LAUREN O'DONNELL, founder of Flamenco Boston, began studying flamenco dance with Omayra Amaya in 2002. In 2008 she moved to Sevilla, Spain for a year to study with Alicia Marquez and Isabel Bayon. She has also studied in Sevilla with Leonor Leal.
Lauren has taught on the dance faculty of Boston Percussive Dance at Green Street Studios in Cambridge from 2009 to 2015. She performs frequently in the Boston area, including regular Sunday gigs at BarLola Tapas Lounge in Boston. In 2009 she performed in the show Tablao Flamenco with Antonio Arrebola, Ricardo Diaz, and Vicente Griego. Local television shows Debuts and the Steve Katsos show featured Lauren and Flamenco Boston. In 2011 Lauren taught at the Beantown Tap Conservatory and was the guest flamenco dancer in On Tap!, the faculty showcase of the Beantown Tapfest. In Spain, Lauren has also performed at small venues in Sevilla, Bar Puerta Sol and Pena Nino de la Alfalfa. Lauren is also a scientist and has begun to write fiction.
ANTONIO "TIRITI" TRAN is an upcoming flamenco guitarist in the New England scene and has worked with Flamenco Boston since 2009. Antonio has studied music since the age of 12 and has studied in Spain in Granada, Jerez, Sevilla, Malaga, and Alhaurina El Grande. Antonio has also worked with modern dancers from the Boston area, and he was featured in Dave Glista's film, Revealing Space. Antonio has been featured regularly on television programs such as the Steve Katsos Show and All About the Arts. He is currently working on his first full length album. Antonio coordinates performances and events for Flamenco Boston. Contact him at email@example.com for performance inquiries.
ANASTASIA YENDIKI, dancer and flamenco workshop co-organizer, has studied flamenco dance in Boston, New York, and Sevilla Spain with teachers including Lauren ODonnell, Omayra Amaya, Vicky Barea, Leonor Leal, Elena Andujar, Antonio Arrebola, Lakshmi Basile, and Auxi Fernndez. Anastasia has performed with FlamencoBoston since early 2011, including shows in New England theaters and restaurants. Her dancing was recently featured in a local TV show, the Greek Program.
YOSI KARAHASHI lived for 16 years in Spain, where she completed an intensive five-year program of study in flamenco with Merche Esmeralda and received her diploma with highest distinction. She then trained with artists Manuel Reyes, Maria Juncal, Truco, Immaculada Ortega, Pepa Molina, and Adrian Sanchez at the legendary flamenco academy Amor de Dios (Madrid, Spain). She was a member of several professional dance companies including the Cristobal Reyes Flamenco Company, Sueño Flamenco, and Ballet Flamenco Ole Madrid.As a soloist, Yosi has performed at numerous festivals and tablaos throughout Spain. She has also performed internationally, in Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Cyprus, Canada, the United States, and France. Yosi is an experienced teacher, having taught at dance schools throughout Madrid, including the Japanese Embassy in Madrid. She has also conducted flamenco workshops in Japan, France, and the United States.
ANA MARÍA VILLA is a performer and vocalist from Bogotá, Colombia. She started singing at the age of 6 and started studying music, theater, singing and piano at the age of 10. Ana María was a finalist of The Voice (Colombia 2012). She recently graduated with a degree in performance from Berklee College of Music. Ana María has worked with many international artists such as Joyce Moreno, Mane De La Parra and Milton Nascimento. She is currently working on her first full length album.
RYO OKADA: Music has always been a big part of Ryo's life. He started his training in piano at the age of 4, and formed his own rock/funk band during his high school years. With the solid foundation of rhythm and musicality, it was natural for Ryo to transition into the world of dance. He has trained, performed and taught various forms of dance including salsa, samba and hip hop. It was 1999 when he discovered flamenco during his visit to Sevilla, Spain Shortly after, he began his flamenco training in Toronto under the direction of Esmeralda Enrique and Carmen Romero. In 2008, he returned to Spain and successfully completed the intensive dance training course at renowned Fundación de Arte Flamenco Cristina Heeren in Sevilla. Ryo has studied with include Joaquín Grilo, Andres Marín, Manuel Reyes, Rafael Campallo, Domingo Ortega, Juan de los Reyes, Milagros Menjibar, La Farruca, Rafaela Carrasco, Leonor Leal, among others. After moving to Boston, Ryo continued his training under Lauren O'Donnell and Omayra Amaya in NYC.
Percussionist and composer, NATE TUCKER, was recently featured in American Repertory Theater's (ART's) The Tempest as on stage musician performing in a 4 piece band of all Tom Waits music. Also at the ART, he performed in Finding Neverland, music by Elliot Kennedy and Gary Barlow, as well as Natasha, Pierre, and the Comet of 1812, adaptation of War and Peace by Dave Malloy. Mr. Tucker is the Music Director and Composer for Mt. Auburn Cemetery's A Glimpse Beyond and can be heard performing with the world-renowned contemporary music ensemble, Juventas, as core percussionist, as well as pop and world music groups including Flamenco Boston.
As a composer Mr. Tucker's interests are in exploring the gap between contemporary, pop and world music. Mr. Tucker released his first full-length album Off Grid, on September 2015, at Boston Center for the Arts. Mr. Tucker was commissioned to compose and sound design scores for FINISH LINE: the Untold Stories of the 2013 Boston Marathon and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with The Boston Theater Company. When not performing or composing, Nate Tucker can be seen as a dance/theater accompanist, music educator, and clinician, having worked at schools around the world ranging from musicians of the highest caliber at Interlochen and Amsterdam Conservatory to dozens of local intercity school children around the New England area, through Boston Ballet's outreach programs.
JULIA ALTENBACH, dancer, is a native New Mexican. She began her studies of flamenco dance under the instruction of Joaquin Encinias at the National Institute of Flamenco. In 2007 she moved to Minneapolis, where she trained with Susana di Palma. From 2007-2011 Altenbach danced with di Palma's company, Zorongo Flamenco, performing with artists including Pedro Cortes Jr., la Conja, and Jess Montoya. In 2009 she traveled to Madrid to study at El Centro de Arte Flamenco Amor de Dios. Her other teachers and mentors include Lakshmi Basile, Julia Chacn, Lili del Castillo, and Wendy Clinard. Julia earned her bachelors and masters degrees in guitar performance at Northwestern University and studied flamenco guitar with Juanito Truitt and Lus Campos. Julia enjoys studying and performing with Lauren O'Donnell and Flamenco Boston. Julia also performs and collaborates with other local artists including Jamie La Damasquina and Yosi Karahashi.
An experienced educator, Julia studied secondary education at Indiana University and spent five years as a high school Spanish teacher. Recently, she combined her love of flamenco with her experience as an educator representing Flamenco Boston as coordinator of educational events and school performances. Julia enjoys sharing her love of flamenco with her 2 year old son and recently teamed up with Antonio Tran and Nate Tucker to create Magic Box Flamenco, a group that teaches young children and their parents Spanish through flamenco song and dance.