Katerina Tomás | Flamenco Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher
Flamenco dancer Katerina Tomás has over 40 years of training as a dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer, and is a recognized scholar of Spanish Studies in the United States and in Spain. She has studied and performed flamenco with legendary artists in the field, including Spanish Gypsy dancer Rosa Montoya, and with contemporary flamenco artists Roberto Amaral, Yolanda Arroyo, Linda Vega, Juan Parra, Inmaculada Aguilar, Antonio Canales, Eva “La Yerbabuena,” Belen Maya, and Joaquin Grilo.
Katerina formed the cuadro flamenco dance company L.A. Olé in 1993, a group that performed throughout the southern California region and the western United States until 1997. Later that year, she collaborated with flamenco guitarist Stephen Dick to form the award winning contemporary flamenco music and dance company, Mojácar Flamenco. Since then, Mojácar has performed in the greater Los Angeles area, and on tour throughout the United States and Canada, including a tour of the U.S. in 2002 with the popular rock group, Concrete Blonde. She performed at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the famous birthplace of L.A. for King Philip of Spain at an event honoring the founding of the City of Los Angeles in 1995. She choreographed and directed the Olvera Street festival “Spanish Times” in 1998, which included flamenco, Spanish classical, and Spanish folkloric dance and music, Spanish foods, and the famous Andalusian horses of Medieval Times. In Spain she performed at the Paul Beckett Gallery in the pueblo blanco Mojácar, and with Stephen Dick at the Sur Jerez competition in Jerez de la Frontera.
Her research on Federico García Lorca and her training as a professional flamenco dancer and choreographer led her to create two award winning flamenco concerts: In 2004, “Cantan los Fuegos – the fires sing; an evening of music and dance celebrating the art of Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla." The centerpiece of the concert was a flamenco dance theater realization of Lorca’s Gypsy ballad (epic poem) Romance Sonambulo. Also featured on the concert were flamenco dances created to ancient Spanish songs collected and re-harmonized by Lorca in 1931: Zorongo Gitano, Anda Jaleo, La Tarara, and Romance de Don Boiso; In 2006, "Mojácar at the Madrid," a concert featuring traditional and nuevo flamenco works, and a new flamenco and Latin ballet based on Manuel de Falla's El Amor Brujo-Bewitched Love. Both concerts were sponsored by the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities. The 2004 concert also received an L.A. Treasures Award.
In 2014, she presented the first of a new concert series: "Solo Soloistas," highlighting the solo concert works of her Advanced students. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Katerina and Stephen's new concert project is the music/dance collaboration, "Toque Jondo-Deeply Touched," featuring three new major works: "Nana del Caballo Grande," with original music by Stephen based on Lorca's lullaby from the play, "Bodas de Sangre," realized on stage by 7 modern dancers and 3 flamenco/classical Spanish dancers; the revival of Romance Sonambulo, featuring 2 exquisite flamenco/modern dancers and 3 operas singers, and a new version of Cantan Los Fuegos. Toque Jondo was sponsored by private donors, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities, and Pennington Space Grants@ ARC Pasadena/The Z. Clark Branson Foundation.