The Passion, Power and Poetry of Flamenco at Irvine Barclay Theatre

Farruquito expresses the power and purity of flamenco in Improvisao.

Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA | 949.854.4646

Farruquito: Improvisao
Saturday, February 27, 2016 @ 8:00 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 3:00 PM

Tickets: $100,$65, $50

Watch Farruquito in Improvisao

Simply put, Farruquito is the best flamenco dancer performing today. From Spain’s Los Farruco dynasty, and grandson of the legendary El Farruco, Farruquito made his Broadway stage debut at age five, starred in Carlos Saura’s film Flamenco at twelve, and was directing his own shows by fifteen. He is the embodiment of flamenco puro.

His show, Improvisao, is flamenco in its purest form — authentic and visceral  — with improvisation at its core. The dancers and musicians come together to share their lives and artistry, relying solely on the inspiration of the moment. Farruquito explains that Improvisao “is a return to my roots... Singing, guitar and dance fused with total freedom to create a different show every day.”

“One of the great flamenco dancers of this century … nothing less than sensational.”The New York Times | |

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Solo Guitarras
Solo Román
Fin de Fiesta

Direction and Choreography
Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya “Farruquito”

Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya “Farruquito”

Guest Dancer
Gema Moneo

Antonio Zúñiga, Encarna Anillo, Mari Vizarraga, Pepe de Pura

Toque, guitar
Román Vicenti, José Gálvez

El Polito

Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya, or “Farruquito,” is a venerated figure in the world of flamenco. He is the son of flamenco singer Juan Fernández Flores, “El Moreno,” the dancer Rosario Montoya Manzano “La Farruca,” and is the chief proponent of the unique dancing style founded by his grandfather, “Farruco.” Throughout his life, he has been immersed in the most pure form of flamenco, making his début on Broadway at the age of five. Since then, he has devoted himself entirely to the preservation and innovation of his beloved art form.

At the age of eight, he presented his first seasonal show at the Sala Zambra in Madrid; and at 12, he appeared in Carlo Saura's film Flamenco, with the family patriarch, El Farruco. That same year, he joined his illustrious family in Bodas de Gloria, contributing to its artistic and choreographic conception. In 1992, he performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona Paralympics, and with his grandfather at the Andalucía Pavilion of the Seville Universal Exposition, in the show Presente, Pasado y Futuro.

The death of Farruco in 1997 signaled a changing of the guard and Farruquito was entrusted with the responsibility of perpetuating the family lineage. At the age of 15, he created his first show, Raíces Flamecas, in which he distinguished himself as a dancer of a new dimension, who couples all his traditional knowledge with a prodigious personal artistic conception.

From its début at the London's Royal Festival Hall, this display of the frenetic, indigenous flamenco achieved instant success, which was then repeated at the Villa and Conde Duque Theaters in Madrid, the Poliorama Theatre in Barcelona and on international tours in France and Japan.

In 2001, Farruquito and his family performed at the Flamenco USA Festival and following performances in New York and Boston. The New York Times rated him as “the best artist who set foot in the Big Apple in 2001.” The following year, he led the cast of the show, Por Derecho, and toured throughout 11 North American cities, stunning the critics by his personality and the vitality of his art. Furthermore, Farruquito's genius did not go unnoticed by the great photographer Richard Avedon or by the U.S. magazine People, which named him as one of the most beautiful people in the world.

In November 2003, the opening of Alma Vieja at the Maestranza Theater in Seville was an enormous success. This was repeated at the Albéniz Theater in Madrid and the Victoria Theater in Barcelona, and since then, the show has triumphed on stages across Spain, France, Italy and the UK. Out of the spotlight, the dancer also became head of an academy, based in Seville, which propagates the precepts and techniques of the Farruco school of dance.

Throughout his career, Farruquito has never been short of artistic recognition.  In 2004 alone, he received a plethora of awards such as the Premio Público for Best Flamenco Dancer; the Flamenco Hoy for Best Flamenco Dancer; the Telón Chivas 2004 Award for Best Dancer, and the prestigious APDE 2004 Prize for “the dignified repository of the inheritance of gypsy dancing.”

In 2008, he launched Puro, including 14 musicians on stage and a stunning technical dancing display. With performances in Palma de Mallorca, Jerez, and Seville (XIII Flamenco Biennial), the critics were unanimous, “Farruquito reigns again!” Puro toured countries such as Israel, Holland, and Mexico, receiving rave reviews wherever it took to the stage.

He opened Sonerias at the 2010 Seville Flamenco Biennale, incorporating a choreography full of impressive nuances of traditional and old styles, offering a theatricality that was entirely different from his previous shows. For his next larger project, he launched Baile Flamenco at the Compac Theater in Madrid. He performed for four consecutive days that were completely sold out and with reviews like, “Farruquito triumphs at the opening of Baile Flamenco.” (El Mundo, 11/2011). In this production, Farruquito took to the stage dressed by the distinguished fashion labels Louis Vuitton and Berluti, this being the first instance where Berluti had agreed to dress a celebrity. 

In the summer of 2012, he gave an opportunity to his youngest brother, Manuel Fernández Montoya or “El Carpeta with the opening of Siembra. With music and lyrics composed by Farruquito, Siembra is tailored for his brother and consists of a series of dances which he has learned from his elders and to which he lends his own style. Within the production, various artistic elements merge together to convey the continuity of an enduring and thriving legacy, that of the Farruco school.

In 2013, he launched Improvisao; and performed in Pinacendá (2014); El amor brujo with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Farruquito y familia (2015).