Flamenco Under the Stars Program

A’lante Flamenco Presents

Flamenco Under the Stars

Zilker Hillside Theater, Austin, TX September 22 & 23, 2017

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.


Choreographer: Olivia Chacón

Music Director: Isai Chacón

The Group (Bulerias) 

This dance was originally presented as part of Snapshots: New World Flamenco in 2016 at the Rollins Theater in the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

Secretos del Corazon

Tangos flamencos, featuring cante by Celia Sellers and Isai Chacón.

Asturias (Leyenda)

Composed by Spaniard Isaac Albéniz, Asturias was first presented in Barcelona in 1892. Albéniz originally composed the piece for piano, although tonight it is danced to solo guitar played by Jose Manuel Tejeda.

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.

Soléa (Dios mío dame paciencia)

Soléa is one of flamenco’s oldest song forms. This choreography was created for A’lante Flamenco’s show  Prophecies and debuted at the Rollins Theater in the Long Center in Austin in January, 2014. The dance was made to embody author Kahlil Gibran’s philosophical writings on religion in his poetic novel The Prophet.



Gelem, Gelem (I Walked, I Walked)

Gelem, Gelem was created for Desplazados (2015), in which A’lante company members shared their own immigration stories. The song, written by Žarko Jovanović in the late 1940s to describe the Romani Holocaust of World War Two, is considered an anthem for the Romani people.

Si Te Pudiera Olvidar (Fandango, Soléa por Bulería, y Bulería)

Dance with bata de cola and mantón de Manila by Olivia Chacón.


A version of this dance for Stephanie Keeton, Kara Leal, and Claire Spera was first presented at the Big Range Dance Festival in 2012 under the title Metamorphoses, and later as part of Prophecies (2014). The choreography, set to original music by Isai Chacón, tells the story of a pair of lovers caught in the grip of a malevolent force.

Yo Te Camelo (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 modern arrangement is from A’lante’s 2015 Desplazados.

Hacia la Mar la Vela (Cantiñas)

Originating in the region of Cádiz, Cantiñas evoke the sea and the sultry air of Southern Spain, and is one of the few flamenco song types in a major key. Hacia la Mar la Vela was created in the spring of 2017 for the show Sabor Flamenco.


Artistic Director: Olivia Chacón

Music Director: Isaí Chacón

Lighting Design: Stephen Pruitt

Sound Design: Isai Chacon and Thrad Weibley

Stage Manager: Will Cox

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.”

Mark Hathaway: Percussionist. Mark is an educator and diehard music fan. In addition to flamenco, Mark loves to play samba and travel the world with his wife Susan. Flamenco Under the Stars is his first project with A’lante Flamenco.

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. She is grateful to be dancing with a group of inspiring performers who share her passion for flamenco.

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 2 year-old daughter, Lucia, is a promising percussionist.

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. Flamenco Under the Stars is her first show with A’lante Flamenco.

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.

Guiilermo Tabares: Dancer. A’lante Flamenco’s newest member, Guillermo is a recent transplant to Austin from Las Vegas, Nevada. He grew up dancing flamenco and Classical Spanish Dance in his native New Mexico, and now teaches Beginner Adult Flamenco at Flamencura Music & Dance Studio. Guillermo is the newest addition to A’lante Flamenco.

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.

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.