Fanny Ara began her dance studies at age three, studying ballet and Contemporary dance at the Irene Popard School in St. Jean de Luz in the French Basque country. As a child, she studied Spanish classical dance with Catalina Gommes and traveled regularly to Madrid to train with maestros Isabel Quintero and Antonio Najarro. In addition to her dance training, she also studied piano at the Bayonne School of Art for eleven years. After earning a BA in Literature with a specialty in Music from The Bayonne School of Art, she relocated to Spain. A two-year intensive in flamenco studies in both Sevilla and Madrid followed with Juana Amaya, El Torombo, Manolo Soler, and Hiniesta Cortes. In Madrid, Fanny was soon featured in flamenco tablaos and was accepted into the prestigious Academy of Mario Maya.
Over the past decade, Fanny has earned the role of one of the most important performers in the country, and is recognized and celebrated by flamenco enthusiasts around the world. Now residing in the Bay Area, she is a company member of Caminos Flamencos, sharing the theater stage with artists such as Antonio de la Malena, Manuel de la Malena, Juan Ogalla, Domingo Ortega, David Paniagua and Juñares. She has been a regularly featured artist in Flamenco Festivals including Lluvia Flamenca, Tucson Flamenco Festival, and Dallas Flamenco Festival. She has also been an invited artist in international festivals including the Australia Festival de Guitarra and has toured extensively in Canada, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa , and throughout Europe. Some of her most notable performances include work with the Eva Longoria Foundation, performance at the George V in Paris with the grand pianist Diego Amador and at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles with the world-renown Antonio Carmona in 2013. In April 2014, one of Fanny's dreams came true when she danced accompanied by the incredible pianists Marielle and Katia Labeque at the Davis Symphony Hall, performing one of the most famous West Side Story songs: “America.” Most recently, Fanny was the principal dancer at the Washington Opera’s season of Carmen.
As an award-winning artist, Fanny has been distinguished since 2006 as a dancer and performer, including nominations from the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards: in 2006 she was nominated in the category of Most Outstanding Individual Dancer, in 2012 her project Juncal Street was nominated in three categories: Most outstanding Music, Ensemble, and Individual Performance, then in in 2015 her performance with the San Francisco Opera in La Traviata was nominated for Best Ensemble. New York’s Vilcek Foundation also awarded Fanny a prestigious finalist prize for “Creative Promise in Dance” in 2012.
As a choreographer and performer, Fanny’s versatility in the art form of flamenco is manifest in her many artistic works, including Magia Flamenca produced in 2007 in Washington DC, receiving critical acclaim, and A Traves de Sus Ojos in 2008, reviewed by Renee Renouf: "always elegant, the reach of her arms generous, frequently evoking unseen forces, body occasionally concave, legs striding in earthy response, fingers spread in exclamation to the rhythms, leaving the stage abruptly, provoking a gasp of delight." She successfully self-produced Garlochi in 2011 and Juncal Street in 2012 with wide acclaim. Most recently, Fanny was a finalist in Madonna’s audition of the “Rebel Heart Tour” and choreographed commercial work for GoPro. Her latest choreographic work, Luz, is sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Pima Arts Council and will tour in 2016.
Fanny continues to be an internationally sought-after choreographer and instructor of flamenco, with students and fans across the globe. Her most dedicated worldwide students especially credit her as one of the driving forces of flamenco today: an artist excelling in the full spectrum of flamenco, from the most traditional to the avant-garde.