Mojácar Flamenco Press
Mojácar was great!
From the first song they had the audience in their grip. Stephen Dick is one of the best guitarists that I have ever seen. He owns that instrument and it sings for him in every key, note, and beat and chord that he plays.
Fernando is a master of percussion. He and Katerina kept the beat going, weaving a tapestry of percussion.
Katerina is a great dancer. She mesmerized the audience with her dancing. her movements were powerful, seductive, flowing, exciting, dramatic, passionate, beautiful, fanciful... in other words she was fabulous and we loved her.
I have to say that it doesn't get much better than Mojácar.
John Hornbacher, Hornbacher Concert Series
Mojácar Flamenco was of exceptional talent.
Lisa C. Walker
Atlanta Jazz Festival
A kind of visual poetry . . .
Flamenco is a kind of visual poetry that marries song with stomping footwork, vigorous clapping and graceful hand gestures. Whether light-hearted and sensual or poignantly solemn, it's always dramatic to watch.
Katerina Tomás, who will perform Saturday in Encinitas with guitarist Stephen Dick and percussionist Johnny Sandoval, fell for flamenco the first time she watched a class by gypsy dancer Rosa Montoya. To enhance authenticity, Spanish musicians and singers accompanied the instruction. "The fervor hit me, and I loved it immediatedly,” Tomás said. “The floor would jump up and down. Rosa was a wonderful fiery artist, and everyone had a great time.”
The passion of a flamenco performance demands acute communication; dancers, singers and musicians must be tuned in to each other with ears and eyes. “Johnny and I are always throwing new rhythms at each other,” Dick said. “It's the same thing with Katerina's footwork. In a way, we are all conducting with body language. If she wanted to extend the ending, she would signal with hands, feet or gestures.”
The concentrated effort that flamenco demands can be very satisfying to those committed to it. “I'm pretty intense when I perform, said Tomás. “I like to be fierce, and it's a great way to state your mind and put yourself out there. It's wonderful.”
By Marcia Manna
San Diego Union-Tribune
Romance Sonambulo (Sleepwalker’s Ballad), choreographed by Katerina Tomás is an intense work that dramatizes the Sleepwalker’s Ballad through dance, flamenco guitar, and opera. Sung beautifully by Gregorio Gonzalez/Baritone, David Castillo/Baritone and Maya Rothfuss/Soprano, in Castilian Spanish, the tale is of two separated lovers who long to be reunited. Tomás combines Flamenco’s physical style and accented footwork with Martha Graham-like modern dance.
Everyone in Romance Sonambulo is excellent and the choreography is strong. Tomás understands theater and she has created a very strong tale of love and loss. The elegant set by Jorge Lopez, Blue Pocket Studio evokes a Spanish café, and having live music onstage is almost always a plus. It was performed with passion by composer/guitarist Stephen Dick.
See Dance News
Arroyo Heritage Theater presents Mojácar
Flamenco, more than any other musical style, is an experience that is best enjoyed live, for both the audience and performers. When the assertive, technically precise but emotionally in tense movements of a Flamenco dancer unite with the intricately melodic rhythms of an acoustic guitar, what evolves is nothing less than musical nirvana.
"I don't even like to practice without live musicians,'' said Flamenco dancer and choreographer Katerina Tomas. "I can't dance to a recording because so much of it is connecting with your musicians and your audience.''
Tomas and her husband, guitarist Stephen Dick, along with percussionist Fernando Diez form the Flamenco ensemble known as Mojácar. The ensemble will be performing an evening of contemporary Flamenco music tomorrow in an Arroyo Heritage Theater production at McKinley Auditorium in Pasadena. The evening will highlight Flamenco solo and ensemble dance works featuring Tomas and guest dancer/singer La Sole, a resident of Covina.
The group is named after Mojácar, a small village on the Spain's Mediterranean coast where Dick and Tomas were artists in residence in 1996 at the Fundación Valparaiso, an artists' retreat in Mojácar.
"There was something special about Mojácar,'' Dick said. Asked to perform at a nearby arts center, Dick and Tomas created eight works in four weeks. The songs became the core of the groups first album, "Naranjas Amargas,'' which they released in 1998 after inviting Diez to join the group.
By Martin S. Gonzalez
Pasadena Star News
Passion and Pragmatism
Over the past decade, husband-and-wife team Katerina Tomás and Stephen Dick have figured out how to make passionate music as Mojácar Flamenco — and then go home and peacefully make dinner.
Romance is far more than an incidental concern, however, for artists who work as well as live together. Creativity is itself a kind of life force, and the channeling of it would seem, on the surface, to be a rather romantic enterprise, particularly if the art form in question is, by Webster's definition, “emotional and mournful.” But talk to dancer Katerina Tomás and guitarist Stephen Dick, a husband and wife who anticipate celebrating their 20th anniversary in September and who comprise the core of the South Pasadena-based ensemble Mojácar Flamenco, and it becomes clear that the composition and presentation of their music, while fulfilling, requires a lot of hard, disciplined work.
“It's this mixture of back-and-forth [negotiation],” Dick explains, “and [asking], ‘Where do you need this piece to go?'
When Dick aand Tomás formed Mojácar Flamenco in 1996, it seemed an unlikely direction for them to take, since both came from decidedly modern musical backgrounds. In 2002, they stepped into the national spotlight while opening for L.A. rock band Concrete Blonde's 22-city reunion tour. Mojácar's profile has risen slowly but steadily since.
Since 1975, flamenco has experienced a transformation as revolutionary as jazz in the bebop era. As the Franco regime ended, a phenomenon known as La Movida erupted as Spanish artists in all disciplines began exploring new avenues of expression. For flamenco musicians and dancers, this meant fusing flamenco with American jazz, Latin American and African rhythms, and contemporary pop and rock styles. Now there's flamenco/jazz, flamenco/rock -- even flamenco/rap!
Mojácar Flamenco represents this flow of ideas the other way across the Atlantic. This L.A. based trio, featuring guitarist Stephen Dick, dancer Katerina Tomás and percussionist Fernando Diez, have merged flamenco music and dance with jazz harmonies and Latin rhythms into a unique sound and performance style. Weaving guitar, percussion and footwork together in tight interplay, they create flamenco with a modern pulse whether they're playing explosive, rhythmic music or intense dance works in the Cante Jondo style.
By Marcia Martinez