Monica Craun- Dancer & Teacher
Eva Arriaga- Dancer
Born and raised in Spain, Eva’s early training (Classical Spanish) initiated at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Cordoba, and later at the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in London (Ballet, Jazz, Modern). Returning to Spain, she performed with the Jazz Dance Ballet Yasaya, under Bob Nikko’s direction, on the Costa del Sol. In the US and Philadelphia, Eva continues to train, teach and perform, and has taught Yoga for fifteen years. In addition to Pasion y Arte, her professional credits include ten years as a member of Flamenco Ole, most notably as the company’s Classical Spanish soloist, and she has additionally been a noted soloist for the Philadelphia Opera Theater’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen.”
Kumiko Koide – Dancer
Kumi was born in Tokyo, Japan, where she began studying Flamenco with the Lucia Hashimoto Flamenco Institute, and later with Ami and Naoko Kaeyama. Since 2003, Kumi has studied flamenco in Spain with the following masters: in Sevilla, with Angelita Vargas, Lola Jaramillo, Rosario Toledo, Concha Vargas, among others; and in Granada, with Fajardo, Luis de Luis and Esther de Marin. In 2007, Kumiko was a finalist in the Flamenco Maruwa Competition in Japan. Throughout her career, she has performed in many Flamenco theater shows and tablaos in Tokyo, and has instructed many workshops in Japan. Since Kumi’s move to the United States, she has attended many master flamenco workshops with artists such as La China and Soledad Barrios.
Barbara Martinez – Dancer / Singer
Born in Venezuela to a family of artists, Barbara grew up in New York City, where she started performing in opera, off-Broadway and film at age 10. She currently sings with Pasion y Arte Flamenco Company, Andrea del Conte Danza Espana, Arts Flamenco, Edwin Aparicio Flamenco Company, Spirit of Sepharad and Pilar Rioja. She dances with The Oscar Valero Company and Spirit of Sepharad, and performed as a soloist in festivals at Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Symphony Space, and in several productions of La Traviata and Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera. Barbara brought her own flamenco fusion group to Carnegie Hall in February 2010. Barbara is also a founding member of Fortvna Productions, which has staged a trilogy of musical plays by Amelia Arenas: Hell, Confessions and Dreams. Barbara has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Marco de Ana, Triana Bautista, La Conja, Pedro Cortes, El Costi, Alfonso Cid, the Alex Conde Quintet, Ara Djinkan, Gonzalo Grau, Jayme Hadaad, Antonio Hidalgo, Carmen LaSalao, Luis Miguel Manzano, La Meira, Maria Montilla, Jose Moreno, Jorge Navarro, Raul Ortega, Juanito Pascual, La Repompa, Nino de los Reyes, Ruben El Viejo, Stan Strickland, Nelida Tirado, Grammy-winner flutist Dave Valentine, Luis Vargas and Glen Velez. Barbara recently had the honor of teaching master classes for Cirque du Soleil and the New England Conservatory. In 2008, Barbara received a scholarship from the famed Cristina Heeren Foundation in Seville, Spain, for advanced study in flamenco singing. She has also studied jazz voice and theory with Barry Harris, acting at The New York Actor’s Conservatory and early music education (Kodaly) at New York University.
Rocío Remedios - Dancer
Rocío Remedios graduated with a major in Classical Spanish Dance at the Professional Dance Conservatory of Sevilla, Spain. Ms. Sánchez began her professional career at the age of 18 working with several Flamenco companies. She has studied with numerous artists in Spain, including Rosario Toledo, Yolanda Heredia, Alicia Márquez , and Isabel Bayón. In 2009 Rocío was awarded with a full scholarship by the government of Spain to come to New York University, where she graduated in May 2011 with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance and a Yoga Teaching Certification. Rocío is currently a member of Pasión y Arte Flamenco Dance Company.
Leslie Roybal – Dancer
Leslie Roybal, a native of New Mexico, began her career at age 5 performing with a Mexican folkloric dance company. After a brief hiatus from dance while earning a BFA in theater from Stephens College, she continued her education at the University of New Mexico where she studied Contemporary Dance and Flamenco. Proficient in both the Contemporary dance and Flamenco idioms, Leslie continues her studies in New York and Spain, and has performed throughout New York and the U.S. with companies such as Murray Spalding Mandalas, Fred Darsow Dance, Neville Dance Theater, The Metropolitan Opera (in Carmen and La Traviata as well as on tour in Japan), Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, M’oro Flamenco and in the many New York and New Jersey tablaos. This is her first season with Pasión y Arte.
John Stenger – Musician
John Stenger has performed in a wide variety of musical settings – from legendary rock club CBGB’s in New York City to playing bossa nova in Rio de Janeiro; from music directing shows like Cabaret and Sweet Charity to recording with Cuban percussion legend Mongo Santamaria. He has been a touring and recording band member for electronic pop artist Natalie Walker and her offshoot project Mouchette; he has had his compositions played on TV and in movies, has toured nationwide with his jazz group, Ellipsis, and has recorded on over a dozen albums. Currently, John is based in the Philadelphia area, where he is a dance accompanist at Philadanco and Bryn Mawr College and performs with a number of different musical groups.
François Zayas – Composer/Toque
Born in Cuba, he graduated from the Cuban Higher Institute of Arts (ISA) in 1998. In Cuba he was a member of the National Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. Simultaneously, he collaborated with different projects of jazz, hip hop, pop, contemporary dance and theater, among others, and taught classical percussion for almost 5 years at the ISA. With Carlos Mass Group and Habana Sax, he toured in Europe and the Americas between 1994 and 2005 performing in countries including Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Latvjia, Germany, Canada, U.S., Panama, Peru, Bahamas, Martinique and Tahiti. In 2006, he moved to the United States where he continued working as a percussionist, arranger and composer with jazz musicians like Venissa Santi, Elio Villafranca, Aruan Ortiz, Arturo Stable, Dafnis Prieto, Mayra Casales and Jane Bunnett; dancers and choreographers such as Elba Hevia y Vaca and Viji Rao, and groups such as Alo Brasil and West Philadelphia Orchestra.