20th anniversary – Interview Tacha

Tacha, dancer and co-founder of Las Carboneras

“We maintain the tradition that existed in Madrid of singing the jaleos”

«About who would I highlight about my artistic training, I have had many wonderful flamenco teachers with whom I have learned many things, but I, on this occasion, would like to highlight my mother, Pilar Sánchez, who was the one who taught me classical dance and bolera school. She taught me a very strong classical ground that later has served me in my profession for many things that I have done in flamenco and with my company, Arrieritos, in which we met different languages ​​within dance. She also taught me discipline, to love dance and to be on stage since I was little. It was a very nice apprenticeship and every year we walked on stages from a very young age. So, I would highlight my mother because it is always true that discipline is instilled in you from a young age, and the love for dance and respect for teachers.

»I spent two intermittent years in Mexico and, when I went back the year 92, the first most important thing I did was in the Sala Caracol with Belén Maya clapping and dancing. There they saw me dance and, two or three days later, one day I was at home and my boyfriend told me: “Antonio Canales is calling you on the phone.” I was washing clothes by hand because I didn’t have a washing machine, I was washing my dance clothes in the bathtub, there raca, raca. I thought it was a joke and he insisted that I get on. I got on the phone and I was dead, at that time there were no mobiles and there was nothing. And he told me if I wanted to join the company, that the following week we were going to Canada. And in a week I had to learn all the repertoire that they carried. I almost die. Of course, at that time Antonio Canales was booming and for me it was, you know, wonderful. It is an anecdote that I have very recorded, but above all the fact of being washing clothes in the bathtub and not believing it.

»For me dancing in a tablao is, first, therapeutic. Second, you enter such a state of meditation, due to the level of improvisation that there is and the concentration that you have to have, as well as the communication between colleagues and teamwork, which is wonderful. It’s like meditating and, at the same time, I feel free and there is uncertainty, there are many sensations at the same time. The uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen, the wonder of the energies, how they flow, some days very well and other days they flow very badly, but it is the uncertainty that causes you. Then freedom. Above all, that, which for me is very therapeutic and enriching.

»Las Carboneras. It is one of the most important tablaos in Madrid, I would place it among the top three most important in Madrid, where the artists feel very comfortable and where we have created a very personal way of deconstructing the dances. We have created like a school, on an artistic level. Later, many tablaos have joined us, for example at the beginning in terms of schedules. Now we have joined them because they make the passes even earlier, times change. But our tablao was like a revolution. And it is one of the tablaos in which we maintain the tradition that existed in Madrid of singing the jaleos, although now we make them more modern and musicalized, before they were sung without a guitar. It is a tradition of the tablaos of Madrid and we are the only one which maintains it. And I think that for artists it is very important to come to Las Carboneras, apart from how good they feel ».


20th anniversary – Interview Ana Romero

Ana Romero, dancer and co-founder of Las Carboneras

«I am very proud of my home»

«In Australia I had several teachers but one of them had spent a lot of time in Spain in a company, his name was Mario Orbitani. He really was a huge influence on me because he showed me how companies worked here. We were four companions: guitarists, singers, etc, and we did the work format of that time in Spain: you danced jotas, classical-Spanish, there was a work performed at the beginning with the dance. And the strong part was flamenco. Mario taught me a lot about the world of flamenco, also about the discipline and breadth of that era, when you had to know a little about everything. He got me the tablao bug because I started with him and other teachers in the tablaos of Melbourne when I was 14 years old. There I found my environment, the place with which I identified and felt absolutely free. It marked me so much and I believe that I also marked him that when I came to Spain, he told me: “If you leave, I’ll go back to Italy.” He took his suitcase and now lives in Pisa with his partner. A time was over and we both left, he to there and I to here. He really was a person who marked me a lot.

»In the world of dance, I like to think that, because of my personality type, I love the tablao and I feel very lucky to be able to soak up everyone and all kinds of dance that goes through the tablao. For me that is the greatest school. And empathize with those people through dance and have, not eyes, magnifying glasses. You are drinking from different sources every day. And not only about dancing, but also singing and guitar. That was very important, as well as the work I did with Manuela Vargas in “Fedra”. Manuela also marked me a lot on a professional level, but also on a personal way: she was a very tender person with me. Maybe I was very young at that time and how you receive it is important, right? But the work was magical and the artistic direction and music by Enrique Morente, so I was blown away. We did a very modern version of Phaedra, all dressed in leather, Carlos Hipólito would go out with a motorcycle on stage, it was something very different for the time.

»It was also important to work at the Alcazaba tablao, where I met Tacha and Manuela Vega, the other dancers cofounders of our tablao. That was where Tacha and I became like the marriage that we have and we discovered each other and that something that you have very much in common with a person emerged, not only in flamenco, but also in the world of tablao.

«Anecdotes in these years there have been many. One day in the tablao a cantaor was singing and a cousin of his was watching around and, suddenly, we see that the cousin goes up on stage while we are performing and whispers something in the singer’s ear, the cantaor gets off the stage and runs away. Later we found out that the car was towed away and the other, all of a sudden, got on stage to tell him. And he left, instead of giving him the keys. There was also once a very magical night in which all the power in the neighborhood went out and to be able to do the performance we put candles around the stage. Of course, we had to dance in another way, to avoid the flight of the dresses so that they did not burn. It was like very beautiful and magical, something very different. I think the public got it a lot. Then, in a particular way, I always remember a man who seemed like a country man and was in the front row. I was watching the show and I remember seeing him bruised, crying. He could not stop. He saw one and the other dance, each of us who made the cuadro and he was so so touched that he would not stop crying. He was dressed like a country man, he was a humble man. That got to me a lot. There have been many anecdotes, very nice things that you receive from the public. Suddenly, someone leaves you an anonymous note or a child gives you a drawing of what they see in your dancing. That kind of thing is also very cool to me and I have many memories of that type and the truth is that I keep them like a treasure.

»What has Las Carboneras meant? Well, my goodness, Las Carboneras! I get emotional. It has been a dream come true, something unimaginable for me, I could never have imagined that I would have a place so special, so beautiful, I at least feel it that way. Las Carboneras, for me, is a familiar place. It brings me a lot of pride because everyone feels it that way, as a place, for them, from their family. Where art is collected, but also from the heart. From everyone, from the artistic side, which we carry, to the relationships established with Kike, with the other waiters who have been and have been passing by, with the cooks … Maybe it’s also our way of working, But all those things seem just as important to me. And then, on a professional level, it had been more than thirty years since a tablao had been opened in Madrid. The opening of Las Carboneras was something very marked and of great respect for us. From the beginning we worked a lot, on a personal level. All partners we painted the room, we started from scratch. We had to participate by taking the tablecloths and bringing them washed and ironed the next day. A family job, as I say. I feel Las Carboneras with great pride, it is something built in twenty years. A lot of work and, on a professional level, I think we created a form of dance and a form of freedom, too. It’s funny but I think that many people, when they come to Las Carboneras, feel that freedom and feel unconditional support. And it is also something very of our label. That we, I’m talking about the regular, Ángel Gabarre, Tacha and I, whoever it is coming, we are always going to support him or her200 percent. And I think that’s something that people get. We are better or worse, but we do it from the heart. That is part of us. And I think we have created an exclusive and unique space that has its stamp, its brand. Not only people from here consume flamenco, but we have people from France, Mexico, from many places, who always come to see Las Carboneras, to get to know it and who are regular. I, to tell you the truth, feel a lot of pride in my house. A lot of pride for all the partners, for everything we have worked for, for all the workers. And, for many more years. Now, in these difficult times, we will have to fight again for a new beginning. I am ready, I am ready for that and for everything.

Fernando de la Rua

Brazilian guitarist born in Itapeva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and living in Madrid since 2000. Musician and composer of the albums “Nuances” (2012) and “Aural” (2017),

He has a hybrid language of flamenco with harmonic elements of Brazilian music, creating original themes for shows with choreographic productions.

Its main artistic and professional references are the Amor de Dios Center for Flamenco Art and Spanish Dance or the Tablao Flamenco Las Carboneras.

Artists with whom he has performed: La China, Manuel Reyes, Domingo Ortega, Inma Ortega, Rocio Molina, Tacha, Ana Romero, Rafaela Carrasco, La Popi, Ángel Gabarre, Rafael Jiménez El Falo, Manuel Liñán, Sara Calero, Gema Caballero, Juañares , Alejandro Molinero, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Chelo Pantoja, Pedro Sanz, Jose Luis Montón, Pablo Suárez, Jesús Torres, among others.

He has worked as a guitarist and composer at the Concertgebouw Theater (Amsterdam), Teatro Albéniz (Madrid), Teatro Español (Madrid), Joyce Theater (New York), Teatro Shinjuku (Tokyo), Teatro Victoria (Singapore), Real Coliseo de Carlos III (El Escorial), Café de la Danse (Paris), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), UN Theater (New York), Sadler’s Wells Theater (London), among others.

He has received the awards for best music for dance at the Choreography, Spanish Dance and Flamenco Contest (2004, Albéniz Theater in Madrid); revelation author of the Madrid Academy of Music (2011); Music Award from Brazil com Z magazine in Madrid (2014).

Main flamenco festivals where he has performed: Festival de Jerez de La Frontera, Bienal de Sevilla, Womex, among others.

Albums in which he has collaborated: “De ida y returned” l by Patricia Prieto (2005);

“Soleando Suite”, by José Luis López (2006); “Dreams of an awake man” (2007) and “The call” (2014), by Ismael Serrano; “Trabajito de chinos” (2008) and “Supercop” (2009), by La Shica; “Telaraña – Canciones para mejorar el mundo”, by Vanessa Borhagian (2009); “Onde é que o caminho sai?”, By Flávia-N (2009); “Sin compasión”, by Pasión Vega (2011).

He is currently a specialist professor and teacher at the María de Ávila Superior Dance Conservatory in Madrid, under the coordination of Rafaela Carrasco, Isabel Bayón and Jesús Torres . In addition, he is a guitar teacher and guitarist in the courses of the Stuttgart Flamenco Festival (Germany ) (2016-2019) under the direction of bailaor and choreographer Miguel Ángel Espino.

Musical duos: “Saudade Flamenca”, a flamenco-Brazilian and Latin American fusion with the Madrilenian singer Patricia Prieto; “A dos Guitarras”, a duo of classical, Brazilian and flamenco guitars with guitarist Pablo Romero Luis; “Dúo Baguá”, instrumental project with Choro de Rua with the musician and composer Marco Ruviaro (mandolin); “Dúo Arabiando”, formed by Fernando de la Rúa and Leticia Malvares (flutist).

Music and dance projects (classical, flamenco and Brazilian):

Los Choros de Madrid – Brazilian instrumental music.

Regional Matuto – Choro Quartet (Brazilian instrumental music) with musicians and composers Marco Ruviaro, Barbara Piperno and Marco Zannoti.

Brasil Flamenco Madrid – Artistic direction by the dancer Yara Castro and “Cuadro Flamenco” by musicians and dancers from Brazil and Spain.

Sons y Sonidos – Project devised by Yara Castro. Shows, theoretical and practical flamenco courses throughout Brazil.

ADM – Spanish and Flamenco Classical Dance Project devised by the choreographer and dancer Alejandro Molinero.

Gabriel Matías

Brazilian dancer born in 1994, he has lived with flamenco since he was little. Robinson Gambarra and Juliana Prestes are among the teachers he had when he started dancing at age 11 in Porto Alegre. Later, he forms part of the Companhia de Flamenco del Puerto and dances in important performing arts festivals throughout Brazil with the shows “Las cuatro esquinas” (2012) and “Consonantes” (2014), being awarded twice with the Açorianos Award Dança in the best dancer category. In 2015 he established his residence in Madrid and entered the Conservatorio Superior de Danza María de Ávila where he obtained a higher degree in dance in the specialty of Pedagogy of flamenco dance. He has also trained with dancers such as Isabel Bayón, Rafaela Carrasco, Belén Fernández, Alfonso Losa, Marco Flores and Eva Yerbabuena. He is a constant presence in the programming of Madrid’s flamenco tablaos such as Café de Chinitas, Las Carboneras, Torres Bermejas, Corral de la Pacheca or Café Ziryab, which he combines with his work in important companies, including those of Antonio Canales and Javier Latorre, performing at festivals such as Madrid en Danza or the Jerez Flamenco Festival. In 2018 he was recognized with the Madrid Premio Talento Flamenco granted by the Cristina Hereen Foundation and, recently, with the Premio Extraordinario del Festival de Jerez as Best Professional Solo Male Figure in the framework of the 2019 Pure Flamenco International Competition. Currently, he is part of the Compañía Rafaela Carrasco and continues to tour with her first show as an author, entitled “ELLOS”, premiered within the programming of the Jerez Flamenco Festival 2020.

Pau Vallet

Born in Barcelona in a family of musicians. When he was very young he started playing the guitar and finished his training with the maestro Juan Manuel Cañizares.

At the same time, he performs on tablaos in Barcelona and also plays with jazz artists such as Marco Mezquida, Marc Miralta or Ernesto Aurignac.

In 2016 he became part of the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía and moved to live in Seville.

In 2019 he moved to Madrid and joined the Ballet Nacional de España under the direction of Rubén Olmo.

He has also worked alongside artists such as Mayte Martín, Montse Cortés, Chicuelo, Antonio Canales and Arcángel.

Alejandra Gudí

The dancer from Almería, winner of the first national award by alegrías La Perla de Cádiz in 2018, has worked in dance companies of recognized national and international level such as that of Antonio El Pipa, in the shows “Pasión y ley”, “Vivencias”, “De tablao” and “Puertas adentro”; the flamenco company of Carmen Cortés in the show “Mujer flamenca”; and the Rafael Aguilar Ballet, where she debuted as a soloist in the show “Carmen”.

With the Andalusian Flamenco Ballet, directed and choreographed by Rafaela Carrasco, she participates as a dance corps and playing solo roles in the shows “En la memoria del cante, 1922”, “Imágenes” (20th anniversary of the Andalusian Flamenco Ballet), awarded the giraldillo for the best show at the XVII Seville Flamenco Biennial, and “Tierra Lorca, cancionero popular”, awarded the giraldillo for the best dance cast at the XVIII Seville Flamenco Biennial and finalist in the Max awards for best dance cast.

With the José Porcel Flamenco Ballet, she has worked participating in the shows “Momentos” and “Encuentro” (a show that included the maestro Antonio Canales as a guest artist). She has also collaborated, among other formations, with the Rubén Olmo Company with the show “La muerte de un minotauro”.

She combines her work in dance companies with her solo career working in some of the most prestigious tablaos in Madrid, such as the Corral de la Morería, Corral de la Pacheca, Casa Patas, Villa Rosa, Café de Chinitas, Las Tablas, Torres Bermejas or Las Carboneras.


Interview Alejandra Gudí

«The tablao for me is freedom»


«When I was a girl and went to the conservatorio de Almería, it turns out that I was very skinny, with very long arms and legs, with clear eyes. The totally classic prototype. So, my teachers insisted that I was a classic girl. And there was a problem and it was that I didn’t like the classic. Total, that one day they give me the bulletin and the notes, very well in classic and in Spanish dance, fail. “Delete me, mom, delete me.” I have failed the Spanish and it might be that I’m not good at it and to classic I do not go because I do not like it. My mother told me no, that I won’t erase you from anywhere. Thank God because, if not, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Well, I ignored all of them and I continued with Spanish and my flamenco things. Until today, there was no escape.

»A before and after in my professional career was entering the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía with Rafaela Carrasco. Because life put me there with wonderful people whom I admire infinitely. I already admired them before entering there, but I learned a lot from them, it changed the concept of many things, it opened my mind. I changed the concept of dance, of performance, I learned other languages ​​different from those that I usually worked. And, anyway, you grow artistically and you get to know yourself more, more ways open up for you, one thing leads you to another, you work more, more doors open to you. So clearly it was a before and an after.

»And what does working on a tablao mean to me? It is the means by which I feel free, freedom. Because when you get on the tablao you never know what can happen to you, you don’t know who is going to sing to you, what are they going to sing to you, in which way, how many lyrics, what are they going to play to you, how many falsetas, you never know anything. Well, within codes, what is happening is flowing and wonderful, magical things are born and arise in the moment. So for me it is freedom ».

Eduardo Cortés

Eduardo Cortés was born in Barcelona in 1980. He began studying flamenco guitar at the age of 14 with guitarist José Luis Montón. He continues his training at the Barcelona Taller de Músics.

Professionally, he began his career at the age of 15 at La Tani dance company. He has worked for the flamenco companies of Antonio Canales, Sara Baras and María Pagés and has accompanied dancers such as Farruquito, Pepe Torres, Pastora Galván, Israel Galván, Manolete, El Toleo, Javier Latorre, Eva La Yerbabuena, Belén Maya, Belén Fernández, Manuel Liñán or Marco Flores.

He has shared the stage with José Jiménez “El Viejín”, Jesús de Rosario, Niño Josele, Tomatito, El Paquete, Manuel Parrilla, Montoyita and Juan Manuel Cañizares.

His guitar has accompanied sing figures such as La Susi, Ramón El Portugués, Estrella Morente, Montse Cortés, Remedios Amaya, Guadiana, Pepe Luis Carmona, Miguel de la Tolea or El Falo.

He has participated in the recording of albums by Manuel Carrasco, Diego El Cigala, Montse Cortés, Parrita, Josep Mas “Kitflus”, Carlos Martín, Javier Limón, Michael Ciro and Antonio Carmona. In addition, he composes songs for different artists.

He has been the musical director of the Rafael Amargo dance company and has participated in the play “Los Tarantos”, the first flamenco musical, based on the novel by Alfredo Mañas.

He tours all over the world and his guitar is required for both dance and singing. He currently works in his studio for the Netflix network and producing music such as that of the show by bailaora Olga Llorente, “Gala, una mirada eterna”.

Luís “El Granaíno”

Luis “El Granaíno” is a singer born in Barcelona in 1988 from a family of singers and guitarists from Granada, among them Luis Heredia “El Polaco”, La Nitra, Juaneke or his father the cantaor Justo Fernández.


From a very young age, about 5 or 7 years old, he was already in the peñas next to the big ones. Then he began acting with figures such as Karime Amaya, Mercedes Amaya “La Winy” and working in recent years with the best: Antonio Canales, on several occasions, Rafael Amargo, Duquende, El Pele, Farruquito and, in the Tablao Cordobés de Barcelona, with some of the most outstanding artists of today, such as Juan de Juan, Farru, José Maya, La Tana, La Fabi, Paloma Fantova, Marco Flores.

He has also shared the stage with Manuel Fernández “El Carpeta”, El Yiyo, Pepe Flores, Montse Cortés and Olga Llorente.


Kélian Jiménez

Born in Madrid in 1979, Kélian Jiménez belongs to a family of professional flamenco guitar musicians. His musical education comes from his childhood for belonging to one of the Madrid neighborhoods, Caño Roto, where flamenco has been and is the cradle of great artists.

His training in flamenco dance was acquired by professionals of great prestige and name such as Manolete, El Güito, La China, María Magdalena, Antonio Canales, Adrián Galia and, in contemporary dance, Teresa Nieto, Lola Greco, as well as in several training centers.

His debut was at age twelve through the company of Rafael Aguilar and with the play “Carmen”, next to Teresa Berganza. Then came his belonging to the company of Antonio Canales for four years with the works “Torero“, “Narciso”, “Cinderella”, “La casa de Bernarda Alba“, “Raíz” and “Gitano”.

Then came his involvement in the foundation of the Arrieritos company with the creation of different shows nominated for the Max awards in 2006 and 2007.

In addition, he has worked with the companies of El Güito, Lola Greco, Hermanos Losada, Esther Ponce and Paco Suárez, among others.

Currently, in addition to teaching dance courses, he continues acting in tablaos such as Las Carboneras and in theaters.

Laura Fúnez

Laura Fúnez (Madrid, 1996) is a graduate in Spanish dance at the Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance Mariemma. He obtains several awards, among which the Outstanding Dancer in the IV Certamen Coreográfico de Tetuán and the first Prize of the V Concurso Internacional de Danza de Almería. Currently, she is a solo dancer and dance body in different professional companies such as Enclave Español, dSyR, Cía. Nota de Paso or Carlos Vilán.