Oscar Nieto has dedicated over 40 years to teaching, dancing and studying the origins of flamenco and regional and classical Spanish dance forms. He is also a student and teacher of flamenco cante.
He is the first flamenco dancer ever to receive the prestigious Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, awarded annually by the Canada Council to dance professionals who have made a profound contribution to dance in Canada.
Oscar has been dubbed ‘a flamenco Fred Astaire’ by the LA Times in recognition of his technical accomplishment and charisma as a performer.
Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, he began dancing at eight years of age under the musical influences of TexMex rock and pop, show tunes, musicals, jazz, Latin, Mexican and Spanish music and dance.
He launched his professional career in Antonio Gades’ production of El Amor Brujo at the Chicago Lyric Opera House in 1969, and has built his reputation as a dancer performing with the Jose Greco Company, Lola Montes (shown at left; Oscar appears in back row, far right, c. 1972) , the Boston Flamenco Ballet, and Jose Antonio Ballet Siluetas (Madrid). He worked with Ciro in New Orleans and Chicago and has choreographed for the Vancouver Opera.
Oscar created Mosaico de Danzas in L.A. in 1972 and began teaching there. Inspired by his first visit to Spain in the mid-seventies, he then fused song and dance together in his teaching career. He also has created a teaching method called C.A.L. (Cognitive Approach to Learning).
Oscar later established Mozaico Flamenco which evolved into the Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy in Vancouver where (with co-instructor Kasandra Lea) he teaches and performs for the majority of each year.
Oscar Nieto, interviewed by Fanny Keifer on ‘Studio 4’. Includes flamenco dance/song/guitar performance by Jafelin Helton (singer), Andrea Williams (dancer), Maria Avila (dancer), and Roderick Malkin (guitarist).