About Us

Flamenco Romántico Academy of Gypsy Flamenco Arts   Santa Cruz, California Flamenco

Photo by Madeline Berger

Flamenco Romántico is the artistic collaboration of guitarist Federico Anteola Mejia and dancer Marianna Baskin Gabriel Mejia. "Through our art our love grows and our art together expresses and is fueled by our love”.

Federico has been playing guitar for 50 years. Over 25 years ago he and Marianna met at music camp and Marianna began to study Flamenco so she could dance to his music. They became close friends, but not until the end of 1997 did they become Flamenco Romántico; when their relationship finally became intensely romantic. They were married on Federico’s birthday, June 10, 2000.

Federico, playing harp, may be heard on the CD by master cantaor, Luis Agujeta, "Entre Tu Tierra Y La Mia".


Who we are

Federico Anteola Mejia has played Flamenco guitar since he was nine years old, although he started out learning to dance. He has performed extensively, including many years at both the famous Spaghetti Factory in San Francisco, and at the Northern and Southern Renaissance Fairs in California. In New York he played Flamenco guitar in Man of La Mancha on Broadway. He has performed regularly at the Hyatt in Hawaii, El Meson and La Bodega in San Francisco, and many other venues throughout California, Hawaii and New York. He made and repaired guitars for many years. Federico "Freddie" Mejia is currently recovering from a major stroke suffered in early 2006. He recently returned to study in Sevilla, Spain in 2007 for almost 3 months, in 2008 for 6 months and again in 2009 for 2 1/2 months. From 1999 - 2003 Freddie studied with Carlos Heredia and/or Paco Fernández at least two months out of every year. More rrecently he has also studied extensively with Juan del Gastor. Federico plays harp on the Luis Agujeta CD, Entre Tu Tierra y La Mia. We have some pre-stroke guitar on this site with Freddie accompanying Angelita Agujetas.


Marianna Baskin Gabriel Mejia grew up studying modern and ballet dance and writing poetry. As an adult she became a professional belly dancer and instructor, a career which lasted twenty five years. In the 1970's she met Federico and wanted to learn to dance to his music. She began her ongoing study of Flamenco dance and music then while continuing her Middle Eastern dance. In 1997 Marianna and Federico began their current artistic collaboration. Throughout the years they had artistically inspired each other and this time they decided to let themselves really do it. Since then, Marianna has studied and practiced Flamenco intensively (leaving the Belly Dance in the background). She spent four months of daily study in Sevilla with Concha Vargas in 1999 and two months doing the same in 2000 and then again in 2001 for three months. Until 2003 she and Federico lived in Spain every year for two or three months, studying Flamenco intensively and making good friends. Marianna has described these rigorous adventures in her writing Chronicles of Spain and the accompanying photographs, on this web site. Marianna currently teaches Flamenco dance classes with Federico in their beautiful poolside studio in Soquel, California.

We are Flamenco Romántico because we fell in love in all dimensions. We love each other's music and dance, and we love each other. On Federico's sixty first birthday in June of 2000, we were married at our beautiful home which we call Paraíso.

As "aging" Flamencos, our dream is to bring a bit of the Spain we love to our home, to pass on this art to the many Flamenco aficionados here in the United States. Our home is the site of our Academy. It is always in the process of unfolding. We welcome other Flamenco aficionados and artists to come and study here, on this peaceful and beautiful hilltop.

We have both been drawn to the Gypsy style of Flamenco, as contrasted to concert or classical styles. We like the way the old people dance, sing and play music and want to bring top artists from Spain to teach this more traditional style. There will always be something modern in it all because the music and artists are alive, but the root will be that pure rhythmical Flamenco that Gypsies dance in the pueblos of southern Spain. And we want them to teach every aspect they can of the Flamenco arts.

That is why we call ourselves the Flamenco Romántico Academy of Gypsy Flamenco Arts.

For recent photos & writings also see our facebook page (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

More Photos of

Flamenco Romántico

Photos by Madeline Berger Copyright 1999

Our Trips to Spain

These are some photos & writings from our trips to Spainand of visiting Flamencos in our home.

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Photo by Madeline Berger

Writings and Photographs Copyright 1999-2009

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