Ricardo López | The Immersion

March 20 –  April 8, 2012   No need to go to Spain when it comes to YOU! 

Ricardo López of Madrid, Spain and Compañia Rafaela Carrasco returns to the Rose City.  He’s our guy, and he’s back, by popular demand.

“It was one of the best workshops I have ever done…”

To learn Flamenco is to live the culture, the flavor, and the arte of it all. Spending intimate time with a true flamenco in priceless and yet, I acknowledge that there is an expense to having this unique experience in our lives.  Experience the same quality of instruction without purchasing a plane ticket or dealing with a horrible exchange rate!  It’s been over a year since we’ve had him in Portland, (since the fall of 2010) and at that time, even before the workshops were over, students began asking how soon he would return.  Well, here it is…our own Flamenco Immersion with Maestro Ricardo López.

“WHAT A FABULOUS TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is an inspiration!”

Workshops, Shows, and More
The Schedule is up with weekend & weekday offerings at ALL levels.  Spaces are limited, so definitely plan ahead for those workshops that interest you.   All classes are subject to cancellation if the registration quota is not met.   Contact us to sign up, $100 non-refundable deposit to save your spot. ($50 deposit for palmas)  Payment in full by MONDAY, MARCH 19 gets you discounted tickets to the shows on April 1 & 8 (up to 4 discounted tickets per show!)  CREDIT CARD payments accepted.   Find out what’s going on as plans progress.

“I know of no one else in the US that has a top flamenco artist from Spain come for three weeks because of his devotion to Laura as a friend and her students.  Ricardo López is an amazing dancer and teacher with a generous heart.  We are lucky to not have to pay to fly and stay in Spain… to say the least.” – Diana Bright

It is not often we have someone of Ricardo’s caliber here in Portland, especially for this amount of time. I hope you are able to take advantage of this opportunity to find out what an experience like this can do for your dancing, palmas, and understanding of this art form.

“Ricardo’s workshops are amazing! He’s such an attentive teacher – very exacting and will break everything down clearly and slowly, always checking in to make sure everyone is happy and understands everything “in our head”. Besides being a phenomenal dancer he’s encouraging, professional, respectful and incredibly patient. Laura has… been very kind in translating his Spanish so we understand his most salient points. Everyone at the workshop has soooo friendly and helpful. We love Portland Flamenco and hope we can come back soon!” -Cyrena, Vancouver, B.C.

A Bit of Background
Some of you have experienced him before, some of you have not.  This time, we have Ricardo here for THREE WHOLE WEEKS!  !Sí, tres semanas!  It began in October with a phone call from Ricardo informing me that his latest tour with Compañia Rafalea Carrasco would be bringing him to the States for the 2012 Flamenco Festival USA.  As usual, we’ve encountered some road blocks along the way, but things are coming together indeed, and the experience is going to be mejor que nunca.

“The most riveting moment of the evening came at the beginning of ‘Playas del Alma.´ A phalanx of dancers stomped a repeated series of rhythmic patterns as a backdrop for a dynamite solo by Ricardo López. Graceful, charismatic, but completely devoid of the kind of dramatic angst some of the other dancers pasted on, López maintained an elegant carriage as he unfurled spectacular footwork accented by sharply angled kicks. It was a simple idea, powerfully executed and rhythmically thrilling.”
Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

Why would I want to do this?
I’ll let some alumni and his bio speak to that.  See the bottom of this page…  And perhaps some video clips as well.  Here’s one (he’s the first one dancing…)  And here are some more.

We’ll be at the new studio [Stomptown Collective in the AudioCinema Building @ 226 SE Madison St.] which means classes will be more intimate, smaller numbers, mooood lighting, and closer in to town.  It also means definitely definitely register for the workshops you wish to participate in as space is limited, more so than in the past.

He’s Excited Too
The guest artists I bring in always comment on the nice feel of our workshops and the sense of community.  Thank you everyone for being so kind and receptive. :)  Ricardo especially loves being here and loves us!  (Naturally.  How could he not?)

“As for López, his elegance was commanding and his technique matched the visual impact, whether his taconeo was resounding like an automatic, his dime-placed tours broken by lighting accents to the side, or a promenade preceding pitos or palmas. The tautness of his delivery took care of the snootiness frequently seen in the flamenco artist, and permitted him to register how much he enjoyed dancing. López is a visitor one likes to see return.”
Renee Renouf Hall, Ballet.co

I’m scared to study with a top professional flamenco from España.
Can he meet me at my level?  Will he get mad at me for not being good enough?

The answers are and No respectively.  Yes, he will attend to you, whatever your level may be.  Ricardo is an extremely experienced teacher.  Not only is he skilled at diversifying for the different students he is given, but he truly enjoys doing so.  Ricardo has choreographed and taught both professionals from Spain and people who’ve NEVER had a flamenco class in their lives.   Ricardo is very kind and approachable, and No, he will not expect you to be anyone other than who you are. Perhaps the best piece of advice he has given me is that it is about having funHay que pasarlo bien.  Yes, we work hard, but we enjoy ourselves while doing so.  So, you will be challenged, yes, but it will be a doable and fun challenge.  Also, he’s open to questions, so just ASK!  Take a look at this post which is full of video outtakes and examples of Ricardo being just a regular guy…

“Each day I can’t believe that I am taking a class from someone as amazing as Ricardo. I am like a baby who is learning to walk when compared to him. But it is so fun!!” – Stefani

I am still worried.
Don’t worry, por favor.  I know it can seem overwhelming.   That’s why this year we are offering optional 30-minute Pre-class Clarity Sessions at the beginning level to assist those who wish for additional help.  Prior to Ricardo’s classes on Saturdays and Sundays I will hold these prep sessions to review and clarify material from the Beginning Choreography Class.  This will be an opportunity to work through “tricky” stuff at a slower pace and to answer questions, make things clearer, and aid in your success with the workshops.

I am from out of town.
¡Muy bien!  We love having guests from outside of Portland.  The majority of the classes will be offered on the weekends, allowing for you, our out of town guests, to fit them into your schedules with greater ease.  If you are in need of a place to stay, many of our students and friends have spare rooms to offer, just post an inquiry on the facebook page.  We’ll also have some hotel discounts just for you, tba.  Finallly, Portland is a wonderful place to visit.  We are known for our good restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores…and interesting people.

“Ricardo exceeded my expectations. I’ve been dancing for over 10 years and still picked up some breakthrough tips in the 3 days of workshops. He takes the time to go through fundamentals and also has challenging but fun choreography. I’m impressed at how patient and encouraging he was. His classes were well structured, had a good pace, and he was a top notch (and nice!) teacher. Since I can’t go to Spain, this is Spain coming to me. The Portland Flamenco Events dancers were very welcoming…thanks to Laura for translating and more importantly for making this happen. I only wish I could’ve stayed longer to see the show and learn more but there’s always next time. I’m definitely coming back!” -Shyiang, Vancouver, B.C.

What’s this thing you keep saying about and energy that he brings?
I can’t really explain it well with words.  I think you just have to come and experience this for yourself to know what I mean.

But I don’t want to dance, what’s in it for me?
PALMAS!   These classes are, in my opinion, the most fun of all.  They are for EVERYONE.  Percussionists, singers, dancers, aficionados.  Ricardo is not just a dancer but a palmero.  He regularly accompanies Rafaela Carrasco and others with palmas, providing a rhythmic base for her dancing.  (And it’s crazy cool!)

Do I need to do something special to prepare?
No, although attending classes from now until then will help to get you ready.  I’ll be addressing some common moves and techniques that Ricardo often incorporates into his teaching.  This will help to familiarize our brains and bodies.  Also, getting your flamenco muscles in shape will help, workshops can be kind of intense.  Thank goodness, because the intensity is a big part of the fun of it all.  But, anyway, no preparation is necessary, it’s entirely up to you to decide.

What About A Kick-Off?
Yes, there will be a kick-off, for those of you who want a taste of what this will all be like.  Probably on March 20, but we’re still working this out, details to follow.

And parties?
Fiestas.  We like them.  Workshop participants will be invited to at least one hang out with our dear guest artist, because, hey social events are fun.  And we like to see what Ricardo is like outside of class.  Details will be announced during the workshops.

When is he performing?
2 shows!  April 1st and April 8th, Details HERE

What are the class offerings, when are they happening, and what is the cost?
View schedule and pricing here.

But I don’t speak Spanish.
No problem.  (Though you’ll learn some during the workshops whether you mean to or not.)  Ricardo speaks English and Spanish, so you’ll hear both.  And I’m present in all of the classes to interpret when necessary.  Feel free to ask if ever you don’t understand.

What about private classes?
Yep, he’s available for privates and semi-privates if you’d like special one-on-one time or to focus on a special skill.  Contact me  if you’re interested.

I want to know about Ricardo’s professional career.
Here you go:

Ricardo López of Madrid, Spain has been dancing professionally since the age of 17 and performs across the globe as a principal dancer for the world renown Compañia Rafaela Carrasco. Ricardo has performed throughout Spain, North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America with many of Spain’s most celebrated artists, including Antonio Canales, María Pagés, Rafaela Carrasco, Rafael Amargo, Rafael Aguilar, Manuel Liñan, Marcos Flores, Angel Rojas, Carlos Rodriguez, Rocio Molina, Olga Pericet, Concha Jareño, and Daniel Doña. He has danced in the finest tablaos in Madrid such as Casa Patas, El Corral de la Pacheca, El Corral de la Moreria, and Café Chinitas. and in prestigious festivals throughout Europe and abroad including the Festival de Jerez, Madrid en Danza, USA Flamenco Festival, and the New World Flamenco Festival.

In 1997 Ricardo joined Rafael Aguilar’s company performing as a company dancer and as a soloist. In 2002 he began dancing with Rafael Amargo where he shared the stage with artists such as Montse Cortéz and Rafaela Carrasco. He then went on to dance with the Compañia María Pagés in 2003.

In 2002 he began dancing as a soloist for the Nuevo Ballet Español of Madrid. In March 2004 he danced in the prestigious Festival de Jerez in Romeo y Julieta. In 2006 he toured in the USA Flamenco Festival dancing in Flamenco Directo. In addition to choreographing and directing for the company, he assumed the role as first dancer for Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez.

Ricardo choreographed for the Madrid based company Macadanza with Concha Jareño and Gemma Morado for the 2008 production, Jazz Flamenco. In 2009 he shared the stage with Lola Greco, Alejandro Granados and Amador Rojas in Miguel Narros’s production of Fedra to the music of Enrique Morente and choreography of Javier Latorre performing in such important theatre festivals such as the International Festivals of Merida, Almagro, and Peralada in Spain and Napoli Danza and the 2009 Biennial of Venice, Italy.

Ricardo is currently a soloist with Compañia Rafaela Carrasco which he has been with since 2004 performing in such productions as La Música del Cuerpo and Una Mirada al Flamenco sharing the stage with Manuel Liñan, Marco Flores, and Olga Pericet.  In August 2006 he danced with Carrasco in the New World Flamenco Festival and again in 2007 in the USA Flamenco Festival. He joined her in in 2007 in Del Amor y Otras Cosas in Madrid, and In 2008 he performed in the Bienal de Sevilla with Carrasco in Vamos al Tiroteo along with Pedro Cordoba, Jose Maldonado, and David Coria. He performed with Carrasco at the 2010 London Flamenco Festival as well as the 2010 Festival de Jerez, and in 2011 he performed at the 2011 Bienal de Buenos Aires.  Most recently he performed at the IX London Flamenco Festival and the Flamenco Festival de Nimes in France.  In February he returns to the USA Flamenco Festival,  with Carrasco where they will perform in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami.

Ok, and now for more comments from past students

“You were right, he does “stand alone” as a teacher. It is apparent that he loves his craft, which spills out in the classroom, whether involved with explaining a step, the cante, the palmas, or just demonstrating with his crisp movements, turns, energy and enthusiasm.:) All in all, quite a memorable week. ” -Ann, Vancouver, WA

“He’s such a good and generous teacher, and I loved the style and choreography.”

“(Ricardo) inspires you to dance your best. Imagine how good we will all be when he comes back for a longer stay!” -Lillie, Portland, OR

“I am so glad that I attended the workshops and performance. I felt so inspired and invigorated, actually maybe a little too much I don’t think I was able to sleep for a few nights. But it really made me realize how much I love to dance, and how much I have to learn too. Also, I think like everyone, I developed a little crush on Ricardo.” -Alexis, Portland, OR

“Thanks Laura for organizing this workshop/show. It was amazing!!! You did a wonderful job and Ricardo, well he is a sweetheart.” -Kethrin, Portland, OR

“Thanks for organizing such a wonderful workshop. It was my first workshop (as you know) and I couldn’t have had more fun. I don’t think I’ve ever even gotten to dance to live music. What a treat! And, if you get a chance, will you let Ricardo know how much I enjoyed learning from him. He was a great teacher and I appreciated his patience with my lack of competency. :) Also, great performance on Saturday! Definitely a wonderful night!” -Brittany, Portland, OR