About this Artist
Founded in 1983, and having just reached their 40th Anniversary, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana is one of America’s premier flamenco companies with home bases in New York City and Durham, NC. The company serves more than 30,000 people nationwide each year through far-reaching programs that entertain, educate, and empower. The company's mission is to promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of Hispanic heritage; produce and perform high quality dance works; provide arts education programs that catalyze connections among diverse participants, and nurture the next generations of flamenco artists and educators. Recognized by UNESCO as an intangible world treasure, flamenco is a powerful vehicle for fostering community through an expression of shared humanity. Flamenco Vivo believes that the universal spirit of flamenco – with influences from Arab, Jewish, Roma, Spanish, and Latin American cultures – gives this art form a unique power to build bridges between people.
Hailed as “The Keeper of Flamenco” by Dance Magazine and honored by the King and Government of Spain with La Cruz de la Orden al Mérito Civil for “all the years of passion, excellence and dedication to the flamenco art,” Carlota Santana is a renowned flamenco and Spanish dance artist and educator. In 1983, she co-founded the Company with Roberto Lorca. Following his death from AIDS in 1987, she continued their work and, in the decades since, she has led Flamenco Vivo’s growth as one of this country’s most successful flamenco companies.
Under Santana’s artistic direction, Flamenco Vivo has premiered many original works, offering commissions to numerous flamenco artists from Spain and the US. Santana created the company’s innovative arts-in-education program, integrating flamenco and culture with academic curricula, and has pioneered bilingual education initiatives targeted to immigrant populations, as well as programs supporting students with disabilities. She was the driving force behind two flamenco symposia produced in collaboration with Duke University’s Dance Department and the “100 Years of Flamenco in New York” exhibit mounted in partnership with The NY Public Library for the Performing Arts. Santana has been on the faculty of Duke University and has taught at Long Island and New York Universities.