SPANISH FLAMENCO Singer – Dancer
Photo by John Skalicky
Photo by John Skalicky
Miguel Bernal, Spanish and Flamenco dancer/singer/writer, started his professional dance career at a very young age at Las Golondrinas Restaurant at Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles. During this period Miguel was performing with his sisters as Los Hermanos Bernal, working alongside many Latin and Hollywood celebrities including Maria Victoria, Tito Guizar, Tony Curtis and Ricardo Montalban.
In Los Angeles his Spanish Dance teachers have been Inesita and Carmelita Maracci. While in Hollywood he studied Musical Theatre Dance with George Tapps and Gene Nelson, whom later directed Miguel in the stage musical “Magdalene”. Miguel also worked with Hermes Pan in the Columbia film musical ”Lost Horizon” with Liv Ullmann and Bobby Van. Later with his sisters he performed in Musical Comedy shows such as “Annie Get Your Gun”, “The Music Man” and “Godspell”, the latter two productions with actor/director Squire Fridell.
His focus on dance took him first to Mexico City, where he studied with The Ballet Folklorico of Mexico and Flamenco with Joaquin Fajardo, as well as ascertaining various performances throughout the Capitol. A few years later Miguel Bernal embarked on extensive studies of Classical Spanish dance and Flamenco in Spain. In Madrid Miguel studied with renowned dance teachers Faico, Rosario, Martin Vargas, Eloy Pericet and his mentor Pilar Lopez.
Upon returning to the United States, his talents took him to perform as guest artist with dance companies in theatres such as The Summerland Theatre in Las Vegas, The Los Angeles Music Center, Barnsdall Theatre, Wilshire Ebell, The Tower Theatre in Bent, Oregon, the Gibson Amphitheatre in Hollywood, Orange County Performing Arts Center, New York University, The Fredonia Opera House in New York and New Mexico University Theatre.
Miguel & Company has been presented in a multitude of locations; i.e. Coronado Hotel, Disneyland Hotel, Beverly Hilton, Biltmore Hotel, Century City Hotel and Spa, Riviera Country Club, Wilshire Country Club, The St. Regis Century City, The Playboy Mansion, Queen Mary, Hollywood Palladium, Petersen Museum, Armand Hammer Museum and for the premiere of “Mission Impossible 2”.
Miguel has performed with Luisa Triana in a Jose Fernandez Tribute, Lupe Del Rio, Lola Montes, Chinin De Triana, Inesita, climaxing with the Jose Greco & Nana Lorca Dance Company, which included performances with the Boston Pops Symphony, the Stockton Symphony and appearances throughout Los Angeles.
Miguel has just completed a guest artist appearance with the Marina Symphony Orchestra in Manuel De Falla’s “El Amor Brujo”. For many years Miguel worked at the El Cid Flamenco Restaurant, the then leading Tablao of Los Angeles, which led to work in other tablaos including The Barcelona, Cava, Sangria, Casa Escobar, Luna Negra and Café Sevilla.
As an actor/dancer Miguel participated with The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, touring in productions of Garcia Lorca plays “Dona Rosita La Soltera” and “Bodas De Sangre” with Carmen Zapata; he also worked with Bob Hope’s Hollywood USO Shows touring our local military bases.
Miguel has made many television appearances, most recently The Latin Grammy’s, “The Passion of Flamenco” and the award-winning “The Spirit of Flamenco” filmed at Time/Warner Studios in San Diego. Miguel & Co. just completed a film documentary on “Flamenco” for Pro-Vision TV for distribution in Japan.
Hollywood movie stars continue to sing their praises to the talented dancing of Miguel Bernal including Ruta Lee who hired Miguel to perform for the Thalians, Dixie Carter, Hal Holbrook, Julie Newmar, Terry Moore, Michael Constantine, Willie Nelson and Michael Douglas.
Aside from his acting/dance career, in recent years Miguel, aka Michael Bernal, has been a contributing writer to magazines such as “Films of the Golden Age” and “Classic Images”, with biographies on such Hollywood entertainers as Desi Arnaz, Elsa Lanchester and his pen pal and mentor of many years, famed tap dancer Eleanor Powell.
“Miguel’s dancing shows beauty and talent”
Tom Bradley, Former Los Angeles Mayor
“Serious and profound dancer”
Jose Greco, Spanish Dance Legend
“Miguel is one of the few Spanish artists with both style and virtuosity”
“Who could not be entranced by the passionate dancing of Miguel Bernal”
“His strong presence, long lines and elegant execution dominated the evening”
Las Vegas Call Back
“Miguel’s performance is magical and makes my heart sing”
Ruta Lee, Actor
“A fabulous dancer”
Terry Moore, Actor