Main Artists

Guest Artists

Aloysius Leeson

Aloysius has been playing guitar since he was a child. After studying classical guitar at the Elder Conservatorium, he took up flamenco. This led him to spend time in Spain following the traditional apprenticeship of accompanying singers and dancers, studying with maestros and playing at Juergas (parties). Eventually he was able to work at the dance studios of Javier Cruz and Maria Angeles in Seville.

Since coming back to Australia he has continued to work as a soloist and with a variety of dancers and singers. He recently released his second CD of original compositions, "Chispa Flamenca", and continues to explore the possibilities of the guitar in many different styles.

"It is more than evident that Leeson is a virtuoso guitarist, with a style that easily moves from sensitive to frenetic"- Michael Hunter, dB magazine.
"Professional and intense" - Scott McLennan, Rip it up magazine.
"A superbly authentic sound" - Celia Brissenden, The Advertiser.

Performance Highlights

2008 Chispa Flamenca December Fiesta, at Casa de Flamenco.
2008 Chispa Flamenca perform at the Adelaide Fringe.
2007 Adelaide International guitar festival, Wah-bar series.
2006 WOMADelaide, with Studio Flamenco.
2006 The Singapore Feria de Abril, at Chimes plaza, Singapore with dancer Antonio Vargas and singer Antonio Soria.
2005 Premier of “Caminos”, a work by Adelaide composer Angus Barnacle, at Nexus Cabaret, with contempory dancers.
2005 Launch of his second CD “Chispa Flamenca” at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel.

Kristy Manuel

Kristy's lifelong passion for dance first led her to Flamenco in 2001. Since then she has established herself as an outstanding Flamenco performer, being described as a 'wonderful, expressive dancer' by Radio Adelaide's Jane Costessi and 'powerfully elegant' by AusDance SA Director Phil Callaghan.

Kristy's dedication led to her studying at the prestigious 'Amor de Dios' academy in Madrid. Here she spent 14 months studying with maestras 'La Truco' and Imnaculada Ortega in 2003 and 2004. Upon returning to Australia, it wasn't long before Kristy felt the lure of Spain again, returning in 2006, 2009 and 2011 each time to Seville. In Seville she has studied with some of the most accomplished dancers in Spain, including Pastora Galvan, Carmen Cortes, Manuel Betanzos, Isabel Bayon, Angel Atienza, Alicia Marquez, Ramon Martinez, Adela Campallo and Ursula Lopez.

Kristy has recently showed her unique blend of physical and emotive styles at several performances detailed below.

Performance Highlights

2010 Chispa Flameca's Tablao Flamenco
2009 Casa de Flamenco Winter Fiesta
2008 Sell out performances in Chispa Flamenca's debut performance at the Adelaide Fringe Festival
2007 Peña Flamenca at The Chapel Theatre
2007 The Adelaide International Guitar Festival
2006 WOMADelaide, Studio Flamenco
including Flamenco!
2005 Studio Flamenco's Tablao Flamenco II
2004 The festival of El Horno in Madrid

Collaborating Artists

Ana Otero

Ana began Flamenco at the tender age of 5 with her first official lesson taken at the age of 7 in Sevilla, Spain. She is of Spanish origin and has been an exponent of Flamenco for the past 20 years. She is widely recognized as one of the best Flamenco dancers and choreographers in Australia.

During her teens she was a part of the original Illawarra Spanish Artistic Society and was a resident dancer with the Antonio Vargas Flamenco Dance Theatre from the ages of 14 - 19. She was offered a grant from the Australia Council to continue her full-time studies in Spain and whilst there undertook classes conducted by Carmen Cortes, Paco Romero, El Güito, Manolete, La Tati, Timo Lozano, Maria Magdalena and Ciro.

Upon her return to Australia, she became the principal dancer for Diana Reyes Flamenco for 8 years - working with the likes of Luis de Luis (ex Paco Peña), Joaquin Ruíz, Andres Peña, Mariano Cruchetta and Antonio Vargas. Because of her extensive knowledge and very distinctive style, Ana began a tour of most states in Australia to update Flamenco skills through workshops and advanced master classes in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. She has taught for and continues to teach for some the most recognized schools of flamenco in Australia - amongst them: Diana Reyes Flamenco, The Spanish School of Dance (Sydney) and the Spanish Dance Institute in Perth, to which she contributed the Flamenco repertoire of their syllabus.

One of the most influential components in Ana’s teaching is the need to express a true sense of what Flamenco is and to dismiss the myth that only Spaniards have ‘salero’ (spunk). She is a co-producer with Daniela Carelli of Flamenco Women Productions with the hope of giving opportunity to the many talented Flamenco artists in Australia and to keep the traditional elements of Flamenco alive through dance and theatrical productions.

El Titi de Algeciras

Salvador Ramon Flores Loreto Montoya Heredia Cortes Arroyo de Los Reyes known as 'el Titi de Algeciras' was born in Algeciras, Spain in 1942 into a gitano (gypsy) family whose tradition is flamenco.

Salvador, at a very early age, experienced the art of bullfighting under the name "el Gitanillo de Algeciras", but gave away this career after being badly gored by a bull.

Singing at a very early age under the name of "Montoyita" and later with his cousins in a group called "Los Montoyas", the young singer learned his art at the side of famous singers such as Antonio Mairena, who would come to fiestas in his family home. Related to the famous gypsy families of Los Montoyas, (nephew of Roque Montoya "Jarrito"), Los Chiquitetes, the Utrera Sisters, the late Cameron de la Isla and growing up with Paco de Lucia as a neighbour, the young Montoyita was offered work in the tablaos such as La Corral del la Morreria in Madrid working with such artists as dancer la Tati, Antonio el Pelau, and guitarist el Habichuela and winning awards for his singing.

He arrived in Australia in 1966 with the flamenco dance company el Sali and after being offered a contract in Perth stayed working with the gypsy dancer La Tani. Since then he has been the only authentic flamenco gypsy singer in Australia and in high demand by Australian flamenco artists of the calibre of Antonio Vargas, Diana Reyes and Gabriel Heredia in Sydney and Melbourne.

With performances too numerous to list over his many years of performing, one of his highlights was to feature in the spectacular “Carmen” Opera put on by the Victorian State Opera in 1992 in Sydney and Melbourne. This led him to have a 12 month contract with the Melbourne Hyatt Hotel in their Tapas Bar. Other highlights include supporting act with Julio Iglesias and the Gypsy Kings.

Lisa Vertue

Lisa has recently returned from Spain where she immersed herself in the exciting world of flamenco, studying in Seville with Alicia Marquez and Ursula Lopez.

Having performed and been involved competitively in dance from the young age of 5, she has gained experience in dance forms such as: ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap and flamenco.

Her love for the challenge, strength and expression in dance has drawn her focus to flamenco for the past 8 years. During this time she has had the opportunity to learn from many flamenco artists including: Antonio Vargas, Ramon Martinez, Ana Romero, Ana Otero and Rosalie Tomas.

Lisa has experience performing with companies Chispa Flamenca, Studio Flamenco and Teatro del Mundo.

Performance Highlights

2008 Chispa Flamenca: Flamenco Fiesta at Casa de Flamenco
2008 Florian: Una Noche de Flamenco
2007 Adelaide International guitar festival, Wah-bar series.
2006 FAD Bar, Studio Flamenco
2005-present El Rocio: Spanish Festival held in Clare.

Adrian van Nunen

Adrian is an accomplished percussionist, specialising in cajón, tinaja and derbouka.

He has featured in performances including the Adelaide Fringe 2004, Bellingen Flamenco Festival 2003 and Velada Flamenco’s ‘Sincopa’ in 2005.

In 2004, he studied flamenco in Sevilla, accompanying the classes of flamenco icon ‘El Torombo’. He is principal percussionist on Aloysius Leeson’s CD, ‘Chispa Flamenca’, released in 2005.

Alain Valodze

Alain Valodze is an honors graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts and a performing guitarist for the last 30 years. His musical journey has taken him through an eclectic range of styles and ensembles.

An acoustic guitarist deeply committed to the beauty and diversity the world of music has to offer. He has performed/recorded with such people as Aria award winning Andrea Keller, Mobin Master, Niki Vasilakis, Doug DeVries as well as the Caliente Guitar Trio. His compositions have been featured in such television shows as the ‘Secret life of Us’ and a variety of independent movies.

His Latin inspired guitar draws heavily on the traditions of Jazz, Classical, Brazilian, Flamenco and World music.