The Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernández Flamenco Company is led by baillora Sonia Olla and Cante Singer Ismael Fernández.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a furnace of earthy sensuality”, Sonia Olla was born and raised in Barcelona when she earned a degree in Spanish Dance and Flamenco at the esteemed “Instituto de Teatro y Danza” in Barcelona. She has toured as company member and soloist with flamenco greats such as Antonio Canales, Eva la Yerbabuena, Rafaela Carrasco, Merche Esmeralda, María Pagés, La Farruca, among others.
Ismael Fernández has been described by The Washington Post as the “most charismatic performer” andpraised for his “connection to the Gypsy source.” Ismael was born in Seville, is of Gypsy descent, and grew up performing in flamenco festivals throughout the world with his internationally renowned family, “La Familia Fernández”. His career began in Spain’s premier flamenco tablaos such as El Cordobes in Barcelona, La Carboneria in Seville and other famous flamenco cuevas of Granada.
In 2004, Ismael won the National Contest of Cordoba, singing for the famed dancer Soraya Clavijo and was a finalist in the Festival De Cante De La Union. He joins his family regularly to perform in the celebrated Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. Throughout his career, Ismael has worked with flamenco legends such as Antonio Canales, Farruquito, Marina Heredia, El Torombo, the prestigious Orchestra director Gustavo Dudamel and Rafaela Carrasco.
For several years, Ismael has been a featured company member of internationally acclaimed dancer Maria Pages, performing at The Joyce Theater (New York), Sadler Wells Theatre (London), Esplanade Theatre (Singapore), Orchard Hall and Bunka Mura (Japan), Teatro La Zarzuela (Madrid), Teatro Real (Madrid), and the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona).
Sonia and Ismael currently reside in New York, where they combine dance classes with performance invenues such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, the Rose Nagelburg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center (NY) and Instituto Cervantes (Chicago).
The company has created a wide range of shows such as Tablao Sevilla, Entretiempo, Por Los Caminos and Tiempo al Aire. They has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, as well as Spanish newspapers such as ABC, El País, La Vanguardia.
The company’s television and radio appearances include “NYC Arts” (PBS), Tele 5, Cadena Cope, Radio Nacional de España, Punto Radio, Onda Cero, Cadena Ser, as well as the renowned Internet show “Flamenco TV.”
The company’s mission is to provide access to and the exploration of pure Flamenco in New York City. Their classes combine dance, song, theory and history, and allow students access to the heart and soul of pure Flamenco. Sonia’s and Ismael’s exploration of the art form does not stop in its traditional roots, however. Recently, the couple was tapped by the pop-icon Madonna to choreograph the worldwide“Rebel Heart Tour” 2015-2016, with Ismael providing vocals. They provided the same for Ricky Martin for the Lola Lola Flamenco choreography in his Las Vegas concert All In!
The company’s main focus is to continue to share and explore pure Flamenco in Nee York, and expand the city’s engagement with this art form.