NAME: María José Franco San José, María José Franco
PLACE OF BIRTH: La Tacita de Plata, Cádiz, 1977
STUDIES: She is from Cadiz, she started at the age of five the dance studies. She learned in the schools of Angelita Gómez, Carmen Cornejo and Manolo Marín. She increased her career with courses and seminaries taught by Carmen Cortés, Matilde Coral, El Güito, La Hierbabuena, Canales or Mario Maya, who later on will ask her to join his company and work at the Expo 92 in Sevilla. She completed the dance studies with the classic ballet and Spanish dance degree in the Higher Conservatory of Dance in Sevilla.
CAREER: Apart from being in charge of her own cast she works in multiple and important national and international festivals such as Mont de Marsans, Pau, Nimes, Viarrytz, Toronto (Canada), Los Ángeles (EEUU), Paris, Rostocck (Germany) and Costa Rica or the Spanish ones: Flamenco Thursdays in Cádiz,Flamenco Fridays in Jerez, Jerez Festival in the show Calle Larga (Long Street). Moreover, she did a tour in China as a guest dancer in the company of Simón el Rubio.
She also taught in flamenco festivals like Jerez de la Frontera Festival, Nimes, Milan, Rome, Luxemburg, Dusseldorf, Paris, etc.
Later on she was hired by the Andalusian Dance Company under the direction of José Antonio. She toured with this company around the world during more than 4 years with shows such as El perro andaluz, Cosas de Payos, Ramito de Locura, Elegía, Encuentros, Picasso…
She did several choreographies for the shows in the company of Manolo Carrasco.
Again abroad, she did a tour in Japan as a guest artist with the guitarist Pepe Habichuela. She participated in the Bienal of Flamenco Art in Sevilla in the show Esteros de la Bahía and as a soloist in the V Festival of Jerez in the show Calle Larga. Moreover, she taught lessons together with the master Manolo Marín.
For several years she combined her soloist works with her participation as an artistic couple and guest dancer in the company of Antonio El Pipa, being part of three of its shows: Vivencias, De la Tierra and De Cai, el Baile. She also worked in the most important stages of the world with Paco Peña and Manolo Carrasco and as a choreographer in some of their shows. In 2006 she worked in 29 different countries along 4 continents.
She participated in the company of the pianist Manolo Carrasco also as a guest artist and a choreographer of his last show.
In 2006, in charge of her own company, she released her very first spectacle “ Cabales” in Bessier (France). She continued the tour in Paris and the rest of Europe where she made a success. The second spectacle A Contracorriente (Against the tide) was released in the IX edition of de Jerez de la Frontera Festival, being defined as one of the best spectacles of the festival.
In 2007 the company María José Franco released its third work in the Jerez Festival, De grana y oro, a spectacle that later on would be acclaimed by the foreign audience in the tour through EEUU and Europe. María José Franco is considered the rising star of flamenco dance in Spain and launched a staging with the artists Luis Moneo and José Anillo as singers and clapping, Juan Manuel Moneo as a guitarist and Pedro Manuel Navarro in the percussion.
Besides the long career as a flamenco dancer, we can mention other merits such as been the youngest member in the Faculty of Flamencology in Cadiz and owner of the first company in the Flamenco Art Institute of Cadiz. She is been nominated to the MAX awards as best female dance artist in 2006. She recorded a DVD based on the play Passion and Law and the video clip of the last record of Maita vende Cá, etc.
FESTIVALS: Mont de Marsans Festival, Pau, Nimes, or the ones in Cadiz: Jóvenes Flamencos (Young Flamencos), los Viernes Flamencos (Flamenco Fridays) in Jerez de la Frontera, Flamenco Festival in Jerez de la Frontera (2000-2005), Bienal of Flamenco Art in Sevilla (2002).
AWARDS: She has gained several awards: Young Flamenco Enthusiasts in Huelva in the edition of 1991 and 1992, the second award in the Contest of the Flamenco Dance Interpretation in the Tablao Cordobés of Barcelona (1995), the first award of the XXV Contest of Dance in Las Minas de la Unión and the first award for Flamenco Dance in Nimes (France) the same year. In 1996 she was finalist in the Contest of Young Values in the Bienal of Flamenco Art in Sevilla.