Lucía La Rusa
Lucia la Rusa was born in Moscow in 1977. She began her dance training at the age of 5 at the children’s choreographic school. She studied many dance styles, including ballet, Russian folk, modern and ballroom dancing. She discovered flamenco at the age of 19, and knew immediately that this would be her life’s work. Her first flamenco teachers in Russia were Lilia Safina, Valentina Pakhomova and Violetta Gonzales.
In 1997, Lucia la Rusa began to visit Spain on a regular basis, where she studied flamenco under many famous masters and artists, including Manolo Marin, Pilar Ortega, Maria Jose Franco, Alejandro Granadas, Chiqui de Jérez, Lurdes Recio and Felipe Mato. She also took master classes with Anjeles Gabaldan, Rafaella Carrasco and Mercedes Ruiz. Her favorite teacher and choreographer was Alicia Marquez. Further study with Belen Maya and Adela Campallo brought new styles and knowledge of dance theory to her work. Andres Marin helped her to feel the music in a new way. Studying under such great masters and with years of dedication, Lucia has formed her personal style of dancing and her own understanding of the music. After dancing the choreographies of many Spanish dancers, she started to create her own dances. She helped organize the Moscow Flamenco Festival “Viva Espaňa!” and regularly danced on its stage. In 1999 she established Almas del Fuego Dance Company which has performed in the best theatres in Moscow and other cities for more than 15 years. Her works include “Una Historia del Sur, performed with great success in Russia and Ukraine, “Staryi Albom” (The Old Album), where La Rusa worked both as a dancer and as an actress. Collaborating with the great bass guitarist Alexander Gayduk, she has developed new modes in flamenco. Two new pieces resulted from this collaboration: Love, staged at the Moscow International House of Music and “The Contrasts”.
In 2013, 15 Years of Light premiered. This work told the story of her life and flamenco journey. In 2014, Ms. La Rusa toured with a wonderful Greek dancer Lasonos Damianos in a duet. A new work, The Charmed Land, exploring her love and tenderness for Andalusia, was presented in February 2015.
For fourteen years, Lucia la Rusa has been the director of the Moscow flamenco studio “AndaLucia.” She has created a methodology for training flamenco dancers. Students study different flamenco styles and genres, learning choreographies and rhythms, and explore the flamenco culture. This enables them to create their own choreographies and work with musicians on the stage. The school’s alumni not only perform, but also become teachers themselves. Many professional dancers underwent this training and use Ms. La Rusa’s choreographies. She also teaches master classes in many Russian and Ukrainian cities and successfully uses her original mode of study, open theoretical flamenco seminars, to train and inspire a new generation of artists.