La Tania Biography
La Tania was born in Arles, France. At a very young age she moved to Spain where she spent her childhood traveling through the flamenco world of Southern Spain; from the caves of Sacromonte, Granada to the gypsy enclave of Moron de la Frontera, and on to Sevilla.
She learned as she watched her mother and others perform the music and dance that became her life’s passion.
La Tania began her professional career at age seventeen dancing and touring with various companies in Spain. From 1981 to 1992 she danced with Compania Juan Quintero, Ballet Raul performing in Mallorca, Greece and Ibiza and performed at Esfoguero in Mallorca under the guidance of Alberto Lorca. From there she moved on to dance as a soloist in the major Tablaos of Madrid, such as Canasteros, La Venta del Gato, the prestigious Corral de la Moreria where she performed for many years and eventually became the star dancer. She performed as a featured dancer at Zambra and Casapatas as well. As she continued her studies with various masters of flamenco dance like, Merche Esmeralda, Cristobal Reyes, La Tati, and most notably Ciro, whom she considers her greatest influence; she began touring with some of Spain's most renowned Flamenco companies. Traveling with Paco Peña, Mario Maya, Los Flamenco Somos Asi and others La Tania danced throughout Europe, North Africa, Japan, and Mexico performing in such venues as El Teatro Lope de Vega, Spain; Teatro Bellas Artes, Mexico City; Teatro Juarez in the Cervantino Festival, Mexico; Theater Carre, Amsterdam; Theater Luxor, Rotterdam; Yubin Chonkin Hall, Tokio; Teatro Albeniz, Madrid and Teatro Alcazar, Madrid to name a few. She has danced in major festivals including La Bienal de Sevilla, Spain; Festival Veranos de la Villa, Madrid; Festival Flamenco de Linares,Spain and the RomaEuropa Festival in Rome, Italy.
In 1991 La Tania started her own company in Madrid and in 1993 performed in California where she decided to relocate.
From 1993 to 2003 La Tania toured extensively with her company presenting many programs and bringing renowned artists from Spain such as Rafael Campallo, Belen Maya, Jose Anillo, Andres Marin, Juan Antonio Suarez “Cano”, Enrique el Extremeno, and Jose Luis Rodriguez. Some of the venues included in the tours were; Grand Performances, Los Angeles; Festival Flamenco Alburquerque, NM; Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Idaho; San Jose Flamenco Society, San Jose, CA; College of the Siskiyous, Weed, CA; The Fountain Theater, Los Angeles; Cabrillo College, Watsonville, CA; The Bay Area Dance Series, Oakland CA; California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA; Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA; UC Santa Barbara, CA; California State University, Laxson Theater, Chico, CA; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; Hult Center for the Arts, Eugene, Oregon; Dance Umbrella, Boston, MA; Irvine Barclay Theater, CA; Center Arts Cal State, Humbolt, CA; The Joyce Theater, New York; University of South Oregon, Medford OR; South West Dance, Orpheum Theater, Phoenix Az; El Flamenco, Tokio, Japan; Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Flamenco Festival, Monterrey, Mexico; University of Kansas, Manhattan, KS; Dance Umbrella, Austin, TX; Cal Poly, Center for the Arts, CA; Aspen Dance Festival, Aspen, CO; Telluride Society for the Performing Arts, CO; Kahilu Theater, Hawaii; Maui Arts and Cultural Arts Center, Kahului, HI; Festival Flamenco Santa Barbara, CA; Ethnic Dance Festival, San Francisco, CA.
For her work she has been awarded the Choreographers Fellowship from both the California Arts Council in 1995 and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995 and 1996. Also in 1996 La Tania received the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Artistic Excellence in the category of Individual Performance. The following year the Arts Achievement Award for Contemporary Dance from San Francisco Focus was presented to La Tania.
La Tania has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants such as the, Creation and Presentation Grant from the National Endowments for the Arts, Meet the Composer, James Irvine Fellowships in Dance, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in the Heritage and Preservation Category for her presentations of Abrazo in 1997 which was presented and co-commissioned by the Irvine Barclay Theater in Orange County and “Passage of the Muse” which premiered in 1999 at the Novellus Theatre at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
La Tania has also collaborated on special projects as dancer and choreographer. In 1994 she performed as a featured guest dancer with Carlota Santana Flamenco Vivo Company in New York. In 1997 she collaborated with Theater of Yugen on Blood Wine Blood Wedding a Kabuki/Flamenco fusion performance. The same year the Flamenco Society of San Jose commissioned La Tania to dance and choreograph with the musical group Willie & Lobo. In 2002 she was a guest dancer and collaborator with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. As a guest featured dancer and choreographer La Tania was invited to collaborate with Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco in Santa Fe, NM in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 La Tania was part of Adrian Arias Illusion 5, a multidisciplinary project at the De Young Museum in San Francisco CA and in 2007 La Tania performed with the band Rupa & The April Fishes at the Independent in San Francisco.
La Tania has been recognized worldwide as a dancer, choreographer and master teacher. She has received rave reviews from The Japan Times, El Pais, Spain; Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Francisco Examiner and N.R.C. Handelsblad.
La Tania is currently based in Oakland CA where she has founded La Tania Baile Flamenco Company and School. She is very active in the Community imparting her knowledge and creating many events to enrichen the Bay Area Cultural Landscape. She is founder of Fiesta Flamenca (now Mission Flamenca) an ongoing monthly flamenco event in San Francisco. As part of the teaching program La Tania presents, Punta y Tacon, a yearly student showcase at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts designed to give performance experience to her students.
Her latest premiere was Despertar es un Color presented by the Azahar Dance Foundation and Ukiah Community Concert Association on April 21,22, 2012 in San Francisco and Ukiah CA. On November 24, 2012 La Tania was invites as a guest to perform in Clara Rodriguez premiere of Somos Tierra at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco.
Currently La Tania is collaborating with Opera Parallel on Ainadamar as a choreographer and dancer, which which will premiere in February 2013.