Hailed by The New York Times as “a furnace of earthy sensuality”, Sonia Olla was born and raised in Barcelona when she earned a degree in Spanish Dance and Flamenco at the esteemed “Instituto de Teatro y Danza” in Barcelona.
She has toured as company member and soloist with flamenco greats such as Antonio Canales, Eva la Yerbabuena, Rafaela Carrasco, Merche Esmeralda, María Pagés, La Farruca, among others.
Bailaora of international prestige, director and choreographer of her own shows, Sonia currently resides in New York, where she combines the dance classes with performance in outstanding venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, the Rose Nagelburg Theatre, Baruch Performing Arts Center (NY) and Instituto Cervantes (Chicago), to name but a few.
Together with the Flamenco singer Ismael Fernández, her partner on and off the stage, Sonia has created a wide range of shows such as Tablao Sevilla, Entretiempo, Por Los Caminos and Tiempo al Aire. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, as well as Spanish newspapers such as ABC, El País, La Vanguardia.
Sonia has also made television and radio appearances on Tele 5, Cadena Cope, Radio Nacional de España, Punto Radio, Onda Cero, Cadena Ser, as well as the renowned Internet show “Flamenco TV.”
Most recently, Sonia has been tapped by the pop-icon Madonna to choreograph the worldwide “Rebel Heart Tour” 2015-2016. The music legend was so impressed by the artistry of both Sonia and Ismael that she personally invited them to perform at her 57th birthday party in the Hamptons, NY.
Described by The Washington Post as the “most charismatic performer” and a “connection to the Gypsy source”, Ismael Fernández was born in Seville, of Gypsy descent, grew up performing in flamenco festivals throughout the world with his internationally renowned family, “La Familia Fernández”. His career began in Spain’s premier flamenco tablaos such as El Cordobes in Barcelona, La Carboneria in Seville and other famous flamenco cuevas of Granada.
In 2004, Ismael won the National Contest of Cordoba, singing for the famed dancer Soraya Clavijo and was a finalist in the Festival De Cante De La Union. He joins his family regularly to perform in the celebrated Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. Throughout his career, Ismael has worked with flamenco legends such as Antonio Canales, Farruquito, Marina Heredia, El Torombo, the prestigious Orchestra director Gustavo Dudamel and Rafaela Carrasco to name a few.
For several years, Ismael has been a featured company member of internationally acclaimed dancer Maria Pages, performing at The Joyce Theater (New York), Sadler Wells Theatre (London), Esplanade Theatre (Singapore), Orchard Hall and Bunka Mura (Japan), Teatro La Zarzuela (Madrid), Teatro Real (Madrid), and the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona).
He currently resides in New York, where he moved in 2014 together with the flamenco dancer Sonia Olla, her partner on and off the stage. Since then, he combines the Cante classes with performance at internationally acclaimed venues such as The New York City Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), Carnegie Hall (NY), Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA). He created a large number of shows together with Sonia, such as Tablao Sevilla, Entretiempo, Tiempo Al Aire and Por los Caminos.
Ismael has made several radio and television appearances, most notably “NYC Arts” (PBS), Tele5, Radio Nacional de España, Cadena Ser, Punto Radio, and Onda Cero.
Most recently, Ismael worked with pop-icon Madonna in preparation for her upcoming “Rebel Heart Tour” – 2015-2016: samples of his voice are featured during “La Isla Bonita”.