The idea to create a flamenco interpretation of the text and themes in Sophocles' Antigone began when Noche Flamenca's Artistic Director Martín Santangelo encountered the Living Theatre's production of the classic play and was struck by the battle between an individual, disenfranchised woman and the authority of the state and its patriarchy. The idea resurfaced in 2010 when judge Baltasar Garzon was suspended from the Spanish court for his efforts to publicly honor those who fought against Franco, allowing families to bury their relatives previously left in mass graves. This breach of democracy struck Santangelo as similar to the conflict in Antigone, confirming his belief that the story is alive and relevant today. At its heart, however, the story of Antigone resonates with the roots of flamenco, which is based not in any one culture or region, but on the strength of family. Antigone's story is her humanity and her quest to bury her brother, regardless of the circumstances.

Honoring the Greek tradition of sung poetry and musical accompaniment, Santangelo studied the poetry of Sophocles, then translated and re-wrote the text into lyrics. In collaboration with his wife and principal dancer, Soledad Barrio, who plays the role of Antigona, Santangelo began the development process for Antigona in 2012, working with the company in Spain for five weeks over the summer. Together with company members Eugenio Iglesias and Salva de María, Santangelo created vocal interpretations, wrote lyrics to enhance the emotional impact of the story, and composed the musical accompaniment from which the choreography was developed.

Since that time, rehearsals and workshops have taken place at the company's New York City studio, in San Juan Bautista at El Teatro Campesino, and at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The final development phase took place with the company's creative residence at the Meany Center for the Performing Arts in Seattle immediately prior to the world premiere in October 2014 at the Meany Center for the Performing Arts.

Commenting on the University of Washington residency, Meany Center Artistic Director Michelle Witt stated, "This project is a step towards the realization of a new initiative to actively support the creative process of leading international artists, working across creative disciplines." 

One of the most exciting aspects of this project has been the opportunity to work with artists outside the dance world who are primarily in exemplary in their own fields, including theater director Lee Breuer and visual artist Mary Frank. Santangelo believes strongly that collaborating has expanded his perspectives on developing theater and dance.

The themes in the work include catharsis, issues of dictatorship, repression, loss, the strength of family, and female empowerment; strong themes not only in Sophacles, but also in flamenco, all of which Barrio, in particular, is keenly aware of. Her mother's family lived through the dictatorship of Franco's Spain, surviving desperate hunger and civil war, yet proved themselves to be far stronger than their male counterparts. Barrio grew up with all of this in her blood and as one of the most powerful artists living today, in any genre, is ideally positioned to embody all of this in her performance. Antigone was the first female heroine written for the stage. She was not afraid to show her strength, her pain, and her passion, all attributes that are deep at the heart of flamenco. 


Conceived, Adapted and Directed by
Martín Santangelo

Soledad Barrio
Martín Santangelo

Additional Choreography
Isabel Bayón

Consulting Director
Lee Breuer

Mask Design Based on the Work of
Mary Frank

Eugenio Iglesias, Salva de María, & Martín Santangelo

Vocal Arrangements
Eugenio Iglesias, Salva de María, & Martín Santangelo 

Assistant to the Director
Marina Scannell

Artistic Consultant
Gabriela Goldin Garcia 

Lyrics Adapted & Written by
Martín Santangelo

Produced by
Sharon Levy
Dovetail Productions, Inc.

Production Design
S. Benjamin Farrar

Costume Design
Soledad Barrio

Mask Artisan
Sydney Moffat



Booking Inquiries:

Thomas O. Kriegsmann, President

Antigona was made possible through the generous support of the following individuals and organizations:

  • Wendy vanden Heuvel and Luly Santangelo.

  • New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • An award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

  • Noche Flamenca’s residency partners: El Teatro Campesino, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and the Meany Center for the Performing Arts.

For a copy of our 2016-17 tech rider, please click here.

For a copy of our 2016-17 electronic press kit, please click here.