The lucky winners who will receive their passes for the finals of the International Festival del Cante de las Minas de La Unión are singer Yoko Omori, and dancers Kaori Horikoshi and Keiko Ishikawa. The category of guitarist was left unawarded.

We now have winners of the competitions of the International Festival del Cante de las Minas held this weekend in Japan. The lucky winners to receive passes for the finals of the 2015 La Unión event are singer Yoko Omori, and dancers Kaori Horikoshi and Keiko Ishikawa.

The selection of the three artists was mutually agreed upon by the jury sent to Tokyo by the Cante de las Minas Foundation, in addition to the jury chosen by the Nippon Association of Flamenco, ANIF, organizer of the event in Japan.

The selective trials were carried out at the Tokyo Nakano Zero Hall theater beginning last Friday through yesterday, Sunday.  The jury had a tough job making the selection, and deliberations went on until the wee hours of this morning.

In the end, of the 85 participants in the singing, dance and guitar contests, these three Japanese artists were chosen to represent their country at the 55th Festival del Cante de las Minas.

The singing prize was awarded to singer Yoko Omori, who interpreted malagueñas and will
compete in this same category in the Spanish event next year. As for the dance section, the mixed jury, given the quality of the candidates, decided to award both Kaori Horikoshi and Keiko
Ishikawa, who both danced well por soleá, and secured their respective places in the final stages of next year’s La Unión contest.

In the area of guitar, the jury decided not to award this prize, as none of the participants were
considered to have reached the required level for the Festival del Cante de las Minas.

Thus closes a historic chapter for the world’s most important flamenco event; this was the first time the selective portion of the International Festival del Cante de Las Minas was held outside the
borders of Spain. But it will not be the last.

And we can confirm that the next edition of Las Minas Flamenco Tour in Japan is already in
preparation, in this case under the auspices of the Maruwa Foundation, and focused exclusively on the dance competitions. The event will take place on March 15, 2015, and is to be coordinated by the great teacher and choreographer Yoko Komatsubara, who gave the keynote speech at the Festival de Las Minas in 2002.

The Spanish delegation that traveled to Tokyo was made up of the Coordinator of the Cante de las Minas Foundation, Manuel José Navarro Jiménez, technical advisor Juan Carlos Albaladejo Montoro, writer, journalist, winner of the National Prize of Flamencology and regular contributor to the Festival, Juan Vergillos, Hispanic Japanese journalist and record producer, specialized in the field of flamenco music, Mariko Ogura, and the renowned flamenco guitarist Cañizares, who in addition to performing, was a member of the jury in the categories of singing and guitar.

All of them have expressed their satisfaction with the development of the competitions, and were able to observe the great admiration felt by the Japanese for flamenco, which has become the country with the second most followers of this art in the world, just behind Spain.

For his part, the Executive Chairman of the Cante de las Minas Foundation, and Mayor of La Unión, Francisco Bernabé, congratulated both the Spanish delegation and those in charge of ANIF for the excellent work they did over the course of these days.

©YUKI OMORI_Kaori_horikoshi  ©YUKI OMORI_Keiko–ishikawa 2  ©YUKI OMORI_yoko_omori 2  ©YUKI OMORI_Keiko–ishikawa  ©YUKI OMORI_Kaori_horikoshi 2

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