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’, the dancer Rosario Montoya Manzano ‘La Farruca’, and 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 this international scene on Broadway at the age of five. 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 at 12 he appeared in Carlo Saura’s film Flamenco, face to face with the family patriarch, El Farruco. That same year, he joined his illustrious family in the show Bodas de Gloria, participating in its artistic and choreographic conception. In 1992 he performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona Paralympics, and with his grandfather at the Andalucía Pavilion of the Seville Universal Exposition, 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.
In November of 2003, the opening of his show “ALMA VIEJA” at the Maestranza Theater in Seville was a huge success. This was repeated 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.”