Dorman's choreography has been presented in Miami by Karen Peterson's Emerging Choreographers Series and the Florida Dance Festival and has been presented in Cleveland by Meg Louise Dance Sneak Reviews and Cleveland Public Theatre's Big [Box] Series in collaboration with Sara Lawrence-Sucato and FiveOne Experimental Orchestra. In addition, she has showcased choreography all over the world in Everybody Dance, through Celebrity Cruises. Carly has taught internationally in a range of styles reflective of her own diverse background of training and experience. From children to adults, Carly teaches a variety of levels and techniques including Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and American Style Ballroom Salsa, Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz, Tango, Swing and Foxtrot. She also teaches Pilates and holds a Certification in the D.K. Body Balancing Method of Pilates for both Mat Work and Equipment. In Miami, Carly currently performs with Karen Peterson and Dancers and Brazarte Dance Company.
Dancer/ Choreographer /Teacher/ Co-Artistic Director of Harmonic Motion Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble
Myriam Eli is the Executive and Dance Director of Harmonic Motion Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble and Oudansquerade. She has performed with Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Ahmed Hussein Dance Company, Anahid Sofian Near Eastern Dance, Morocco and the Casbah Dance Experience, Serena Dance Theater, Zeeba and Myriam and the Boston Flamenco Ballet.
Ms. Eli's traditional and cross-cultural choreography and performances include Harmonic Motion, Bailes Ferrer, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, collaborations with modern dancer Barbara Sloan, Florida Dance Festival, University of South Florida, Florida International University Department of Theater and Dance, Florida Atlantic University Theater Department, American Dance Guild, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, University Center for the Performing Arts, Estefan Enterprises/Sony Music's Latin Pop Rock singer Shakira (MTV, Latin Grammy, various TV appearances, world tour) and La Mystique Dance Company.
Her Concert appearances in New York include Riverside Theater Dance Festival, Cami Hall, New York University, American Museum of Natural History and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. In Miami, she performed at the Colony Theater, New World School of the Arts, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and PAN, Performing Arts Network. Her Fort Lauderdale performances include Broward County Main Library Theater and Sunrise Civic Center.
Ms. Eli received awards from the Florida State Touring Program, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, 2004 Folklife Apprenticeship Award as Master Teacher of Middle Eastern dance from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, 2000 Dance Fellowship from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Broward County Artistic Achievement Award 2000, Artistic Achievement Through Choreography and Performance from the American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance ('96), Broward Cultural Affairs Council and Florida Department of State mini-grants for Harmonic Motion.
Myriam Eli has toured Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Turkey, and Japan with Harmonic Motion, and worldwide with Shakira.
Ms. Eli's teaching experience includes the University Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Ambrosia, Mideastern Dance Exchange, Florida Dance Festival (University of South Florida, New World School of the Arts), Mary Street Dance Theater, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Florida International University, Dreyfoos High School of the Arts, Palm Beach Middle School of the Arts, Broward County Arts in Education and Parks and Recreation.
She has taught in New York at the United Nations, Morocco Dance Studio, Serena Studio and Anahid Sofian Dance Studio, and in Puerto Rico at Soma Esthetic and Zayda Varas School of Dance.
Ms. Eli has toured as a percussionist, performing on darbuka, riqq, zils (finger cymbals) and bendir (frame drum). She has performed as a percussionist with Joe Zeytoonian, Souren Baronian, George Stathos, Mike Gregian, Seido Salifosky, O. Faruk Tekbilek, Mimi Spencer, Susan Raphael, Satoshi Takeishi, Abbey Rader, Kenny Millions, Tom Lee, Ara Topouzian, Jim Stoyanoff, Gary Kelly and Shakira's Band.
Myriam Eli's recordings include Rom-Anadolu Session, Danse Orientale Project, Café Makam, Casting Nine, Southern Arrival, Shakira's Dónde Están los Ladrones, Shakira Unplugged, and Laundry Service/Servicio de Lavandería. Her work with Shakira for sony music Estefan Enterprises includes recording - dance on darbuka, riqq, zills, and zaghareet with Shakira for her CD Dónde están los Ladrones on the multiple-award winning song Ojos Así – 1998. She gave private Middle Eastern dance lessons to Shakira in 1998 and performed on darbuka with Shakira at the Sony Music Entertainment Marketing Meeting at the Fontainebleau Hilton, Miami Beach. She also choreographed for Shakira for this performance. She performed on Middle Eastern percussion with Shakira, arranged rhythm changes and darbuka solo in Ojos Así, and taught and choreographed Shakira's dance to Ojos Así on her MTV Latino Unplugged Special in 1999. She recorded with Shakira on her multiple-award winning MTV Unplugged CD, which includes a darbuka solo and rhythm arrangements by Ms. Eli in Ojos Así in 1999. She toured with Shakira to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, England, and Spain, including TV appearances, performing on darbuka and creating choreography in 1999. She performed on darbuka with and taught and choreographed for Shakira for her 2000 Latin Grammy appearance of Ojos Así in 2000 and recorded on riqq, darbuka, and zills with Shakira on her crossover CD Laundry Service / Servicio de Lavandería in the cuts Eyes Like Yours / Ojos Así and Whenever, Wherever / Suerte in 2001. Ms. Eli appeared on English and Spanish language Pepsi commercials with Shakira, shown worldwide and recorded for Estefan Enterprises on the Middle Eastern influenced pieces Rapture and Illusions in 2001. She gave private lessons to and choreographed for Shakira's crossover song Whenever, Wherever/Suerte and performed on darbuka with and choreographed for Shakira for her CD Release in Roseland, New York City and performed on darbuka with and choreographed for Shakira's performance at Y-100's Jingle Ball, American Airlines Arena in Miami in 2001. She performed on darbuka with and choreographed for Shakira for U.S.A. TV appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTV -TRL, the Rosie O'Donnell Show and The Today Show in 2001 and 2002. She performed on darbuka with and choreographed for Shakira for a Tower Records show in Los Angeles and toured with Shakira to perform on darbuka and choreograph for CD releases in Madrid, Tokyo and Toronto where she also appeared on TV's Much Music Video Awards, and Montreal, where she also appeared on TV's Musique Plus. She toured with Shakira to perform on darbuka and choreograph for Q-13's Concert at the Tweeter Center in Philadelphia, Z-100's concert at Giants' Stadium in New Jersey, KISS Concert in Boston and choreographed Middle Eastern dance and created darbuka solos for Shakira's World Tour of the Mongoose 2003-2004, at Casa de Campo, La Romana and Dominican Republic.
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Teacher/ Artistic Director of Atma Dance
Colleen Farnum has practiced yoga for over 20 years, beginning her studies at Jivamukti Yoga with David Life and Sharon Gannon in New York City. She traveled to Mysore, India to study with the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She has also studied Sivanada, Iyengar, Kundalini, Bikram, Yoga and Hatha Yoda. In South Florida, Colleen has danced with Brigid Baker, Dance Esaias, Giovanni Luquini and Momentum, Dance Now! Ensemble and her work has been presented at the Florida Dance Festival.
On the West Coast, Colleen danced with Mary Osland and Company and Agnieska Laska and Dancers. Her work was produced in conjunction with Agnieska Laska for the 2002-03 dance season.
Ms. Farnum received her BFA in dance from N.Y.U., Tisch School of the Arts in 1998. She danced with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. She directed Skulduggery Dance from 1993-96, performing her choreography at venues along the East Coast, including the 25th Woodstock Anniversary Festival. She toured America with the H.O.R.D.E. Festival in front of rock groups Phish, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors and Wide Spread Panic.
Colleen Farnum has danced all of Miami Contemporary Dance Company's repertory including featured roles in When Words Pour Down, Asiasong on Our Soil, The Death of Garcia Lorca, Tango Undressed, Intimate I and II and Your Blood, My Blood in the U.S., Europe, and on South American tours. She was also the Assistant Director and Rehearsal Director for the company.
Ms. Farnum is currently the Artistic Director of Atma Dance, which she founded in 2012.
Dancer/ Choreographer/ Teacher
Flamenco dancer Celia Fonta is a native of Chicago, where she first studied flamenco guitar before beginning her career in dance. She began her studies of Flamenco, Spanish Classical and Folkloric dance in Madrid with world famous teachers. Celia began her professional career along with her husband Paco Fonta, internationally renowned Flamenco singer and guitarist. Together they toured the United States with the Boston Flamenco Ballet. In 1986 Celia and Paco Fonta came to Miami to work at the Famous Cacharrito's Place and since have made Miami their home. Ms. Fonta has worked at all of the most important Tablaos in Miami as a featured dancer. She has worked with Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, based in Miami, as principal dancer and soloist, as well as with Bailes Ferrer, a company based in Ft. Lauderdale, as featured soloist.
Celia Fonta has been guest artist and teacher in flamenco workshops and concerts all over Florida and the United States. Notably, Ms. Fonta gave a two-week residency with Northeastern Illinois University and was a guest artist with Ensemble Espanol's 25th Anniversary Gala in Chicago. She was invited to perform at the Florida Folk Festival several times and was a recipient of the Florida Folk life Apprenticeship Program award as Master Artist. Ms. Fonta also received an Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the State of Florida. She was adjunct instructor of Spanish dance at Florida International University from 2003-2008. Currently, Ms Fonta teaches private lessons by appointment.
In 2002, Ms Fonta and her husband formed "Siempre Flamenco", a not-for-profit company dedicated to promoting awareness of flamenco music and dance and to preserve its art and traditions. As Artistic Director of Siempre Flamenco, Ms Fonta has produced and choreographed the Festival of Flamenco Song for the past six years, as well as numerous shows, including Mojito Andaluz, a fusion of flamenco and Afro-Cuban music and dance, Oy-Le a collaboration of Flamenco and Klezmer, Al Andalus, a program exploring the Jewish, Moorish, and Gypsy roots of Flamenco and most recently Beats and Compas, an experimental music and dance performance blending hip-hop and flamenco to the same beats and rhythms.
Flamenco Singer/ Guitarist/ Guitar Teacher
Paco Fonta is from Torre Perojil, in Jaen, Spain. Singing and playing from earliest childhood in penas (Flamenco societies for aficionados), he grew up in the tradition of the pure Flamenco style. At nineteen, he began formal study and pursued a professional career. He began performing in tablaos (flamenco clubs) in Madrid, accompanying Spanish Ballets, and playing for festivals and contests of singing. Mr. Fonta met PAN/ Ballet Flamenco Director Ilisa Rosal in Madrid in the early 1980's and they worked together at tablaos and festivals for several years. When Ms. Rosal founded Ballet Flamenco La Rosa in 1985, Paco Fonta was under contract to a local flamenco club, and he joined the company. They have worked together ever since on the many projects the company has produced, and created a great following for the high quality and pure excitement and beauty of their work. Mr. Fonta is a rare talent in that he has mastery of both the guitar and singing, and travels nationally & internationally with his own flamenco group, as well as in many Guest Artist appearances with other companies.