Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya, or ‘Farruquito’, is a veverated figure in the world of Flamenco. He is the son of Flamenco singer Juan Fernández Flores ‘El Moreno’, and the dancer Rosario Montoya Manzano ‘La Farruca’. He is the chief proponent of unique dancing style founded by his grandfather, ‘Farruco’. Throughout his life he has been immersed in the most pure form of Flamenco, making his début on the international scene on Broadway at the age of five with the show “Pure Flamenco”. Since then he has devoted his entirety to the preservation and innovation of his beloved art form.
At the age of eight he presented his first seasonal show at the Sala Zambra in Madrid and when he was 12, he appeared in Carlo Saura’s film “Flamenco”, alongside El Farruco, the family patriarch. That same year, he joined his illustrious family in the show Bodas de Gloria, participating in its artistic and choreographic conception. In the year 1992 he performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona Paralympics, and with his grandfather at the Andalucía Pavilion of the Seville Universal Exposition, performing in the show “Presente, Pasado y Futuro”.
The death of Farruco in 1997 signalled a changing of the guard and Farruquito was entrusted with the responsibility of perpetuating the family lineage. At the age of 15, he created his first show, Raíces Flamecas, in which he distinguished himself as a dancer of a new dimension, who couples all his traditional knowledge with a prodigious personal artistic conception.
From its début at the London’s Royal Festival Hall, this display of the frenetic, indigenous Flamenco achieved instant success, which was then repeated at the Villa and Conde Duque Theaters in Madrid, the Poliorama Theater in Barcelona and on international tours in France and Japan.
In 2001, Farruquito and his family performed at the Flamenco USA Festival and following performances in New York and Boston, the New York Times rated him as “the best artist who set foot in the Big Apple in 2001”. The following year he led the cast of the show “Por Derecho” and toured through eleven North American cities, where the critics were stunned by the vitality of his art and personality. Furthermore, Farruquito’s genius did not go unnoticed by the great photographer Richard Avedon or by the US magazine People, which named him as one of the most beautiful people in the world.
Was in November of 2003 when the opening of his show “Alma vieja” at the Maestranza Theater in Seville was a huge success. This happened again at the Albéniz Theater in Madrid and the Victoria Theater in Barcelona and, since then, the show has triumphed on stages across Spain, France, Italy and the UK. Out of the spotlight, the dancer also at became head of an academy, based in Seville, which propagates the precepts and techniques of the Farruco school of dance.
Throughout his career Farruquito has never been short of artistic recognition, with regards to both the critical press and artistic accolades. In 2004 alone he received a plethora of awards such as the Premio Público for best Flamenco dancer, the Flamenco Hoy for best Flamenco dancer, the Telón Chivas 2004 Award for best dancer, and the prestigious APDE 2004 Prize to “the dignified repository of the inheritance of gypsy dancing.”
The dancer is also at the forefront of the academy, based in Seville, which propagates the precepts of the Farruco school. In November of 2003, the opening of his show “Alma vieja” at the Maestranza Theater in Seville was a huge success. The success of this show was repeated at the Albéniz Theater in Madrid and the Victoria Theater in Barcelona. From then, the “Alma vieja” tour has been seen on many Spanish stages, also triumphing in the UK, France, and Italy. In 2004, Farruquito received press and public recognition, with various awards such as the Premio Público for best Flamenco dancer, the Flamenco Hoy for best Flamenco dancer, the Telón Chivas 2004 Award for best dancer, and the prestigious APDE 2004 Prize to “the dignified repository of the inheritance of gypsy dancing.”
In 2008, he launched the production PURO, with 14 musicians on stage and a stunning technical dancing display. With performances in Palma de Mallorca, Jerez, and Seville (XIII Flamenco Biennial), the critics were unanimous, “Farruquito reigns again!” PURO toured countries such as Israel, Holland, and Mexico, receiving rave reviews wherever it took to the stage.
For his next larger project, he launched the show “Baile Flamenco at the Compac Theater in Madrid. He performed for 4 consecutive days that were completely sold out and with reviews like, “Farruquito triumphs at the opening of Baile Flamenco.” (El Mundo, 11/16/2011). In this production, Farruquito took to the stage dressed by the distinguished fashion labels Louis Vuitton and Berluti, this being the first instance where Berluti had agreed to dress a celebrity.
In the summer of 2012, he opened “Siembra”, in which he performed with his youngest brother, Manuel Fernández Montoya or ‘El Carpeta’. With music and lyrics composed by Farruquito, “Siembra” is tailored for his brother and consists of a series of dances which he has learned from his elders and to which he lends his own style. Within the production each artistic element merges together to convey the continuity of an enduring and thriving legacy, that of the Farruco school.