Curriculum Vitae: Carmen Alvarez

Carmen began dancing at the age of four years in the dance academy in her native city of Malaga. When she was fourteen she joined the Conservatorio de Danza, (the official school of dance) where for eight years she studied classical Spanish dance, flamenco, and complementary subjects such as music, history of dance, pedagogy, and anatomy. At the same age she joined the company of the flamenco singer Gloria de Malaga as a bailaora (flamenco dancer), and she also started to teach Sevillanas in the local area. In the Conservatory Carmen participated in the annual courses given by well known maestros from all over Spain. Outstanding were the courses with Eva Yerbabuena and another with Sara Baras in Bilbao Conservatory. 

At the age of eighteen Carmen met the innovative Flamenco Dancer and teacher Susana Lupianez and with her help came to see her vocation lay in flamenco dance. It was thanks to Susana’s encouragement that Carmen came to develop confidence in herself and her dance. Years later Carmen was invited to return to Malaga as a professional dancer.

When she finished her studies in the Conservatory, Carmen moved to Madrid to form part of the Jabera dance company. With Jabera she went on an extensive tour of Latin America, performing a flamenco version of Bizet’s Carmen.

On returning to Malaga she began learning contemporary dance with the Brazilian dancer Thome Araujo. With the company of Thome and Nuria Leiva she participated in the competition of choreography in Madrid and won second prize. With the prize money Carmen decided to begin her adventure in London. Later Carmen travelled with Thome, Susana Lupianez and the whole company to the Martinique Islands, to display Malaga’s art of flamenco and contemporary dance.

In London Carmen danced in various Flamenco Peñas (clubs) and received good reviews in Flamenco International Magazine. Later she moved to Liverpool and gave dance lessons in various cities of the north of England. Together with local musicians she formed a small flamenco company. For two years Carmen taught Easter Courses organised by the London Dance School as well as in LIPA, (Liverpool Institute of Performance Arts), founded by Paul Mc Cartney’s.

Carmen went to Seville for the tenth biannual Flamenco festival, where she attended courses by Manuel Soler (percussion) and Rafael Campallo (dance), organized by the Cristina Heren Foundation of Flamenco Art, who later gave her a grant to participate in courses for professionals. For five months she received classes from Antonio el Pipa, Javier la Torre, Israel Galvan, Isabel Bayon, Milagros Mengibar and other teachers. She also studied with Juana Amaya, Torombo, Andres Marin, Carmelilla Montoya and Farruquito.

Of all the great flamenco Carmen found in Seville, she developed a particular interest in the flamenco of Manual Soler and Israel Galvan, and formed part of Israel Galvan’s company in the twelth Biannual, performing Galvanica.

During her stay in Sevilla Carmen gave flamenco classes for beginners and began to create her own choreographies for alternative performances in the Arts Centre Espacio Meteora. She also taught dance and percussion in the dance school Taller Flamenco. Later she returned to Seville to participate in the courses organised by the Teatro Central, where once again she went on stage to perform another choreography of Israel Galvan – Torero Al-lucinogino.

In 2002 Carmen moved to Granada to become part of the first company/school of Mario Maya in Centro de Interpretacion, Las Chumberas, in Sacromonte. Here she received classes from Mario Maya, Belén Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Mercedes Ruiz, Manuel Betanzo, Juan Andrés Maya, Yolanda Heredia, Alejandro Granado, and others.

Switzerland and France
Carmen then spent three months in Zurich, Switzerland, giving classes of all levels and forming part of Rafael Seguro’s flamenco group, with which she toured Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy.
The following year Carmen began to travel regularly to the south of France to give workshops for the Pena Alma Flamenca and in Flamenco festival of Toulouse, both organised by Maria Luisa Sotoca.

In 2004 Carmen came to this mountain village and decided to restore the cave, transforming it into Cueva de la Luz, opening her own flamenco school. During the first year of the school she taught individuals and groups from Spain, England, France and Japan.

At present Carmen is developing in her studio her own dance with the idea of forming her own company and taking flamenco with soul to the world.