Jose and I are extremely happy to be able to share a very special interview with you today. Last Saturday afternoon Manuel Reyes took some time out of his busy schedule to come and talk to us.
Manuel is an incredible artist and a very wise and generous teacher. We hope that his words inspire you and that perhaps one day you'll be able to come to Madrid to study with him.
Every year in July, Manuel hosts a month long intensive at Amor de Dios called 'Amalgama Flamenca' with an inspiring faculty of teachers. There is still time to join this year's edition if you are going to be in Madrid. Follow the links at the bottom of this post for more information.
Manuel made his professional debut at 7 years old with the Ballet Nacional de España in the production of Medea. Throughout his career he has danced with almost every famous name in flamenco including Joaquín Cortés, Antonio Canales, José Granero, Concha Velasco, Blanca del Rey, Merche Esmeralda, Belén Maya, Rafaela Carrasco and others.
With his own company he has performed in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Sevilla and Jerez.
Manuel has been a resident maestro for 15 years in the studios of Amor de Dios, and has taught in Paris, Marseilles, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paulo, New York, Toronto, Montreal and Tokyo.
In 1994 he and his brother Antonio were awarded 1st prize for choreography by la Sociedad General de Autores of Madrid. In June of 2007 he received 1st prize for solo choreography in the 16th edition of choreography competition in Teatro Albéniz in Madrid.
Manuel's CV is incredible but what is especially unique about him is that he his a self-taught bailaor. He has studied very deeply the art of flamenco dance, song and music developing his own methods for understanding flamenco.
This interview is just under 20 minutes long so grab a cup of tea, sit down and relax.
Below the video you'll find a list of the questions asked and the time so you can jump around if you'd like. The interview is conducted in Spanish with English subtitles. If the subtitles don't display automatically you can turn them on by clicking the 'CC' button on the video player.
We also want to thank everyone who sent in a question for Manuel. We only had time to ask Manuel one of them and Jose chose a question sent in by Lori. Thank you Lori for your question!
Ok, here it is. Make sure you watch until the very end for a special treat!
(00:28) Q1: You recently performed your show ‘Tan Solo’ at the Flamenco Madrid festival which was very well received. What was your main motivation for creating this work ?
(02:35) Q2: You are widely known as a self taught flamenco dancer. What would you say has been your most effective tool or perhaps practice that has enabled you to develop your understanding of flamenco?
(04:50) Q3: Throughout your career as a teacher you have conducted many workshops overseas. Have you observed any common difficulty that students run into and do you have any advice?
(10:50) Q4: Since 2013 you’ve directed an intensive course for flamenco dancers called Amalgama Flamenca that will also happen this year in July. Can you tell us about the course and who will be coming to teach?
(15:35) Q5: (Reader Question) If you had to choose only one piece of advice for other flamenco dancers just beginning their journey, what would it be?
Muchísimas gracias maestro!
This interview was supported by the members of danza estudio Flamenco Bites .