Artists who perform with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company


Maria Loreta

Maria Loreta, founder & Artistic Director of Sol y Sombra, has studied Spanish dance both here and in Spain with some of its foremost artists including La Tati, Paco Fernandez, Ciro, Azorin, Paco Romero, Carmen Cortes, Guito & Tomas de Madrid.  Besides her work as principal artist with Sol y Sombra, Maria Loreta has performed with numerous Spanish dance companies including Estrella Morena’s Ballet de Madrid, the American Spanish Dance Theatre and Jose Molina’s Bailes Espanoles with which she toured for many years throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Her credits include appearances at the U.N., Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Town Hall, the Chateaux Madrid,, Constitution Hall and the Kravis Center, Jacob’s Pillow as well as innumerable colleges and cultural centers throughout the U.S..   Maria presently is on the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook’s Center for Dance, Movement & Somatic Learning.

Arturo Martinez

Playing the blues, electric and jazz guitar at an early age, the young Mr. Martinez was soon attracted to the Flamenco guitar.  He is now an acknowledged, accomplished professional in this art form and has accompanied such well known Flamenco artists as Jose Greco, Jose Molina, Maria Alba, Joaquin Fahardo, Chuni Amaya and Pilar Rioja.  Recently, Mr. Martinez toured nationally with Savion Glover and has received recognition in the N.Y. Times for his own original Flamenco compositions. In 2013, his production of Espiritu Gitano was featured at the Damarouch Theater as part of Lincoln Center’s Summer Out of Doors Concert season. He  also produces the annual New York Flamenco Festival at the Thiasos Restaurant in New York City, and was a consultant and co-producer for World Music Institute’s two concerts of Traditional Flamenco music with renowned artists El Torombo and Concha Vargas.

Alfonso Cid

Born & raised in Sevilla, the heartland of Flamenco, Alfonso became a member of one of its most significant Flamenco clubs,the Pena Flamenca Torres-Marcarena in 1987. As founder/member of Al Bano Maria, , he toured Andalucia in connection with the Universities of Sevilla & Edinburgh.. After training as a classical flautist at the Sevilla Conservatory, he joined the world renowned Flamenco show, FLAMENCO PURO touring with them as singer & flautist throughout 1997.Alfonso is the featured vocalist on Miguel de la Bastide’s CD “El Cambio” for LB Records and worked with Jesse Cook’s CD “Vertigo” for Narada Records. . During the last 10 years, Alfonso has also released three new CD’s: Flamenco of Vuelta & Ida, Gazpacho Andalus and  Pulpo.His many guest artist appearances have included Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Orlando’s Amway Theater; Los Angeles’ Staple Center; Carnegie Hall’s Weil Hall; NYC’s Town Hall; London’s Albert Hall, Mexico City’s Sala Covarrubias just to name a few.  For the past few years, Alfonso has toured the world as singer with the world famous Latin singing artist, Romeo Santos, touring with in in major venues and TV programs throughout South and Central America, Europe and the US. This year he joined the Andalusian Jerusalem Orchestra for a tour of Israel.

For more information on Mr. Cid and his work:

Ricardo Santiago

Ricardo Santiago began his dance training at age 7 as a scholarship student at Ballet Hispanico of New York. Later, as an undergraduate at SUNY Purchase, he received dance scholarships with The Alvin Ailey School, and Dance Theater Of Harlem. As he continued his flamenco training, studying with a variety of artists, including Liliana Morales, Manolo Rivera, Edwin Aparicio, Nelida Tirado and Omayra Amaya.  Ricardo has had a diverse performance career. He has performed locally, nationally and internationally with many dance companies and productions such as Franco Zeffirelli’s productions of Carmen and La Traviata at The Metropolitan Opera and Don Giovanni at Washington Opera, as well as with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Bailes Ferrer, Sol y Sombra, Flamenco Latino, Flamenco Vivo, Edwin Aparicio’s Selected Works, and most recently in Omayra Amaya’s repertory performance group and Andanza Flamenco. Mr. Santiago has also served as choreographer for Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY. He continues to work as a dance educator for organizations such as The Children’s Arts & Science Workshops, American Academy of Ballet, and Young Audiences New York.

Sofia Islam

A native of Pakistan, Ms. Islam has toured nationally and internationally as a member of Jose Molina’s Bailes Espanol.  She has also danced as soloist with Andrea del Conte’s Danza Espana and Charlota Santana.  Currently she is dancing with the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of La Traviata.

Gisele Assi

Born in Sao Paulo Brazil living in New York since 1999Traveled to Madrid and Seville to study Flamenco  dance and  singing with the best maestros  between 1991,1995/6,2005  and  2009.  Gisele taught Flamenco dance  for children and adults  Ballet Hispanico, Third Street Music Settlement, Fazils Studio in NY between 1999 and 2007  and since 2008   at Piel Canela  School  in NY and Every Little Movement Academy of Art in Hoboken  and Yolanda’s Studio in NJ.  A  member of  Alborada Spanish Theatre Company where she is an Assistant Director/Choreographer , first dancer and singer  since her arrival in  New York . Also had appear in TV shows and  Flamenco Tablaos in NYC within the Tristate area as a feature Dancer and Singer  for Alborada  and  various other companies in New York, Long Island and New Jersey since her arrival in USA.    Was given a scholarship to study Flamenco singing at the    FUNDACION CRISTINA HEREEN  in Sevilla.

Barbara Martinez

Barbara Martinez grew up in New York City performing in opera and theater. Originally from Venezuela, she comes from a lineage of Argentinian singer/actresses. After college, she received a scholarship to study flamenco singing in Seville, Spain. Barbara sings an eclectic repertoire of flamenco, Latin and world music with her own group in jazz venues, and recently at Carnegie Hall/Weill. Barbara currently sings with A Palo Seco Flamenco Company, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and Pasión y Arte throughout the U.S. She recently appeared in the documentary “Sobre Las Olas – A Story of Flamenco in the U.S.” by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, as well as the “100 Years of Flamenco in New York” exhibit at the Performing Arts Library. She is one of few flamenco artists who perform regularly both as singer and dancer in local venues in New York City.

Aurora Reyes

Aurora is a highly esteemed artist in both the flamenco community of New York   She and her guitarist husband, Basilio Georges were the founder/directors of NYC’s Flamenco Latino. She has toured with companies such as Jose Molina Bailes Españoles, worked at La Corral de la Pacheca tablao in Madrid and had a mentor relationship with the famnous flamenco dancer, La Tati and has worked as dancer/choreographer with  Andrea Del Conte’s American Spanish Dance Theater.


Elisabet Torras Aguilera

was born and raised in Barcelona (Spain) where she earned her B.A. in Spanish Dance and Flamenco from the Conservatory of Dance and Theater. Her training was based on Flamenco, Classical Spanish Dance, Escuela Bolera, Spanish Folklore, The Emma Maleras Castanet Method, Ballet and Contemporary Dance. She continued her studies in Madrid. Amongst her teachers were La Chana, Carmen Talegona, Concha Jareño, Belén Cabanes, Carlos Lérida, Gala Vivancos, Javier Latorre, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Carlos Rodríguez, Cristina Casanova, Nuria Truco, Eli Truco, La Lupi, Eva Yerbabuena, Belén Maya, Alfonso Losa.. and others.Elisabet has toured Europe and Asia with Flamenco, Classical Spanish Dance and Zarzuela companies. In 2009 she was a guest artist at the Flamenco Festival “Viva España” in Moscow and the “Presidence Belge”-Festival in Brussels. She toured Spain and China with Flamenco pianist Manolo Carrasco’s company, performed several seasons with Javier Latorre’s Somorrostro Dansa Flamenca Company and worked with Rojas & Rodriguez Company in Madrid in 2011. In New York City and across the USA she has performed as a solo artist and with NY based Flamenco companies such as “Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana”, “A Palo Seco”, “American Bolero Dance Company”, “Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca” and Latin Grammy Award Winner Hernan Romero.


Ballet Fiesta Mexicana

was founded by dancer/choreographer Yloy Ybarra in 1999 to highlight Mexico’s vast folkloric history.  The diverse repertory  celebrates the beauty of Mexico’s regional dances,  music and magnificent costumes.  BFM has quickly became a Metropolitan area  audience favorite with engagements at the Queens Museum, the National Arts Club (Tribute to Octavio Paz), the American Museum of Natural History,  the Metropolitan Museum of New York, The Museum of the City of New York, Riverside Church, Queens Theatre in the Park, Hostos Community College and the Folk Art Museum in New York.  BALLET FIESTA MEXICANA made it’s  formal theatrical debut in 2000 at The Thalia Spanish Theatre and recently  celebrated its 20th season as an ambassador of Mexican culture. 

YLOY YBARRA began dancing in his native McAllen, Texas.  At age 16, inspired by “Saturday Night Fever”, he found himself in a dance class.  Under the tutelage of Mr. Doria Avila he joined the Rio Grande Valley Ballet and soon received a scholarship at the Harkness House for Ballet Arts in New York City.  Having been exposed to ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco and Mexican folklore, his dance education was to say the least, varied.  His professional career has been just as varied, from JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski, Metropolitan and Dallas Operas, entertainer CHARO, Maria Benitez Estampa Flamenca, to Downtown Ballet of Puerto Rico, and several NY based modern dance groups.  For the last nine years he has dedicated himself to ethnic dance.  Besides being a much sought after movement and dance educator of children, he performs with Andrea Del Conte Danza España, Carlota Santana Flamenco Vivo, Flamenco Latino, and Maria Loretta Sol y Sombra.  Currently he teaches Mexican folklorico, flamenco, jazz, latin dance and ballet for Young Audiences New York.  As a guest artist/choreographer he continues to work in Washington D.C. and Texas.  For the last four years he has produced performances in Ronda, Spain, and appeared on Spanish television.  In 2010, Yloy became Artistic Director of The American Spanish Dance Theatre/Danza Espana.

Marianna Parma

Since gaining her B.A. in dance from Rutgers University, Ms. Parma become an internationally acclaimed performer, featured on stage, TV and film, specializing in Argentine Tango and Salsa. She is recognized for her passion and versatility in dance, combining her dance technique with her acting skills, which results in a breathtaking and sensational performance.

She has shared the stage with Tango Stars Cecilia Saia, Angel Gracia Clemente, Rosa Collantes, Mariela Franganillo, Mariana Galassi, Valeria Solomonoff, and Cesar Coelho, among others.

Mariana’s musical theater credits include, Evita, Swing, the musical, Swango,(co-producer), Tango Por Ellos, Tango Connection, Tango 1st Century, Tango Casenave, Roxanna’s Tango, Glamour Tango, and numerous Tango productions throughout her career. One of her greatest achievements was coaching Chita Rivera in tango, for her role in Venecia, directed by award winning American Playwright, Author Laurents. In 2008, Marianna was the USA Tango Champion, in Tango Salon, and a Semi- Finalist in the Mundial de Baile de Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina..

          In Salsa, Ms. Parma often partners with the talented Mad Hot Ballroom star, Rodney Lopez, performance credits include Pier 54, with the orquestra, “Los Hermanos Colon”, Lincoln Center Midsummer Nights, featured in the film, “The Big Shot Caller”, and currently Summerstage with the “Areytos Performance Works”.

Mariana Parma, currently teaches  at Dance Manhattan, NYC, with Mr. Lopez and often travels abroad performing and teaching both Argentine Tango and Latin/Salsa.