Cumbre Flamenca featuring Belen Maya and Domingo Ortega
Flamenco icons Belen Maya and Domingo Ortega heat up Los Angeles with their heart-pounding “Cumbre Flamenca.”
Considered one of the most important contemporary Flamenco artists in the world, dancer and choreographer Belén Maya has pushed the limits of this art form through her constant quest for innovation. Maya is not only known for her contemporary and sophisticated way of moving, but she is also regarded as an innovator. Her visionary approach to Flamenco was perceived as daring, especially by previous generations. What is today accepted as a contemporary way of dancing was, during the early years of her career, considered a radical deviation from the norm.
She is the daughter of two of the greatest Flamenco dancers of their generation: Carmen Mora and Mario Maya. She was born in New York City while her parents were on tour, and began her dance studies at Amor de Dios in Madrid. Her training in classical dance began with Rosa Naranjo and Juana Taft. In classical Spanish dance, she has studied under Maria Magdalena, Paco Romero and José Antonio. In the areas of jazz and contemporary dance she has studied with Goyo Montero, Teresa Nieto, and the Alvin Ailey dance company in New York. Her Flamenco teachers have included Paco Fernández, Manolete, La Tati, El Guito, Carmen Cortés, La Tona, and many others.
Her dance comes from a personal need to do what is not written. To see her is a journey of the Flamenco tradition and what she draws in time and space. For this reason, she was asked by Carlos Saura to represent the future generations of flamenco in the movie Flamenco and Sevillanas. Her performance in this film would become a milestone in Flamenco dance as interpreted by women, opening new avenues in terms of concept, musicality, movement, and costuming. Transparent and in balance with tradition, Maya has fused her Gypsy heritage and training in contemporary and experimental dance to become one of Spain’s most influential Flamenco dancers and choreographers of today.
Dancer and choreographer Domingo Ortega was born in Jerez de la Frontera, one of the cradle cities of flamenco in southern Spain, and is known for his riveting performances as a soloist and innovative choreography. He studied with Cristobal Fernández, Juanerre, Paco del Río and Fernando Belmonte. In Seville, he studied with Manolo Marin. At the age of 18, he won first prize in a Flamenco contest organized by the Province of Cadiz.
Not only has he danced in the companies of Carmen Cortez and Manuel Soler, he has collaborated with Antonio Vargas, el Guito, and Luis Davila. In 1998, Christina Hoyos presented him at the el Teatro Central de Sevilla.
In 2003, Ortega presented the original production of Orfeo at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood produced by world-class producer Rodri Rodriguez in collaboration with Vida Flamenca. Heroic passion, devastating loss and a belief in the power of art made this ancient Greek myth of Orpheus an ideal subject for this Flamenco dance drama. The company returned to Los Angeles in 2005 for a closing performance for the World Music Institute as part of the UNESCO Festival hosted by the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department and Major Antonio Villaraigosa.
When Domingo is not touring with his company, he is one of the most sought after Flamenco teachers in Jerez de la Frontera, as well as Canada, Brazil, Japan, Italy, the United States, and Tel Aviv.