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Claudia’s training in Spanish dance began with one of Toronto’s Flamenco and Spanish dance pioneers, at Paula Moreno’s School of Spanish Dance. She later spent several happy years training as a vocalist at Carmen Romero’s School of Flamenco Dance Arts. More recently, Claudia has taken classes with Toronto’s newest Flamenca on scene—Maria Serrano—and was part of the musical ensemble in her school’s 2017 showcase and for her presentation of Por Derecho, 2019. In the interim of these endeavours, Claudia has gone on trips to Spain, where she has studied with master flamenco instructors.
Apart from training in Flamenco, Claudia has studied jazz vocals, classical upright bass, Bollywood dance, hip-hop, and musical theatre. One of Claudia’s earliest post-secondary vocal instructors was York University’s jazz faculty member, Lynn McDonald; followed by musical theatre performer and coach, Louisa Burgess Corbett at George Brown College.
Claudia now co-runs her own business with her spouse, Julian Berg. Together, they are cultivating the flamenco scene in Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and in the suburban districts of the Toronto by teaching classes and workshops in flamenco dance, singing, and guitar. In 2018 they founded KW’s first ever flamenco festival—the Little KW Flamenco Fest. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree in Urban Planning as a part-time student, in which she is learning about arts-for-health, suburbanism and planning for the arts, and age-friendly communities.
Julian is a flamenco guitarist from Oslo, Norway, who has trained with renowned flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña while studying in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. At age 15, Julian signed up for lessons with flamenco guitarist, Bettina Flater, who upon her departure to Spain, recommended he study with Jesús Panea Morente. During this time, young, self-driven Julian also studied hard on his own, and learned much from online sources, such as the instructional videos of Jason McGuire and Adam Del Monte. While this certainly developed Julian’s self-discipline, it was no replacement for knowledge imparted unto him by Morente, who showed him the importance and skill-set required for accompanying flamenco dance and singing, and who encouraged Julian to pursue training in Spain and via Peña’s conservatory degree program. It was at the conservatory where Julian refined his skills as a dance accompanist through the rigorous mandatory accompaniment classes and by accompanying dance classes during his extra-curricular time.
At Codarts Conservatory, Julian was also exposed to classical music that ignited an interest in composition, most specifically, in that of the Baroque style. He continues to develop his knowledge of composition, music notation, theory, and ear-training.
Julian is now a permanent resident of Canada and co-runs CalúJules—Flamenco Plus with his spouse, Claudia Aguirre. In 2018 they founded KW’s first ever flamenco festival—the Little KW Flamenco Fest and offer classes in theory, guitar, accompaniment, and dance year-round.
Welsh-born dancer Josie Sinnadurai began studying flamenco as the age of just 3 years-old, taking up ballet and contemporary dance shortly afterwards. She trained in contemporary dance at the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School, graduating with a 1st class degree, and went on to complete a Masters in Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Josie joined the National Dance Company Wales as an apprentice dancer for their 2015/16 season, touring the UK with them. But Josie’s zeal for flamenco still burned strongly inside her, and after her contract with the company ended, she moved to Spain to pursue her career as a flamenco dancer.
Josie trained intensely at the world-famous Centro de Artes Flamencos Amor de Dios in Madrid as well as at several schools in Seville and Jerez with many of the top names in flamenco today, including Rocío Molina, Belén López, Inmaculada Ortega, María Juncal, Marco Flores, Isabel Bayón, Rafaela Carrasco, Ursula and Tamara Lopez, Domingo Ortega, Irene "La Sentío," "El Oruco" and Angel Muñoz.
Highlights from Josie’s career include performances in Spain and Germany and tours of Canada, Israel and Britain. She was the invited guest artist at the first edition of the Little KW Flamenco Fest back in 2018. Othercareer highlights include: directing and starring in her full-length show, "Estudios,"commissioned by the Festival Flamenco de Montreal; touring with her group Flamenquines; performing with renowned gypsy flamenco musician Agujetas Chico in "The Aguja Project;" and dancing in Woody Harrelson’s Hollywood film "Lost in London." Josie has also performed at the Flamenco Festival du Capitale, the Festival de Jazz de Montreal, the 15th Annual Blackout Festival, given numerous performances at the Cabaret Flamenco de Montreal, Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market, the Féria de Abril de Cardiff, and danced at established tablaos in Seville including Flamenquería and La Madriguera de Mai.
In 2019 Josie joined the Welsh National Opera for their 2019/2020 season as the flamenco/tango soloist in the UK tour of their new production of Carmen—a role that was created on her. She also founded her own all-female flamenco group, Brujas Flamenco, with whom she toured the UK in 2019; and is one of the founding members of the new ballet company Brecon Festival Ballet.
Ronaldo Monge, flamenco dancer and percussionist, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began his artistic formation in April 2006 with Antonio Santaella, dancer and choreographer from Granada, Spain. Since December 2006, Monge has performed in the predominant “tablaos” of the capital city. Between the years 2007-2011, he was a member of the flamenco company Mozaico Almudéjar, directed by Antonio Santaella, in which he performed at various festivals and musical scenic plays.
Highlights of his career:
• From 2010-2011, with the La Compañía flamenco company, Ronaldo co-produced several shows, including the sold out “Entre la Ida y la Vuelta” at the Nuyorican Café; and “De Tablao... La Pasión del Flamenco” at the Bóveda de Triana in Old San Juan.
• In July 2011, Ronaldo relocated to the great city of Chicago, IL and immediately merged into its flamenco scene.
• In 2016, he founded the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company, producing sold out shows in Puerto Rico: "Tríptico Flamenco" at the Bóveda de Triana, and "Entre Tiempo y Flamenco" at Celebrate Puerto Rico.
• In September 2017, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico invited Ronaldo to perform his production of "Del Negro al Vivo" at the prestigious theater of Miguel Covarrubias in Mexico City.
• In February 2018, with the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company, Ronaldo produced “Puerto Rico A’flamencao.” The company was invited to perform in Chicago, at various venues and prestigious theaters including Old Town School of Folk Music and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, receiving the support of the Chicago Community Trust Fund.
• Between 2018 and 2019, Ronaldo made several guest artist appearances as a percussionist and dancer in Houston and McAllen, Texas; and in August 2019 was the guest artist at the second "Little KW Flamenco Fest" in Canada, where he led workshops and was featured in multiple performances in Guelph, Waterloo, Hamilton, and Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
• In February 2020, Ronaldo produced “Puerto Rico en la Piel” at the Segundos Ruiz Belvis Center, a show presented by the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company that mixed poetry with Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
Ronaldo is currently residing in Chicago, where he teaches at several schools and is the resident artist the Ensemble Español and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. He is also a member of the grammy-nominated band Guitarra Azul and recently became part of the first Consorcio Flamenco of Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in New York.
His dance education spans Latin America, North America and Spain, with training and performances in San Juan, PR; San Diego, CA; Sevilla and Barcelona, SP; Chicago, IL; Buenos Aires, AR; Mexico City and the Flamenco Festival of Albuquerque, NM. Ronaldo has studied with many renowned artists such as Jossette Reily, Cihitli Ocampo “La Gillardi”, Juan de los Reyes, “El Torombo”, “Farruquito”, Carmen Ledesma, Carmela Greco, Alejandro Granados, Carlos Rodriguez, Ivan Vargas, Jose Barrios, Rafael Campallo, Alfonso Losa, La Lupi, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Jeanne D’arc Casas and Vico Zapata, among others.
All classes are currently run online.
Scarborough (Toronto): Near Warden and Hwy. 401. Waterloo: Near Weber St. North and Albert St. Group dance classes in Waterloo are run at Star Performance Academy, 455 Dutton Dr, Waterloo, ON N2L 4C7
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