Flamenco in the United States

From the Modernist Vanguard through the Twenty-first Century

An international symposium

Presented in conjunction with the New York Flamenco Festival.

As of March 10, the Graduate Center has prohibited any public event through the end of March with more than 20 people in attendance, as a precaution against COVID-19. Regretfully, this conference and the evening film screening are now canceled.

About the Conference

Zambra Tablao Rosa Durán at Worlds Fair 1965, courtesy of Brook Zern
Flamenco in the United States will gather scholars from a range of fields in an interdisciplinary conference highlighting the influence of the United States, through its institutions, scholars, performing artists, and audiences, on flamenco as a global form. Flamenco has been present on U.S. stages from the last decades of the nineteenth century, and this conference aims to explore how manifestations of flamenco in the U.S. have reflected back upon and contributed to the development of their original models. As nineteenth-century French dance critic Théophile Gautier wrote of his 1840 visit to Spain,

“Spanish dances only exist in Paris, just as seashells are found only in curiosity shops, never at the seashore. O, Fanny Elssler!…even before we came to Spain, we suspected that it was you who invented the cachucha!”

Parakilas, “How Spain Got a Soul,” 148, cites Théophile Gautier, Patrick Berthier, ed., Voyage en Espagne, suivi de España (Paris: Gallimard, 1981), 45; translated in Théophile Gautier, and Henry Christie Steel, Voyage en Espagne (Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1900), 32.

Questions and topics to be considered may include:

  • What is the impact of U.S. performers and audiences on the development of flamenco?
  • How have U.S. scholars shaped flamencology in both the U.S. and in Spain?
  • Mapping the presence of flamenco in U.S. institutions such as universities, high schools, private studios, community centers, research centers, libraries, museums, etc.
  • Bibliographies, filmographies, and discographies of flamenco in the U.S.
  • From Sol Hurok to Claudio Segovia and Héctor Orezzoli to Miguel Marín, how have producers and impresarios shaped flamenco in the U.S.?
  • From player pianos to digital technology: how U.S. recording techniques have impacted flamenco.
  • Specific topics such as flamenco and jazz, flamenco and the folk music scene of the 1950s and 60s, U.S.-based flamenco dance companies, Spanish dance in the early modern dance pioneers of the early-twentieth century, Spanish dance in blackface minstrelsy etc.

Talks are open to the general public. Admission is free, registration is required. Registration is now available through Eventbrite: symposiumfilm screenings. Speakers and schedule are detailed below.

Please direct any questions to: fandangoconference.cuny@gmail.com, +1 (212) 817-8215

Submissions for papers are closed. Online registration will be open until March 27; same-day onsite registration will be available.

Enrique Morente, Paco Cortés, Pepe and Antonio Montoya Carbonell, ca. 1987, photo by François Bernardi

March 27, 2020 – The Graduate Center

Our daylong symposium will be followed by two documentary film screenings. Please note that registration for the symposium and films is separate, as they are on different floors. Please register for both if you would like to attend both, because seating for the film is limited.

Symposium: 9:00 –1:15 (lunch)  2:15 – 4:45  (registration)
Skylight Room (9th floor)

Film screenings 5:00 – 6:30 (registration)
Proshansky Auditorium (C level) 

The Graduate Center
355 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York, 10016


register here

9:00 Breakfast & Welcome

9:30 – 10:00 Opening remarks: Symposium Co-Organizers Antoni Pizà (CUNY Graduate Center) and K. Meira Goldberg (Fashion Institute of Technology, CUNY Graduate Center), “Appropriating the Appropriation: Some Thoughts on Flamenco Historiography”

10:00 – 11:30 Performing Politics: From Romanticism to the Post-Modern

11:45 – 1:15 Mid-Century Perspectives 


2:15 – 3:45 Modernist Avant Garde

3:45 – 4:15 Flamenco Jazz in the USA

4:15 – 4:45 Breaking Walls, Building Bridges: Miguel Marín, Founder and Director of Flamenco Festival, and Rocío Márquez, cantaora, in conversation with Daniel Valtueña (CUNY Graduate Center)

register here

5:00 – 6:30; Proshansky Auditorium, C level

FlameNYCo, directed by Javier Benítez (45 minutes). This documentary, filmed in 2010 to celebrate the Flamenco Festival’s 10th anniversary, features the illustrious artists performing in the Festival that year: Estrella Morente, Farruquito, Eva Yerbabuena, alongside New York flamenco legends such as the late maestro José Molina.

Ode to Fazil’s (17 minutes) directed by Marcel Rosa Salas (17 minutes). On 8th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan, a worn-down tenement building was once home to Fazil’s Studio, a legendary dance rehearsal space. Many of the world’s great companies, along with up-and-comers, worked and sweated through their choreography in its halls. The film’s director, Marcel Rosa-Salas, the daughter of a flamenco dancer, once considered it a second home. Ode to Fazil’s is a touching tribute to an iconic monument of New York City dance. Following the film, there will be a short audience Q & A the film’s director and artists featured in the film, Rosa, Najma Harissiadis, Raymond “Spex” Abbiw, Fazil’s sister Serpil, Victorio Korjhan, and Arturo Martínez “Espíritu Gitano.”

Following each film, there will be a short audience Q & A.


Antoni Pizà (Foundation for Iberian Music), “Appropriating the Appropriation: Some Thoughts on Flamenco Historiography”

Ninotchka Bennahum (UC Santa Barbara), “Flamenco Modernism: War, Exile, and Feminist Embodiment”

Lynn Brooks (Franklin and Marshall College), “Spanish Dance on Early American Stages”

Michelle Clayton (Brown University), “Backdrops of Red, Grey, Black and White: Antonia Mercé and Vicente Escudero in the US”

Sybil Cooksey (NYU), “Ralph Ellison and ‘Flamenco’”

K. Meira Goldberg (FIT), “Bohemian Beats: Flamenco in New York’s Folk Music Scene, 1957 – 1960”

Michelle Heffner Hayes (University of Kansas), “Burla y Bulla: Humor and Critique in Flamenco”

Sandie Holguín (University of Oklahoma), “Flamenco at the 1964 – 1965 New York World’s Fair and its Resonance for Spain and the United States”

Peter Manuel (The Graduate Center) in conversation with cantaor Alfonso Mogaburo Cid: “Flamenco Jazz in the USA”

Miguel Marín, Founder and Director of Flamenco Festival, and Rocío Márquez, cantaora, in conversation with Daniel Valtueña: “Breaking Walls, Building Bridges.”

Kiko Mora (Universidad de Alicante), “Modernism, Flamenco and The Photo-Secession Movement: Faíco on Broadway, 1908-1909”

David Roldán Eugenio (Rutgers University), “In the Footsteps of Peter Wald: El Negro Aquilino’s Jazzy Flamenco and the Shaping of The Black Atlantic (1930-40)” 

Aurora Arriaza and Calderón at Maxim’s, calling card, Aurora Arriaza Scrapbook. Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts