A’lante Flamenco Presents Flamenco Under the Stars

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Zilker Hillside Theater, Austin, TX September 20 & 21, 2019


Choreographer: Olivia Chacón

Music Director: Isai Chacón

Entre Dos Aguas (Rumba) 

A brand new dance set to the iconic masterpiece of Paco de Lucia, danced by the whole company.


A flamenco take on some classic boleros, featuring cante by Celia Sellers.

Tengo Momentos en la Noche (Tientos)

Danced by Shannon Francis, Stephanie Keeton, and Karen Vilches.

Cuba Linda Te Venero (Guajiras)

Guajiras are an example of a type of flamenco music referred to as “de ida y vuelta (round trip)” because it features elements of Cuban music encountered by Spaniards in their travels there in the Colonial period. This dance is an adaptation of the Guajiras choreographed for Alante’s Amor Fati in January 2019. Danced by Olivia Chacon, Stephanie Keeton, Kara Leal and Claire Spera.

Cancion del Mariachi

Sung by Special Guest Alex Ruiz. Alex collaborated with A’lante Flamenco in January 2019’s Amor Fati, playing the role of Hades with his characteristic rocker style. Tonight he gets to be himself, singing a Los Lobos classic from the movie Desperado.

Alegrías de Cádiz

Originating in the region of Cádiz, Alegrias evoke the sea and the sultry air of Southern Spain, and is one of the few flamenco song types in a major key. Olivia Chacon dances it with bata de cola and manton.



Como Canta el Alba (Tangos)

A new work danced by Shannon Francis, Kara Leal, Stephanie Keeton, Claire Spera, and Karen Vilches.

La Gota Fria

Isai Chacon and Agua Clara recreate this 1938 Colombian Vallenato–flamenco style.

Un Cuento de Hadas (Fandangos de Huelva)

Danced by Olivia Chacon, Claire Spera, and Karen Vilches.

Tres Puñales

An example of Copla Española, sung by Celia Sellers.  Copla Española or Andaluza was the most popular form of Spanish music from the 1920s through the 1950s, and made a comeback in the 1980s. This one describes the three weapons the singer’s lover uses against her: indifference, treason, and cold steel.

Las Parcas (Solea and Solea por Bulerias)

This Solea was originally created for the show Amor Fati (2019), where it represented the Underworld on Orpheus’ mythic journey in search of his deceased wife.

Ciudad sin Sueño

Alex Ruiz and Isai Chacon wrote this original piece, using lyrics from Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem of the same name, for A’lante Flamenco’s Amor Fati at the Rollins Theater. Olivia Chacon’s choreography was also set on the freshman dance majors at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in March 2019.


Artistic Director: Olivia Chacón

Music Director: Isaí Chacón

Lighting Design: Stephen Pruitt

Sound Design: Isai Chacon

Alex Ruiz, Special Guest: Alex Ruiz is a singer, guitarist and actor whose voice, songs, and persona have been featured in such films as: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, and most recently Machete. Alex, a native of Brownsville, Texas, is the frontman of CHingon, and has also performed with Del Castillo, Los Lonely Boys, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Carlos Santana and many more.  A’lante Flamenco is thrilled to be sharing the stage with Alex!

Isai Chacón: Musical Director, arranger, singer and guitarist. Originally from Durango, Mexico, Isaí began studying guitar at the age of ten.  Isaí relocated to Texas as a teenager, where he studied music theory, jazz and composition, while discovering his love of flamenco guitar and singing. After playing latin music and flamenco in Austin, Isai went to live in Madrid from 2003-2004 and 2006-2010. There he  accompanied many of the world’s best artists in classes at the famous Amor de Dios Academy, and in performances throughout Spain and Europe.  He toured internationally with the companies of Laura Tabanera, Antonio Reyes and Cristóbal Reyes, and played in many of Madrid’s flamenco tablaos. Isaí is Music Director at Flamencura Music & Dance, and performs frequently throughout Texas.

Olivia Chacón: Artistic Director, choreographer, and dancer. A San Antonio native, Olivia has danced flamenco for twenty years, including five years studying and performing flamenco in Sevilla and Madrid with some of the world’s best flamenco artists. She spent two years touring internationally in Spain, Mexico, and Cyprus with the Cristóbal Reyes Compañia de Flamenco, and performed as a soloist in flamenco clubs in Spain and Germany.  After returning to Austin, Olivia opened Flamencura Music & Dance, Austin’s first flamenco studio, in 2010, and formed A’lante Flamenco Dance Ensemble in 2011. In 2013 she was recognized as Austin’s “Best Dancer” by the Austin Critics’ Table for her work in A’lante’s “The Red Shoes: A Flamenco Fairytale.” In 2014 and 2015 the Critics’  Table named A’lante as Austin’s “Best Dance Ensemble.”

Shannon Francis: Dancer. Originally from Katy, Texas, Shannon practices law by day, but is obsessed with flamenco all the time! She has practiced many forms of dance since childhood, but since finding flamenco in 2012 has made it her passion. Shannon’s other passions include wine and 80’s rock. This is her first show as a member of A’lante Flamenco.

Tony Hampton: Percussionist. Tony is a rare specimen–a native Austinite! Tony studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, where his research focused on the effects of gender, religion and hegemony on the androcentric musical environment of Mauritania, Africa. Tony now lives in Georgetown, Texas, and dreams of opening his own music school.

Stephanie Keeton: Dancer. Stephanie, from Corpus Christie, TX, has studied many different genres of dance, such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Folklorico and Flamenco, but her passion is all things Latin. Stephanie was a featured dancer with Aztlan Dance Company for 13 years and was also featured in the Austin American Statesman and Voted one of Austin’s Best Dancers. She currently teaches at Esquina Tango and is grateful to be dancing with A’lante Dance Ensemble.

Carisa Leal: Dancer. Carisa is from McAllen, TX and has studied a variety of dance styles from an early age. While attending Olin College of Engineering, she performed with the Babson Dance Ensemble and studied Classical Indian Dance during a semester abroad. After moving to Austin, Carisa joined A’lante Dance Ensemble in 2013. In addition to flamenco, she has also studied aerial dance, Balinese Legong, Persian dance, and taught herself Sufi whirling. In her off time, Carisa teaches yoga and makes candles at home, and is was recently married to the love of her life, Paul. She is grateful to be dancing with a group of inspiring performers who share her passion for flamenco. On Friday she will be playing palmas.

Kara Leal: Dancer. Kara is originally from Austin, Texas and began dancing at the age of 3. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern throughout her school years. Kara began studying flamenco with Encarnación Jaeger in Seattle for 2 years before relocating back to Austin and joining Olivia Chacón’s school, Flamencura Music & Dance, in 2012. She joined A’lante in 2013, and feels privileged to be dancing with the very talented A’lante dancers. Her 4 year-old daughter, Lucia, is a promising percussionist.

Mauricio Lule: Guitarist. Mauricio works as an Engineer for Technology Project for the State of Texas, but finds his true passion is the flamenco guitar. Mauricio has studied with Isai Chacon since 2015, and began playing with Agua Clara and Flamencura in 2017. Mauricio is a native of Mexico.

Alison Northup: Violinist. A mathematician and graduate student in Ecology at the University of Texas at Austin, Alison hails from Fort Myers, Florida. In addition to being a gifted violinist, she is also talented in drawing. Alison has played with A’lante Flamenco since 2017.

Celia Sellers: Singer. Hailing from Puerto de Santa Maria, in Cadiz, Spain, Celia has spent over twenty years in the U.S., singing flamenco in tablaos and theaters throughout Arizona and Texas. She has the coolest car in A’lante Flamenco, and can be seen cruising I35 in her lime green Dodge Challenger.

Claire Spera: Dancer. Originally from Santa Barbara, California,  Claire moved to Austin from Los Angeles in 2010 after completing a Master’s in arts journalism at the University of Southern California. She grew up studying ballet, modern, flamenco, and Spanish folk dance with Linda Vega in Santa Barbara before getting her B.A. in dance from UC Berkeley. She has danced flamenco with A’lante Dance Ensemble since 2011, and currently teaches at Flamencura Dance.

Jose Manuel Tejeda: Guitarist. Originally from El Oriente de Cuba, Jose has studied concert music and classical guitar studies at at Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba. In Havana, Jose worked as musical director and guitarist at Alma Flamenca and Ecos Flamenco Company, before arriving in Austin early in 2012. In addition to playing for A’lante Flamenco since 2012, Jose Manuel plays guitar in Austin bands including Atash and the Night Mothers.  He also teaches flamenco guitar lessons. Jose Manuel has been a member of A’lante Flamenco for more than five years.

Aaron Todd: Guitarist with a passion for flamenco and Latin American music. Degree in liberal arts in Spanish. General Manager, Empire Roofing Metal Division. Married to a beautiful woman named Erin, and proud to be a part of the group!

Karen Vilches: Dancer. Karen began her training in flamenco at the age of thirteen under the instruction of Beatriz Aguilar and was a member of her dance group, Espana Viva, for four years. Throughout her dance career, Karen has had the opportunity to supplement her training by spending extended periods at the Academia de Amor de DIos in Madrid. Karen relocated to Austin in 2012 and joined A’lante Flamenco in  2013.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. A’lante Flamenco is sponsored by the Austin Creative Alliance and the Texas Commission on the Arts.