Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Moon dance

Celebrate ‘La Luna Nueva’ through Savannah Fuentes

Express Staff Writer

Savannah Fuentes brings a new show of the beautiful flamenco dance and song to the valley this summer.
Courtesy photo by Stephen Rusk

    “La Luna Nueva,” a flamenco dance celebrating the new moon, is coming to the valley via the stage.
    Flamenco dancer and Seattle native Savannah Fuentes presents this new moon rising through Spanish music and dance featuring a special guest artist, renowned flamenco singer Jose Anillo.
    The show will be at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17. Tickets are $10 for kids, $15 for students, $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seating. They are available at the door or by calling (800) 838-3006 or visiting
    Flamenco master Fuentes was born in Seattle to parents of Irish and Puerto Rican ancestry.
    “My childhood was not conventional, although I really wanted to be,” Fuentes said in an interview last year. “My parents were poor and in the beginning they were street musicians, they were in a band that grew to be successful and stopped performing on the street.”
    Fuentes’ parents separated when she was young, but continued to work together in the band.
    “I grew up around rehearsals and all kinds of characters,” she recalled. “I did want a normal family but it just wasn’t the way things were, and now looking back, I guess it was the best thing for me and my ability to connect to the music I dance to.”
    It was in her late teens that Fuentes discovered flamenco and commenced her studies with dancer Ana Montes in Seattle. Making brief trips to Spain, she continued to expand and grow as a student, studying with artists such as La Tati, Belen Maya and Cristobal Reyes.  
    Upon her return to Seattle, she took her first class with Maestra Sara de Luis. Maestra Sara de Luis continues to be her mentor and inspiration.  
    She currently tours throughout the Northwest with esteemed flamenco artists such as Jesus Montoya, Pedro Cortes and Saray Muñoz Barrull. Fuentes has independently produced more than 125 performances, workshops and educational programs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, featuring internationally recognized flamenco artists.
    Anillo began his professional career as a member of the Manuela Carrasco Company, making his début at Madrid’s Teatro de la Villa and Cádiz’s Gran Teatro Falla.
    Starting at the age of 18, he continued his career in various companies such as those of Cristina Hoyos, Belén Maya, Joaquín Grilo, Israel Galván, Javier Latorre and Rafael Campallo, among others. He was chosen for the lineup of “Los 12 nombres para empezar el siglo XXI” (“12 Names to Begin the 21st Century”) at the Granada Music and Dance Festival. In August 2003, he won the National Cantes por Alegrías Prize of Cádiz in the edition dedicated to Manolo Vargas.
    His cante has traveled to many countries all over America, to Asian countries such as Japan and the Philippines, throughout Europe and to many cities in Spain.
    Singing for numerous “tocaores” and “bailaores,” he has appeared in nearly 40 installments of Canal Sur TV’s flamenco program “Una llama viva.” He has also carried out record collaborations with artists such as Paco de Lucía, Capullo de Jerez and Fernando de la Morena, as well as on the collective album ‘Flamenco por Andalucía, España y la Humanidad’ together with cantaoras Encarna Anillo and La Tana.
    In 2005 and 2006, he joined the company of the Farruco family in shows like “Los Farruco.” And in 2007, he collaborated as a vocalist in the documentary “The Last Conquistador” by director John Valadez, with music by composer Richard Martínez. That same year, he tackled his first experience as musical producer of the album “Barcas de plata” by his sister, cantaora Encarna Anillo.
    He is preparing his first solo album.
    For more information, visit

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