Special thanks to Julia Lopez for translating during the interview.
PCM: I understand you have a very special work in progress for this program.
Carmela: Yes! It is the farruca rhythm. The farruca was my fathers signature piece. I will be incorporating some of his steps with my own. This will be the first time I have used his steps.
PCM: You will also be dancing with Julia Lopez and guitarist Carlos Rubio along with their dance company Flamenco Ole, how did you start working with them.
Carmela: We met for the first time at his memorial service in Lancaster, PA. It was important for me to stay in contact with the people he has worked with in the past to keep his legacy alive. From Spain I had contacted Julia with an idea for a program I wanted to do with her and Flamenco Ole. Through a grant from Dance Advance we were able to present it at the Painted Bride a few years ago.
PCM: When you get an idea for a dance are you seeing shapes in your head?
Carmela: No, flamenco is different from the ballet. It is an emotion. I am presenting an emotion through my hands, the way I move my arms what I do inside a rhythm with it. We have traditional steps. It is what I do as a dancer working closely with the guitarist that define who we are as individual artists.
PCM: When you were starting work on the farruca how did it come to fruition.
Carmela: We started with the rhythm. I would tell Carlos were I wanted a falseta and he would have ideas. It is a total collaboration between the the two of us.
PCM: What is your rehearsal schedule?
Carmela: We rehearse three hours everyday.
PCM: What was it like growing up with Jose Greco as your father?
Carmela: He was my father, he was bigger than life. He was a beautiful statue to me. I didn’t see him as the world did -as a dancer. I saw him as my father. I am one of three children. My sister is a famous classical Spanish dancer in Spain and my brother is also a famous flamenco dancer.
PCM: What is the difference between classical Spanish dance and flamenco dance?
Carmela: Classical Spanish dance is similar to the ballet and danced while playing castanets. It is a very difficult form of dance.
PCM: Do the three of you ever perform together?
Carmela: We have in the past toured with my father. It is very hard for us to schedule anything together now because we all have very busy careers.
PCM: Is there a particular tour that stands out the most to you?
Carmela: A few years ago, I along with another dancer were invited to perform in Russia. We were in St. Petersburg, Moscow and few other cities. It was a breath taking trip.
PCM: Were you surprised to find Flamenco in Russia?
Carmela: Not at all. Flamenco is everywhere!