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Carlota Santana

Carlota Santana

Photo: Victor De Liso

Carlota Santana, Artistic Director and Founder, has been designated "The Keeper of Flamenco" by Dance Magazine in recognition of her commitment to creating new works and developing young artists and choreographers. Most recently, Ms. Santana was honored by the Government of Spain with La Cruz de la Orden al Merito Civil for "all the years of excellence and dedication to the flamenco art.”  The medal was awarded March 12 at the Opening Reception of the exhibit "100 Years of Flamenco in New York" at Lincoln Center's Vincent Astor gallery. She has dedicated her company to the mission of building bridges between cultures using the universal spirit of flamenco.

The Company was founded in 1983 by Carlota Santana and Roberto Lorca. It was their vision to create a permanent home for Spanish dance in the U.S. and to provide an environment in which its creation and performance would thrive. Mr. Lorca passed away in 1987, an early victim of the AIDS epidemic. Ms. Santana was determined to carry on their work.


Carlota Santana

Ms. Santana created Project Olé, the Company's innovative arts-in-education program, integrating flamenco, Spanish dance and culture with the school curriculum, and has traveled widely implementing this program. In 2005 the educational power of flamenco was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education when the Company was awarded a three-year professional development grant.

Ms. Santana is a member of the Dance Panel for the New York State Council on the Arts and has served on the panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. She is on the faculty of Duke University and has taught at Long Island and New York Universities. Ms. Santana is a recipient of a Choreographer fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Under her artistic direction, the company has performed at Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, The New Victory Theater, Summerdance Santa Barbara, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Universidad Bucaramanga in Colombia, South America, Palacio de Congresos in Granada, Spain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art among many others.