Flamenco troupe to merge with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

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Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe will be undergoing a friendly merger with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) and will be operating under the ASFB umbrella starting in the summer of 2014.  

When opportunity knocks, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet stands ready. And when a worthy associate seeks support, ASFB widens its dance umbrella. A just-announced act of arts entrepreneurialism involves an expansion:  the addition of Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe to the ASFB family, spawning a vital new branch for the robust arts organization.  

“It is serendipitous … and inspiring,” said Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty. Forging an partnership between a renowned contemporary ballet company and a fledgling flamenco troupe should not come as a total surprise. “Responding well to opportunity has been intrinsic to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s history and development. It’s been one of our strengths,” he said.

Siddi’s cluster of dancers and musicians has burned a furious brand of world-class flamenco for the past six years. Expanding beyond a core clientele that comprises Santa Fe locals, tourists, and cognoscenti, the troupe has attracted the attention of theaters around the country and begun to tour. 

By incorporating his operation into that of ASFB, Siddi gains access to the ballet company’s largely hidden asset: its team of seasoned arts administrators. ASFB will provide critical support services: booking, marketing, audience development, communications, fundraising, fiscal management. This bank of knowledge, should fast-track the Siddi troupe’s advancement. Siddi gets that. “Their staff can take a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” he said. “Before, I have almost done everything, from choreographing to applying for artist’s work visas and arranging their housing. Then the financing part, managing and creating budgets. With the help of ASFB, I’ll have more freedom to focus on the production.”

Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe will perform July 18 and 27 Aug. 3 and 9 at The Lensic Performing Arts Center and July 22 and Aug. 5 at the Aspen District Theatre in Aspen, Colorado.

Flamenco master Juan Siddi, described in local publications as “a bundle of beautiful energy tempered by technique and taste” perpetuates an authentic version of a centuries-old art form. He has forged his memorable brand both as a solo artist and as artistic director of Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe. His high-profile presence in Santa Fe, where he teaches, choreographs and performs, garnered him the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011. 

Born and raised in Frankfurt of mixed heritage (Italian father, Spanish mother) Siddi was early immersed in flamenco culture, whose music he heard at home. 

By 18, Siddi was dancing and choreographing for Compañia Flamenca Alhama and Noches de Amor, performing in Vienna, Berlin and Zurich; at the Bienal de Flamenco in Sevilla; and in a command performance attended by His Majesty Juan Carlos King of Spain. He then became principal male dancer with Rafael Cortés, for five years, giving concerts throughout Europe.

At the invitation of Maria Benitez, Siddi took first steps in the U.S., joining her Santa Fe Teatro Flamenco troupe in 2002. Extensive U.S. touring was capped by performances at New York City’s Joyce Theater. Siddi was principal dancer/ choreographer for a farewell production “Maria Benitez: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.” He regularly appears as a guest artist with Theatre Flamenco San Francisco, with whom he has toured in California and Mexico, and with American Bolero Dance Company in New York City where he is a frequent guest performer/choreographer.

In 2007, Siddi launched his own company, performing in summer seasons in Santa Fe and completing two national tours, as well as overseas, to Qatar. Broadcast performances include NBC, Telemundo, and Al Jazeera. Earlier this year, Siddi accepted the invitation to join the management team of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.