September 28 - 29 / Santa Barbara
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Photos: Jesus Vallinas, Jose Luis Flores, Marcos Domingo   

The Granada Theatre

The Flamenco Arts Festival, when founded in 1999, was a groundbreaking endeavor. For over a decade, it has featured unparalleled performances by the world's leading stars and icons of flamenco and has become universally regarded by aficionados of the arts as one of the premier flamenco festivals in the United States.

In its first presentation at The Granada Theatre, a natural architectural background for the celebration of Hispanic culture, the Festival presents Jesús Carmona, from Madrid and former principal dancer of the Ballet Nacional de España, in the production of Cuna Negra & Blanca (Black and White Crib), a study of the extremes of human nature. The U.S. Premiere of Cuna Negra & Blanca promises to be a stunning display of Iberian culture, but most importantly, a display of the cultural universality of dance itself.


Cuna Negra & Blanca

Featuring Jesús Carmona, Esther Esteban, Lucia Campillo, José Ibañez and Maka Ibañez, Jesús Corbacho, Daniel Jurado, Oscar Lago.

Cuna Negra & Blanca is not a love story nor is it a tragedy with an ultimate happy or unhappy resolution. It is rather a study of human nature and of the emotions that all humans must struggle with, expressed through dance and music. It is a study of pessimism and optimism. It is a journey, a breaking through the void or emptiness of life (black) into the fullness or plentitude of life (white). Jesús Carmona, principal dancer and choreographer, believes these facets are part and parcel of human existence, from cradle to grave, and hopefully most people learn to put them in their proper perspective. The challenge for Carmona is to capture this duality of emotions on-stage and transfer them to the audience. In every city where he has presented this stunning production of Iberian dance, music and song, audiences have been deeply moved, most especially at Sevilla’s Bienal, a festival that attracts some of the most sophisticated aficionados of flamenco.

Program Notes



    Jesús Carmona

    Jesús Carmona, 28, born in Barcelona, the ancient capital of Catalonia, first expressed an interest in dance at the age of four and started his formal flamenco training at the age of seven. He earned a degree in Spanish and flamenco dance from the Theater Institute of Dance in Barcelona. He has studied with some of the great masters of flamenco, including Antonio Canales, El Güito, Rafael Amargo and Manolete. In 2006 he became the principal dancer in the prestigious Ballet Nacional de España and also performed with such prominent companies as the Nuevo Ballet Español.

    In 2011, working independently, he won the trophy for best choreography at the Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid and also won the trophy for most promising dancer at the Festival del Cante de las Minas, both critical wins for any aspiring flamenco performer. In 2012 he performed at the Bienal de Flamenco Sevilla, the world’s grand spectacle of flamenco, and received a tremendous ovation by perhaps the most erudite and sensitive flamenco aficionados in Spain. He comes to The Granada Theatre with an impressive company of dancers, musicians and singers, all artists of independent stature. Despite the recognition and industry praise that he has received, Carmona feels that he is still evolving as a flamenco artist, saying, “I have found the path, but I am not there yet.”


    Sr. Manuel Herrera is the Director of the Jueves Flamenco de Cajasol in Sevilla, which presents flamenco concerts every Thursday featuring many of the most prominent flamenco artists currently working in Spain.  In this video, he speaks of Jesús Carmona's meteoric rise in the world of flamenco, covering the same biographical ground as the text appearing on this page.

    The Flamenco Arts Festival reserves the right to film and/or photograph participants at all Festival events. Artists are subject to change without notice.