Forever Flamenco Anyone?

Flamenco is exceptional.

Nowhere is grace found infused with such power, nor the sorrow and the joy of the
human condition expressed with more realness than in the music and dance of flamenco.

The Fountain Theatre’s Forever Flamenco Series, under Deborah Lawlor has been California’s and, arguably, the nation’s foremost peña for nearly two decades.

Once a month on a Sunday musicians, singers, and dancers, respected the world over, gather on its stage.

If you attend with regularity you come to know the performers who call Los Angeles home, but nearly every month a guest artist, arrives from some far corner of the world, to join them.

The July show, guided by artistic director and percussionist Gerardo Morales, was such a collection of familiar faces, and the addition of a new artist.

The night was grandly entertaining with a guitar solo by José Tanaka, the dancing of Vanessa Albalos and Mizuho Sato, and Morales’ solo, all opening the first act.

Guitarist Tanaka and bailaora Sato, natives of Japan, are not only remarkable talents, but testimonials to Flamenco’s international appeal.

Cantaor Jesús Montoya, another standard of the monthly performances, sings with a voice like silken thunder that blows the roof off the theatre and one suspects at least twenty other buildings in close proximity.

New to this reviewer was bailaor Isaac De Los Reyes, whose powerful performance filled the stage until one had a sense of what sitting at the center of an atom smasher must feel like.

To see such a performer in such an intimate environment is the rarest of treats.

For both connoisseur and novice alike, Forever Flamenco offers the opportunity to luxuriate in the power and beauty of this art form.


SUNDAY AUGUST 16th at 7:30 PM








I said it before and I’ll say it again this is one of the best tickets in LA.

home-2.jpgOf course, maybe having your socks blown off by the sheer force of a dancer’s coraje isn’t your thing. Maybe you’ve got more important plans for the 16th, like hanging around the kitchen table drinking lukewarm Dr. Pepper and watching the seeds on your Donald Trump Chia Pet germinate.

Look, get off your rump, and just this once try doing something spontaneous, something
outside your Comfort Zone. Go check out the Forever Flamenco show on August 16th.

Trust me your rut will be waiting for you when you come back.

And just in case you do go, here are some Flamenco terms to help you get into the spirit of things.

ALZAPÚA – A guitar technique that uses the back of the thumbnail to play.
ARRANQUE – A spontaneous outbursts of emotion from a performer (or audience member).
BAILAOR or BAILAORA – Terms used for male and female flamenco dancers.
BAILE – The dance of Flamenco.
BAILE DE MANTÓN – A dance that uses a shawl
BONITO (literally pretty) – A disparaging term for bad Flamenco
CANTAOR or CANTAORA – The singer in Flamenco
CHUFLA – A festive and frivolous song
CORAJE – A way of performing that shows impetuosity or daring (lit. courage)
DESGARRO (literally tear, rip) – Wilderness
GANCHO – literally a hook; by extension, anything that gets to you, that hooks you
JALEO – Vocal encouragement the audiences calls out to the performers. Phrases such as olé!, toma!, vamo
JARANA (spree) – When a group enjoys themselves doing flamenco
OPPOSICIÓN – The quality of asymmetry in dancing Flamenco.
PEÑA – Flamenco club
TAPA – The guitar’s face
TOCAOR – Guitarist; from tocar (to play)
ZAPATEO or ZAPATEADO – (literally shoe) The tap dancing peculiar to Flamenco.

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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