This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele
Caló Gitano Flamenco Dance Company & Academy
The Gitano people of southern Spain are generally credited with the development of flamenco, but the dance and music have absorbed influences from around the world. And, half a world away, one Atlanta group is emblematic of flamenco’s international flair.
A native of Venezuela, Marianela "Malita" Belloso began learning flamenco at age six. By the time she was nine, she was performing on television. She continued to perform in major stage productions and to study with the country’s largest Flamenco academy.
In 2000, she came to Atlanta and soon after met Farzan Kendrick, an Iranian-born flamenco guitarist. They founded Caló Gitano in 2001 as a flamenco performance troupe and were later joined by Malita’s husband, American singer Kevin Wilson.
Malita never wanted to teach flamenco, but at the insistence of Ania Yeas, a Polish flamenco enthusiast who had recently moved to Atlanta, she began teaching private lessons. Ania soon became a member of Caló Gitano, and the lessons expanded into a flamenco academy with students of all skill levels. Advanced students are often invited to perform with the dance company.
Caló Gitano has also come to include members from Japan, Brazil, and Switzerland, and this multinational troupe brings the sounds of Spain to Vino Libro and other metro-area restaurants and clubs every month.