JUANA ANTONIA TORRES
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Juana was born in Badajoz, Extremadura Spain. She had her first taste of flamenco as a young girl when the Marques de Porrina, (a famous Spanish singer) visited her parents' house
She studied literature in the university of Seville but was soon distracted by her passion for flamenco. She gave up her books for her dancing shoes, and here she met Manolo Marin who introduced her to her true vocation.
When she was 21 years old she emigrated to Paris.
|She set up a flamenco
ballet with Lita Peiro and created "Don Juan".
Afterwards she learnt and later taught choreography with Mari Carmen García
At the same time she branched into dancing " jota" and fandango in Francis López's operas at the "Theatre du Chatelet"
|In the next ten years, there
were few flamenco shows in Paris in which she did not perform.
She performed regularly at the "Casa Pepe", the most famous "rumbero" restaurant in the latin quarter.
In 1988 she returned to Spain and settled in the Albayzin in Granada.
She is the dance co-ordinator (Capitana) of the Zambra "gypsy famenco show" at the Zingara in the Sacromonte, better known as the "Cueva del Chato"
She gives flamenco classes in Carmen de las Cuevas Granada.
Accompanied by a guitarist she sings, "anima" (gets the atmosphere going), dances and recites poetry at parties and functions. She often performs at the end of term parties of Spanish language schools at the famous Cueva de los Faroles.
She is regularly asked to give short dancing courses of one or two weeks in Paris or Berlin.
Her style is as follows :-
She intersperses poetry recital and singing with bouts of barefoot dancing.
From time to time she brushes up on her technique with Manolete, Juan Ramírez, Juan Andrés, etc...
She speaks French and a little English. When she is not dancing she works at Carmen Books which is a small company in the Albaycin specialising in rare and antique books.
From a critic's point of view:
"As far as far as Juana Torres, (La Hertiti) is concerned, she lives up to her nickname, a flamenco corruption of nefertiti; she is on the way to being a "farona" *1. "She is beautiful by force of being ugly" (her agent said). She knows how to listen to herself, but in the right sense of the word: with her *2 "duende" , and her "rajá" voice (rasping), she declaims "por tó lo jondo" (from the pit of her stomach) poems with an aftertaste which may be old-fashioned but which will never go past the sell-by date. It could be said that "la Juana" is to flamenco what brown rye bread is to white sliced bread: she has more than enough fibre to weave sail cloth "tela marinera" *3 ("Demólatra", flamencologist, Rubrica Taurina de la Dépêche, 28the December 1978)
= A high flying
N.B . For more information about the "Zambra gitana del Sacromonte", consult the trilingual glossary found in the "Guía de Tapichuela" just ask for it in any of the bars in the Albaicín.