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marina tamayo

Mosman Local Nominated For A Broadway Award!

Marina Tamayo, the Mosman-based flamenco artist and founder of Flamenco Australia, has been nominated for the Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography in New York.

Marina has been jointly nominated alongside choreographer Benjamin Millepied for ā€˜Outstanding Choreography in a Theatrical Releaseā€™ for the film Carmen,Ā which was directed by Millepied and filmed in Australia. Tamayo starred as Carmen’s mother, and not only collaborated on the choreography but also danced in the film.

Marina Tamayo
Marina and director Benjamin Millepied on set filming Carmen

The annualĀ Chita Rivera AwardsĀ celebrate outstanding dance and choreography in theatre and in film. Originally called The Astaire Awards (after Fred Astaire) they were renamed in 2017 after Broadway star, Chita Rivera who is best known for West Side Story.

The awards took place at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Monday night (Tuesday morning Sydney time). Marina and Benjamin were up against some tough competition! The other nominees were Jennifer White, forĀ Barbie, Fatima Robinson, forĀ Color Purple, Kyle Hanagami, forĀ Mean Girls, and Christopher Gattelli, forĀ Wonka.

In the end, the winner was Jennifer White for Barbie. But what an honour to be nominated and recognised in Hollywood.

We spoke to Marina when Carmen debuted at the Sydney Film Festival last yearĀ about her experience working on the film, including how she nearly missed the opportunity when an email wound up in her junk folder.

ā€œI received an email from a casting agent inviting me to apply. Apparently, Benjamin found me from Los Angeles, on the internet dancing in one of my productions and asked them to search for me here. Interestingly enough, I found their email in my ā€˜junk folderā€™ as I was cleaning up my inboxes. I thought, what is this about? Luckily, I replied on gut instinct.ā€

ā€œI arrived on the Northern Beaches in 1999, hoping to find opportunities for my artistic Flamenco passion. There wasnā€™t much in Avalon, other than surfing and yoga. I gave my first Flamenco class in an abandoned dusty old scout hall in Avalon, with one student for $10. Later, I created a small Flamenco community called Flamenco Australia. After 25 years, I extended to Narrabeen, Brookvale, the Sydney CBD, Hobart, Spain, Auckland, Adelaide and currently moving to the Lower North Shore, Mosman, at the Mosman Dance Academy studios.

ā€œThere are so many beautiful moments cradling a plethora of messages in Carmen. The main thing I hope is people embrace this movie as an opportunity to be a wildly artistic audience, and be free to go beyond the margins of an ordinary day by engaging in this sensorial piece of art. The film is unique, and will not fit into a box, nor mainstream category. For me, thatā€™s the bravery and genius of Benjamin and his team. I hope people dance. See you dancing around Mosman!ā€

Carmen is a one-of-a-kind cinematic vision. Starring Melissa Barrera (Scream, In the Heights) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun, Normal People), director Benjamin Millepiedā€™s Carmen is a gritty modern-day tale, with a majestic score by Nicholas Britell (Moonlight, Succession), and dream-like dance sequences that evoke magic realism. It’s currently available on Stan, Apple TV and Amazon Prime, make sure you catch it!

Congrats Marina!