The festival, which has included dance and Spanish classes in elementary schools, dance classes for adults and performances of flamenco fusion, is sponsored by A Traves, an arts non-profit founded in 2014 to support flamenco and Spanish culture in Atlanta.
The troupe is named after the small Spanish town renowned for its flamenco artists. Dancer Maria del mar Moreno Benitez began dancing when she was 10 and went on to perform with some of the greats of flamenco. Pepe del Morao is a noted flamenco guitarists who is admired for both his accompaniment and solo playing. He comes from and important family of flamenco guitarists who have shaped flamenco guitar in Jerez de la Frontera for decades. Luis de La Tota is a singer, dancer, palmero (hand percussion) born into one of the oldest gitano (gypsy) neighborhoods in Jerez de la Frontera. He is also from a musical family and takes his artistic name form his famous grandmother La Tota. Joining them will be singers Diego Agujestas, Tomasa Pena, and Zaira de la Malena.
Julie Galle Baggenstoss, founder and director of A Traves and curator of the Atlanta Flamenco Festival, said flamenco remains an important art form “Flamenco demands individual expression, and it can reach out to another person to make him or her realize some expression that has been simmering deep down. Sometimes it is shocking. I think this is why people say after a performance that they suddenly found themselves in tears while sitting in the theater.”
Baggenstoss said the performance by Jerez de la Frontera “will showcase flamenco’s power and its delicate moments that delve into the range of human emotion.”