THE COMPANY

Ester Tal (Producer, Artistic Director, Dancer):

 

“Dancer, Ester Tal, seemed to embody the heart-thumping passion of flamenco …”

Matthew Jenkin (News shopper Review)

 

Ester is now teaching and performing throughout the UK but her background is Spain through and through. She studied with some of the most renowned flamenco teachers and artists ever seen in Spain: in the famous “Amor de Dios” flamenco school in Madrid and in Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia, the city of 

flamenco. She has studied with flamenco dancers and  teachers such as Maria Magdalena, Maria Bermudez, Ciro, Belen Fernandez, Manuela Carpio, Mercedes Ruiz, Ani Maria Lopez and many other wonderful artists. Ester has graced the stage with her flamenco performances in theatres both in and outside Spain: “El teatro de Burgos”, Madrid and Zaragoza, theatres throughout the UK (Trinity Laban, London, Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth, Exeter Pheonix, The Point, Eastleigh) and in major US cities; Harrisburg, (Hershey Theatre), New Orleans (Le Petit Theatre) etc.

Early on in her career, she toured in Spain with Maria Gracia and the Spanish classical singers in “Esas Cosas del Querer”, where she performed solo and in duets as support to this very popular Spanish show.

She has also danced on the prestigious circuit of the more intimate flamenco venues called “peñas” and “tablaos” alongside other well-known flamenco artists; venues highly respected among the flamenco community.

In Jerez, she’s danced in “Parilla” tablao, “La Taberna Flamenca” and “La Damajuana” with up and coming flamenco artists from Andalusia. In 2005, she was invited to perform with other Jerez artists, (Luis El Mono, Ali de la Tota, Juanilloro etc) in the esteemed annual festival event, “Las Noches de la Plazuela”, which takes place in one of the oldest and most prestigious peñas in Andalusia, “Los Cernícalos”.

Ester’s greatest teacher of all, however, has been the joy, the struggle and the passion of living and working alongside the flamenco people of Jerez de la Frontera; a land steeped in flamenco tradition, and her flamenco home.

Ester now has her own website for her personal creative projects. Please click here to visit. 

Uri Tal (Producer, Musical Director, Guitarist)

 

“hugely talented guitar player...”

Helen Potter (Docklands Review)

 

Uri began his flamenco guitar studies in Madrid in the famous flamenco academy “Amor de Dios”.

He has studied under highly regarded guitarists such as “El Entri”, Manuel Parilla, Diego Del Morao and Pepe Del Morao. 

Having acquired sound flamenco guitar technique, he moved to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia in search of a deeper meaning of flamenco and to experience it at its rawest.

 

Here, he continued to study with great flamenco performers such as Parilla de Jerez, Jesus Alvarez, Santiago Lara and Joselillo Mendez, whilst also working as a guitarist for notable dancers and teachers such as Manuela Carpio and Ani María López.

Uri has worked in flamenco venues in Spain such as “La Damajuana”, “Peña Los Cernicalos” (in the acclaimed 2005 Jerez flamenco annual festival “Las noches de la Plazuela"), as well as various theatres throughout Europe.

Uri now performs all over the UK as principal guitarist with Mi Flamenco and as a soloist.

His playing is a musical blend of old and new styles, emotion and clarity.

He is a sensitive and creative guitarist with that added ingredient which is unmistakably flamenco, yet eludes us when we try to describe it.

Luis Vargas Monge (Singer)

 

“El Mono…sang as though he had fire in his belly…”

Helen Potter (Docklands Review)

 

Luis Vargas Monge was born and still lives in the neighbourhood of Santiago, in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia in Spain. The gypsy neighbourhood of Santiago is to flamenco singing, as Mississippi is to the Blues.

He comes from a long bloodline of flamenco singers and his first experience was at home with his father and well-known gypsy singer uncle, Jose Vargas Vargas.

Luis made his professional debut at the age of 13. Since then his powerful voice has been heard in important Spanish theatres, such as the Mecca for flamenco artists, Teatro Villamarta in Jerez, and one of Seville’s most distinguished theatres, Lopez de Vega (host for the two-yearly renowned “Bienal” flamenco festival).

His experience in flamenco-specific venues called “Peñas” and “Tablaos” is incomparable – and he has worked in some of the best in Spain (El Cordobes, Tablao de Carmen etc.), accompanying dance with his gritty vocals and “palmas” (handclaps.)

Luis has accompanied world-renowned dancers such as Sara Baras and Rafaela Carrasco - both regular visitors to Sadler Well’s - and has travelled worldwide as a soloist and as part of major flamenco events alongside world-class singers and guitarists: Japan, UK, Taiwan, the US, Switzerland, Italy…

Kelian Jimenez (Dancer)

 

“….Kelian Jimenez nearly burst into flames during a stunning solo.”

Matthew Jenkin (News shopper Review)

 

Kelian Jimenez was born and still lives in the flamenco neighbourhood of Cañorroto, Madrid. He was born into one of the greatest artistic flamenco families of our time.

He trained (and subsequently taught) at Madrid’s premier flamenco school Amor De Dios with top flamenco artists, such as world class flamenco dancer, Manolete.

He studied and worked with Antonio Canales (Premio Nacional de Danza - National Dance Award 1995) in his company over a 6-year period.

Kelian has worked and collaborated with renowned flamenco performers such as Jose Maya Serrano, one of the most famous gypsy flamenco dancers worldwide.

He has danced in world-class venues, such as: Teatro Madrid, Albeniz, Compac, (important Madrid theatres), Theatre de Champs Elysees, Villamarta and Lopez de Vega (major flamenco theatres) and flamenco-specific venues of the highest calibre like Casa Patas in Madrid - considered one of the best venues to see flamenco in the capital.

Kelian is also co-founding member of “’Arrieritos” - a dance company, based on flamenco and contemporary dance: (Edinburgh Festival 2008)

Tomas Arroquero (Dancer)

 

“When he performs, it often happens intimately and without a lot of pomp and publicity, making those lucky enough to catch a performance all the more privileged”

Flamenco Australia Magazine

 

Tomas moved to Madrid in 1994 where he studied intensively at ‘Amor de Dios’ flamenco school. His most influential teachers during this period were Maria Magdalena, Belen Fernández and Manuel Reyes.

Although he started his intensive training in Madrid, he has taken the flamenco “soniquete”

(pulse) from other influential flamenco cities, namely Jerez and Seville, studying there with teachers such as Ani Maria Lopez, Alejandro Granados, Andres Peña, Maria Bermudez and Juana Amaya.

 

Tomas has performed in theatres and dance festivals throughout the Australian and European continents, performing regularly and teaching workshops throughout the UK, Germany, France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Canada and the U.S. 

 

Some important highlights have included performances at the Trinity Laban, (Europe’s foremost contemporary dance centre in London); performances with Clara Ramona’s company  at the prestigious tablao ‘Casa Patas’;  touring  nationwide for 3 months in Australia performing at 40 theatres and sharing the stage with Tomatito at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Coral de los Reyes (Singer)

 

“Coral de los Reyes sang from the gut”

Helen Potter (Docklands Review)

 

Coral was born in Jerez de la Frontera into a famous flamenco gypsy family. She debuted at a very young age in Teatro Villamarta in Jerez. She has an extensive recording repertoire, successfully fusing various musical genres, whilst never 

abandoning her Andalusian, gypsy roots. She has toured in and outside Spain (Germany, the UK, other European cities and the U.S.) with her unique voice and style, embracing her own “gitano” roots, as well as developing her own particular interest in “Copla” – Spanish Classical song. Her experience with “Copla” has given her an unparalleled grace and poise on stage, and this combination of raw, gypsy elements with her elegance and style makes her a very unique artist indeed.