About Chinese Acrobat – Li Liu

Li Liu was born in the city of Shenyang in The Northeast of China. At the age of six she began her acrobatic training, and the following year she was chosen to attend The Chinese National Circus School in the capitol city of Beijing. While in Beijing she trained for eight hours a day until she was 16.

In 1984 her artistic cycling act won a gold medal at the prestigious Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, France. She often teamed with her sister Liu Ying to create duo acts that were conceived by her coach and father Liu Gui Ting. In 1995 their duo hand balancing act was selected to perform at The Wu Qiao International Circus Festival where they were awarded “The Golden Lion” prize.

For many years Ms. Liu traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and Asia with The Liaoning Acrobatic Arts Troupe. She performed with Zirkus Knie in Switzerland, Circus Krone in Germany and with countless other touring shows in Italy, Holland, France, South Africa, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.

She came to the United States in 2000 with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and toured all over the US for two years. She has been living in the US and working as a freelance performer since 2003. She is a regular on the NBA & WNBA half-time circuits and is also is a featured performer on Princess Cruise Lines. In September of 2010 Li appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

About Raul Jaurena

Raul Jaurena, the Uruguayan king of tango, is regarded as one of the most prominent Bandoneon players in the world.

At the age of eight, he already joined a tango orchestra. A performance together with Astor Piazzolla at the Montreal Jazz Festival guided his musical development. As a member of renowned tango ensembles in the nineteen sixties and seventies in Argentina and various Latin countries enriched his own arrangements.

He is equally popular in Argentina, Latin America, Europe, and the USA. He has performed extensively in major venues around the world and has been invited to the White House. His work has rewarded him with Grammy’s in the USA and South America.

He has played with other illustrious musicians like YoYo Ma, Paquito O’Rivera, and Giora Feidman and others. He traveled extensively in Europe with TANGO FIVE and singer Marga Mitchell.

Astor Piazolla once called Raul Jaurena “one of the greatest bandoneon player ever”.

About Sol y Flamenco

Glenda Sol Koeraus, is a Buenos Aires born Flamenco dancer and choreographer who has graced both national and international stages, establishing herself as one of the top flamenco artists in the US.  An innovator, she specializes in introducing Flamenco throughout various performance genres:  Ballroom, Opera, Broadway and Theatre. Sol has been described by the New York Times as “seductively aggressive” and by Theater Online as “a master of her craft. Sol has appeared at illustrious venues such as Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Symphony Space, The New Victory Theater, The Joyce Theater and the Metropolitan Opera. More recently, she has been featured in the pre-production of Tony Award-winning Christopher Gatelli’s In Your Arms (Powerhouse Theater), Zorro! The Musical (Alliance Theater, GA), Choreographer and Solo Dancer for Portland Opera’s production of Carmen (Keller Auditorium) and is currently dancing at the Metropolitan Opera.

Francisco Orozco “Yiyi” is from Andalusian family from Spain, and was introduced to Flamenco rhythms at the tender age of four. Yiyi was trained by Flamenco singer and father– “Joselón de Jerez” in his Spanish peña named “Peña Fosforito”. He has toured throughout Europe and Japan; with internationally known María Benitez “Teatro Flamenco” on Broadway and throughout the U.S.; Domingo Ortega in Venezuela as well “Casa Patas” in Madrid; Jose Greco II in the United States of America and Taiwan; and with world-renowned guitarist Serranito . Critics, worldwide, have toted Yiyi’s performance as “fiery”, “riveting” his percussion techniques executed with “machine-gun speed” that possesses and “casts a spell”.

Rebeca Tomas has been described as “awesomely fiery” (New York Times), “masterful” (Eva YaaAsentawaa), and “a postcard image of the feminine Flamenco dancer” (Kansas City Metropolis). She spent time in Spain for training and performance. Rebeca also has her own performing group. New York Times descibes her as  “a Burst of Springtime………..truly a feast for the eyes.”

Raphael Brunn, Flamenco Guitarist and Composer, was born to a well-known family of  dancers and trapeze artists.  At fourteen, Raphael moved to Europe to join his father, a world renowned juggler and acrobat who had been using live Flamenco music in his performances. From a young age, Raphael was exposed to some of Spain’s finest Flamenco artists including El Manzanita, El Recortao, Pepe Marquez and many more.  His public debut playing Flamenco guitar was in the opening festivities of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.  Since then, Raphael has performed with many of the great artists in Spain who initially inspired his dedication to the Flamenco tradition.  He worked with El Farruquito and El Torombo in the Flamenco production of Incognito, in Frankfurt, Germany.  Now based in New York, Raphael performs with various Flamenco artists from the US and Spain.

Paloma Ríos began learning Flamenco at an early age and at fifteen, was already performing professionally and teaching dance lessons. In 2005, she was awarded the title of “Spirit of Fiesta” as Santa Barbara’s cultural ambassador and thereafter lived in Spain; studying full time in Jerez de la Frontera, Sevilla, and Madrid with the Gypsy Dynasty known as the “Farrucos”. There she also studied with countless flamenco greats including: Manuela Carrasco, Antonio El Pipa, and Juana Amaya. Upon her return, she founded the Paloma Ríos School of Flamenco where she until 2013. She now teaches and performs independently.

Ryan Rockmore is a flamenco dancer and researcher in New York. He has studied with Carmen Ledesma, Merche Esmeralda, La Choni, Victorio Korjhan, La Meira, Rafaela Carrasco, and Marco Flores. He has performes in venues US, Spain, and England..He conducted research in Spain as a Fulbright grantee, and completed a Master’s in Dance Anthropology, from Roehampton University. More recently he is artist in residence with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana.