Marina Tamayo – Biography

Family tree, Carmona-Guerrero , Montes-Tamayo. – de Granada. 

Review: Worldtimetoday 11, Sept, 2022

We begin in the Chihuahuan desert, where a proud flamenco dancer named Zilah (Marina Tamayo) conjures up a wild storm from the thin wooden plank beneath her feet while cartel thugs point their guns at her. Moments later, Zilah’s thunderous footsteps – the upcoming film’s wild heartbeat – are replaced by the sound of a single gunshot. Carmen, by Benjamin Millepied, 2022

Flamenco Artist – Choreographer 

Marina Tamayo

Marina Tamayo is described as an artist possessing ‘duende’ – gitana. Former dance partner artist (1982 – 1986) Antonio Vargas known from Strictly Ballroom fame, playing the role of the Flamenco dancing father, RICO, describes her as “a dancer that holds nothing back”,  Aitor Hernandez  former dance partner (2015 – 2019) , former dancer of the Nacional Ballet of Spain, described Marina as  “one of the most powerful artists I have met on stage, crafting magic in her every movement” and for her solo in Benjamin Millepeads (2022) feature film re-imagining CARMEN, US Edition Film Magazine Variety  journalist   Jazz Tangcay described her solo as ,’jaw dropping’.


Review US news: ” The pre-release film festival kicks off in the fall via Sony Pictures Classics, in Mexico with a stunning flamenco figure featuring Marina Tamayo as Carmen’s mother on the family home grounds.   Sept 12, 2022 Carmen, by Benjamin Millepied 


In the last decade, Marina Tamayo has dedicated herself to solo performance and theatrical work. Sydney based, she is a dual nominated and award winning artist who recently was recognised at The Australian Dance Awards for her ‘Service to Dance’. The following year, 2019, she was recognised for her  ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’ with Aitor Hernandez former dancer of the Ballet Nacional of Spain. In 2021, she was accepted for a choreographic residency as a DAIR contemporary choreographer sponsored by AusdanceNSW 2021 and in 2022 she took a position on the Standing Advisory Committee.

Relentless in the pursuit of cultural engagement, Marina Tamayo spends much of her time in Australia teaching Flamenco, creating shows with her Flamenco Ballet company Las Peinetas and working in the community, for the community.

Marina Tamayo views her works as a gift to share: ” I believe in the notion that artists are called where they are needed the most. So, wherever I go, I go with my whole heart”.

Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia


Biography In Detail


Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia

Do not use without permission. 

Marina Tamayo is a Sydney based freelance teacher and choreographer.  Marina began developing her skills in choreography, teaching and her performance career simultaneously, with her first position at the age of fourteen years, 1981. Since then, Tamayo has choreographed for Ballet schools, eisteddfods, fitness clubs, Spanish Community, private and public schools, performers, cabaret, fashion week, television, film, dance videos, private shows, events and corporate engagements.

Tamayo’s Flamenco Sydney classes began in 1998 at The Sydney Dance Company wharf  studios, Spanish Dance School,  and The Spanish Club Sydney. Later, Marina opened her own professional Flamenco studio and is the founder and Director of, Flamenco Australia, 1998.

Flamenco Australia has been operating for over twenty-eight years. It hosts international artists, produces major dance works, engages Australian community in classes, tutorials, festivals and shows.  The company has successfully formed and produced professional touring groups nationally,  such as Flamenco del Mar, Flamenkitas, multi award nominated and winning Hernandez Tamayo Spanish Dance Theatre  and currenty, Las Peinetas ( a six piece Flamenco Ballet company).

I love dancing and have taken up flamenco dancing with teacher Marina Tamayo and my dance partner from the show Megan Wragg is doing it with me – I love it.” Miguel Maestre Chef Living Room ch10

In 2006, Flamenco Australia reached out to the international arts market, drawing artists from Spain to Australia, sharing their expertise by mentoring Australian flamenco dancers and musicians in formal international workshops and performances.

Marina Tamayo has performed, taught and choreographed globally, for over 38yrs.   Her studies include Ballet in both RAD and Cecchetti ,  classical pianoforte music composition and theory at The Conservatorium of Music, Audio Engineering and has postgraduate studies in Production Sound Engineering. In addition, graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Education from Curtin University and currently registered with the NSW Board of Education (NESA) as a Teacher.



Ausdance NSW DAIR, 2021 Grant for residency at The McDonald Performing Arts College (completed in 2022). In collaboration with Victor Zarallo for a reimagining of BOLERO.

Finalist in the The Australian Dance Awards 2018,   for her ‘Service to Dance’, presented by the Australian Dance Council.

  •  Recognised for her commitment, passion and dedication to the arts, cultural community sectors and her extensive contributions of twenty five years which scope both regional, nation arts education, creative performance and arts business sectors.

Finalist,  2019 Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography 

  • In 2020, Marinas collaborative dance company Hernandez Tamayo was Australia’s first Spanish Dance Company to be a finalist in the Choreographic awards for their work EMERALD. 

Winner for Best Costume at Auckland Festival of Arts, New Zealand

  • 2019, Tour to NZ, Auckland Festival – Best Costume Award for EMERALD Design by James Penrose and Hernandez Tamayo

Adelaide Fringe, 2013

  • 2013 The Advertiser ‘Most Recommended Show’ 4.5 Stars The Sounds of Spain for Adelaide Fringe Festival
Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia.  Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.


Featured in several Spanish books, music videos and University research documentary thesis papers.

  • Roger James, Bringing Back the Damsons Meditative Poems
  • North Sydney Studio of Dancing, 
  • Nellie Bennet, Only in SPAIN – The New Season, Where’s your Culo?
  • Miguel Maestre Cooking Bookings, TAPAS Vol I & vol II. 
Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia.  Broken Hill, NSW 2021. Copyright. Do not use without permission.


As a choreographer, Tamayo is dedicated to quality and authentic creative process. As an advocate for social justice, Marina promotes inquiry inside and outside boundaries to promote discussion, challenge ideas, and assumptions in varied contexts. The purpose of this deep inquiry is to contribute towards social change, for equity in all living beings, through performing arts.

Tamayo’s theatre works are guided by Andalusian folklore and storytelling. These choreographies often explore human nature, our needs for connection and include personal narratives.

”  Likely the most professional modern flamenco dancers to grace us. Performers’ footwork, costumes and music were superseded only by their energy, grace and passion.Final Word: Spectacular”
– Jenny Smith, Rip It Up
RIt Up website –   
Tamayos The Sounds of Spain

Tamayo’s  objectives for her dance performance and choreographic contributions focus on connecting and inspiring her audience, to be a voice for the unspoken, to listen to the unheard and contribute towards making a more mindful society.


Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.

Marina specialises in theatre, television and film.   Choreographic clients include Wolf Blass, Emirates, Merivale, SBS, Channel 7, Channel 10, FOX, Disney Kids, Australian Grand Prix, Soccer Australia, Miguel Maestre, National Gallery of Victoria . 

Most recently, Marina was invited as the guest soloist, to perform at the Winter Exhibition held in The National Gallery of Victoria for the Picasso Centurion dinner.  Tamayo was accompanied by Jerez guitarist,  Paco Lara.



Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.
Photo not to be used without permission. NSW 2021.


In July 2021, Marina was offered a position as faculty character teacher of the ATOD, Australian Teachers of Dancing Certificate IV/ Diploma course for full time Ballerinas, at CB121 (Classical Ballet 121). Marina works alongside former Royal Ballet Company dancers Gillie Reevie and Iohna Loots.

In September 2022, Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia  invited Tamayo to be a guest teacher for his Master Choreographers Program 2022 at The, with Sylvie Guillum as Patron.


Artist: Marina Tamayo, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.


Current Clients/Referees include;

  • Ambassador of culture Miguel Maestre in his marketing Spanish culinary campaigns and TV shows, since 2012 – current (Choreographer)
  • Paulette Clark at Ribbleton Warmbloods as the worldwide MovementART Master instructor , since 2017 – current
  • Local business operator Kevin Bowen at Alegrias Spanish Restaurant, choreographing and managing their Spanish dance entertainment, since 2015 – current.
  • Classical Ballet 121, Gillie Reevie Classical Ballet Full time Dance (Choreographer)
  • Jesus Olmedo, Flamenco London, since 2017.  (Performer/Teacher/Choreographer)
  • Aitor Hernandez Sanzano, since 2017  (Performer/Teacher/Choreographer)
  • Rossy D Palma, 2019, Performer, Choreographer) Carmen, the movie
  • Melissa Barrera 2019, Performer, Choreographer) Carmen, the movie.
  • Benjamin Millepead, 2019 (Performer, Choreographer) Carmen, the movie.
Jesus Olmedo y Marina Tamayo

INERTIA. Photo by Adam Sills, 2016. Peacock Theatre, Tasmania. Copyright. Do not use photo without permission. 


  • to promote  Spanish and Gypsy culture for Australian society which is designed and delivered within a contemporary context.  
  • to create opportunities for accessible performing arts engagement
  • to promote equity in accessing art
  • to represent cultural storytelling authentically by preserving its traditional richness in a contemporary discourse.
Artists: Marina Tamayo & Aitor Hernandez, Hernandez Tamayo Spanish Dance Theatre, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.

Photo by Cassie Strain, Hobart, Tasmania, 2019. Copyright. Do not use without permission.

Marina Tamayo has dedicated her career towards raising the level of professional Flamenco dance practises within the Australia dance industry for over 38 years. This is achieved by adhering to and aligning with safe dance practises, writing contemporary curriculum, embedding professional assessment and protocols and quality education. Academically, Tamayo committed herself to gaining formal teaching and project qualifications to ensure professional standards are achieved. The following are some  academic studies;

Marina Tamayo is on the standing committee of Ausdance NSW, acting in a advisory role.  Her academics include: Degree in Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Audio Engineering and Production Engineering, Certificate in Project Management, Contract Law, Business Analysis, Effective Communications, Implementation of Projects. Philosophy and Metaphysics at Macquarie University, Visible Learning with Corwin Australia. Further studies in both pianoforte classical piano at the Conservatorium of music and Theory of music, and composition.

Artists: Marina Tamayo & Aitor Hernandez, Hernandez Tamayo Spanish Dance Theatre, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.


EMERALD. Photo by M. Tamayo. Hobart MOVES Contemporary Dance   Festival, 2018. Copyright. Do not use without permission. 

Press on this link below to see the short promo. 



EMERALD, crossed various dance disciplines, and was presented in a contemporary format.  It was constructed through an arts residency of Professor Kelly Drummond-Cawthon and premiered in Hobart, Tasmania, NSW  at the MOVE Contemporary Dance Festival. It was included into the Festival of Auckland Arts program and was presented at the Auckland Fringe, New Zealand season. The show received five stars and rave theatre reviews. EMERALD picked another award for its courtier costumes designed by James Penrose (Melbourne) and Hernandez Tamayo at the Auckland Fringe Festival, New Zealand, 2020 for ‘Best Costuming’.

Artists: Marina Tamayo & Aitor Hernandez, Hernandez Tamayo Spanish Dance Theatre, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.

Photo by Susan Sisel, Hernandez Tamayo in EMERALD 2018, Tasmania. Do not reproduce without permission.

Hernandez Tamayo company was supported by Professor Kelly Cawthon Drummond by offering a Artist in Residence in Moonah Arts Theatre to create and produce EMERALD. Further support was received by philanthropist Doctor Neralie Wise. The technical team included Aaaron Lee –  Music Editor, Jonathon Abatte Ramirez – Guitarist, Jason James – Lighting Design, Les Allistair – Set Design, and James Penrose  – Costume Design.



Artists: Marina Tamayo & Aitor Hernandez, Hernandez Tamayo Spanish Dance Theatre, Flamenco Australia. Copyright 2021. Do not use without permission.

FOLKMENCO Photo by Sandi Sissel, 2017 Moonah Arts, Tasmania. Copyright. Permission needed to use phot, Jo.

Marina’s theatre works are guided by folklore and storytelling.


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