B i o g r a p h i e s
Andrea DaSilva (Dance)
Andrea began her study of flamenco dance in Sevilla, Spain in 1987, and continued in Paris where she became a member of Patricio Martin’s flamenco dance troupe in 1993.She has taken both extensive and intensive dance courses with many professional artists whose names are well known in the flamenco world – Mercedes Metal, La Tati, Cristobal Reyes, La Yerbabuena, Juana Amaya, La China, Adrian and Beatriz Martín. Andrea has performed in several theatres in Paris and has won a number of top prizes in both private and public competitions. Since relocating to N. Ireland as a Spanish, French and ESOL teacher she has performed to great acclaim in the Belfast Festival and in a number of venues throughout Ireland. Andrea returns to Spain and Paris on a regular basis to update and extend her flamenco skills with tutors such as Patricio Martin (Centre de danse du Marais) and Gabriel da Rocha.
Emma Van-Loock (Percussion - Cajon and Palmas)
Emma's love of flamenco dates back 15 years when she began making regular trips to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucía to study flamenco guitar and rhythm and to absorb flamenco in its purest gypsy form. Emma has taken workshops and private tuition with a number of high level professional flamenco performers and teachers. Her enthusiasm for pure flamenco, great sensitivity to its dynamics and not least her metronomic grasp of flamenco rhythms make her an invauable member of Alegria.
(Guitar and Palmas)
After 20 years dedicated study of the flamenco guitar, John (aka Juanito!) founded Peña Flamenca in 1992 – the first flamenco society in Ireland. In addition to his many performances in festivals, fiestas, clubs, restaurants and on radio and television, he has promoted flamenco through short courses and seminars in universities, schools and colleges. He collaborated in a number of theatre productions by Professor David Johnston at Queen’s University (on the lives of Goya and Lorca) and with Martin Lynch in ‘Pictures of Tomorrow’. John travels regularly to the part of Andalucía known as ‘the cradle of flamenco’ for its festivals and flamenco Peñas.