Carola Zertuche, artistic director of Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, is celebrating her 10th year with the 50-year-old company. (Courtesy RJ Muna)

Carola Zertuche, artistic director of Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, is celebrating her 10th year with the 50-year-old company. (Courtesy RJ Muna)

Major milestones for Carola Zertuche’s Theatre Flamenco

For her 10th anniversary as artistic director of Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, Carola Zertuche did something new: She auditioned young dancers for the troupe’s 50th season performances.

“It’s a big step for the company; I’m looking for dancers that will join the company, says Zertuche, adding, “I want to give them the opportunity to be in a big production. That’s where you learn the most.”

In addition to the 10 new dancers she found in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, “El Latir del Tiempo/The Beat of Time” (onstage this week Mountain View and San Francisco) includes performances by Zertuche and world-class collaborators Pastora Galvan, Cristina Hall and singer Juana la del Pipa.

The show offers classic flamenco music and dance, as well as avant-garde interpretations of the form (“always respecting what is flamenco, without going crazy,” Zertuche adds).

Zertuche, who began flamenco as a youngster in Torreon, Mexico, was serious about it from the start: “I heard the cante (singing), I didn’t even want to go to high school; I was there [practicing] in my garage,” she says.

The professional world opened up to her when she went to Mexico City in her late teens and worked with great artists. Later, she lived in Spain for two years (“You have to go to Spain,” she says), cementing her craft.

To that end, she works with great Spanish veterans of the genre — Galvan and especially her singer, Juana la del Pipa — to keep her shows’ quality high.

While Zertuche says anybody can learn (and respect) flamenco, to be really good, you have to understand the lyrics: “When I see dancing and have goosebumps, it’s because they’re singing about something that happened in real life. It’s about feeling; it’s not just about doing the steps and following.”

As Theatre Flamenco celebrates its milestone 50th year (founded by Adela Clara in 1966, it’s The City’s second oldest troupe, after San Francisco Ballet), it’s also entering new period of growth, Zertuche says.

No longer relying on temporary spaces, it has a new permanent studio on South Van Ness Avenue, a place to educate children and teens and a place where Zertuche can solidify the company’s (and her business’) future.

Zertuche, who first came to San Francisco for a four-month job, but ended up staying because she met her husband, says, “I like San Francisco a lot; it’s a big dance community. I get inspired by going to see other companies.” She adds, “You still want to push yourself.”

IF YOU GO
Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco
Where: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 5 (reception at 10 p.m.)
Tickets: $45 to $65
Contact: www.cityboxoffice.com, www.theatreflamenco.org
Note: The show also is at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, and 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at Fillmore Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.

Carola ZertucheCristina HallDanceHerbst TheatreJuana la del PipaPastora GalvanTheatre Flamenco of San Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

(Shutterstock)
SF expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to minors 12 and up

San Mateo County also preparing to begin vaccinating kids next week

Most Read