Roots and Origins

  • Manuela Reyes

Everything that I feel for flamenco dance, I owe to my teachers and colleagues. Throughout the years they have been sharing their vast and wonderful treasures with me. Thanks to them I have been learning to understand myself and create my own style. Many thanks to them and to Flamenco.

I feel pride and a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I have studied with the following four artists, “maestros”, who are, in my opinion, the very best. They have taught me all there is to know to be a flamenco dancer:



Pepe Ríos

My first teacher. I learned a great deal from him, he even taught me how to verify my shoe size! He taught me the basic flamenco zapateado technique et thanks to him I acquired precision and speed.

Manuela Reyes en un tablao con Pepe Ríos With him I danced my first Alegria and my first Solea. They were simple, very simple, but they had everything that each of these dances requires: how to begin, the entrance, how to dance to the singing, the footwork, the buleria…
An incredible wealth in very few movements.
The classes were individual.

I was 13 the first time I danced on stage: Pepe Rios accustomed his students very early to the stage. Every weekend he would take us to a different flamenco peña (club) where we would dance.

Foto de Pepe Ríos »
Manuela Reyes en un tablao con Pepe Ríos
Manuela Reyes en un tablao con Pepe Ríos »

Matilde Coral

With her, I discovered another way of dancing, a more feminine way. I learned how to hold myself, use my arms and hands and articulate the lines my feet would trace while dancing.

Actuación con la Escuela de Matilde Coral She always advised her students to take ballet classes in parallel.

The classes were given to the whole group and we all followed the same movement precisely. With her I danced in a theatre for the first time, this was during the school shows.

Matilde Coral »
Actuación con la Escuela de Matilde Coral »

Farruco

He was the essence of the Flamenco dance... He prepared me physically.
His foot technique and his way of making you dance, made me grow as a dancer.

After his foot technique exercises, which consisted in stamping and hammering the heels and soles of the feet across the dance floor, he would mark out a specific part in the melody of the dance and the footwork that went along with it.
I would then repeat and repeat what he had just shown me until he considered that this part was really “danced” with precision and true flamenco feeling.
From his daughter, La Farruca, I learned more than I could describe in words. It was an extremely important stage for me. The classes were individual.
A few students would accompany Farruco and his family to festivals where he would invite us to participate in his performances

El Farruco
El Farruco

Manolo Marín

He opened my mind, as if it was a fan, in fields like interpretation, choreography, theater and ballet.

This was a class for professional dancers and it was marvelous: within the same choreography, he gave each of us the freedom of expression.

He taught me to respect the singing and to dance to it: to interpret the falseta, as much with the footwork as with the body.
Manuela Reyes con su comadre Yolanda Heredia, la que la enseñó a jaleá y a llevar la bata de cola. En el espectáculo Cantiñas, con Jesús Heredia. A great Master! Classes were in groups.

At that time I was dancing professionally with Jesus Heredia’s flamenco group "Cantiñas", as well as working in the different tablaos of Seville and Cordoba.

Manolo Marín
Manolo Marín »
Manuela Reyes con su comadre Yolanda Heredia, la que la enseñó a jaleá y a lleva
Manuela Reyes con su comadre Yolanda Heredia, la que la enseñó a jaleá y a llevar la bata de cola. En el espectáculo Cantiñas, con Jesús Heredia. »