P U E L A L U N A R I S
Native Spaniard, Pilar Sanchez Herrera, known artistically as Puela Lunaris is a New York City-based contemporary barefoot Flamenco dancer, dance educator, multi-medium producer, teacher trainer, and scholar.
In 1994, she founded Dances of the World Society, an international network that supports her endeavors in rescuing dance and music in danger of extinction.
Her work integrates the primordial aspects of dance and music with the cutting-edge aspects of technology to leave a legacy for generations to come.
Besides her fieldwork and scholarly research, Puela has earned a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York, with a double major in Dance Education and Spanish Language & Culture, as well as a Master of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from New York University.
One of her initiatives as Dances of the World Society founder is The Chanelar Flamenco Project, which currently focuses on rescuing two aspects of Flamenco in danger of extinction: Zambra and Feminine Flamenco.
Puela has been hailed by the New York City Center Education Department as a “World-renowned teacher, researcher and dancer, who carries the flame of an almost forgotten ancient Flamenco Tradition, The Zambra Flamenca.”
Puela was a founding member of the New York Flamenco Festival Educational Program at New York City Center, where she contributed as a Teaching Artist and a Consultant for over a decade, providing essential ethnographic frames of reference on the art of Flamenco.
She has also taught and guest lectured at NYU, Hollins University in Virginia, University of Extremadura (Spain), Peter Gabriel's W.O.M.A.D. Festivals, the prestigious Centro Andaluz de Danza in Seville, the Performing Arts Network in Miami Beach, as well as at the Juilliard School, and the Instituto Cervantes in New York City.
A devoted and loving dance educator, she teaches world-wide since 2008 through her Online Academy at PuelaLunaris.com, where she leads Dance Teacher Trainings, offering official certifications by the UNESCO's International Dance Council.
Puela’s celebrated performance “Ancestral Memory,” inspired by Martha Graham’s autobiography, premiered at the Alexander the Great's Throne Room, during the International Babylon Festival, in the ancient city of Babylon (Iraq). “Ancestral Memory” was also highly acclaimed by members of the Jordanian Royal Family in Amman.
Puela has also performed for former Vice-president Al Gore and Dr. Deepak Chopra at the opening gala of the Alliance for the New Humanity in San Juan (PR). Other memorable performances include those of the Centro Cultural de la Villa (Madrid), Universidad de Sevilla, Teatro Central (Sevilla), and the off-Broadway show Goddessdance (New York City)
On a mission to save dance and music in danger of extinction, Puela is the producer of the Sacred Spain Trilogy, which documents Flamenco as a rite and a traditional expression.
The Rap & The Cross, the first documentary in the trilogy was awarded grants from the Consulate of Spain in New York and the Foundation for Ethnic Dance.
The film premiered at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and was also featured at the Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Film Festival, at the World Music Institute Film Festival in New York City, and at the Museo del Flamenco in Seville (Spain).
Passionate about making her culture accessible to international audiences by producing quality educational materials, Puela has produced the Duende Flamenco Practice Music Series, used by dancers and musicians to understand the intricate Flamenco rhythms.
Puela has also served as the Curator, Artistic Director, and Producer of the Legendary Gypsy Masters Anthology, which contains 11 albums with more than 200 songs covering 23 different Flamenco styles. Puela is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Aware that in our highly sedentary, media-intense culture, we need to move and be connected with our bodies more than ever, Puela is enthusiastic about taking the power of dance off the stage and into people's lives.
For that, she founded Movement Arts for Well-Being™, a comprehensive holistic wellness system that includes several highly effective mind-body programs, including:
* The Focusing Energy of Rhythm™, an active mindfulness meditation to gain control over our most precious resource: our attention.
* Archetypal Wisdom™, which uses creative movement and guided meditations to activate the power of archetypes, so we can be more productive at work and more fulfilled in life.
* Ananda Yoga-Dance™, a practice that has been lauded, since 2005, as rejuvenating, invigorating, and fun.
* The Dance of the Universe™, a whirling meditation to expand creativity and increase the power of your bio-electromagnetic field.
Hailed by the Village Voice as a “workshop leader who guides you through a sacred labyrinth of powerful unconscious forces,” Puela has appeared on TV in North America and Europe, including NBC, CNN, Univision and PBS in the United States, the R.A.I. in Italy, and TVE, Telecinco, Antena 3, Canal Sur and TV Marbella in Spain.
Driven by her mission to inform, inspire, and empower people to live healthier, happier lives through dance, Puela is devoted to researching and teaching ways to enliven our creative spirit, so we can live our most fulfilling lives.