New York celebrates flamenco's magical enchantment starting Tuesday with an expo of some of the marks it has made on the intense cultural life of the Big Apple over the past 100 years.

"This exhibition is the biggest thing that ever happened to flamenco here - five months of telling people the history of flamenco in New York," Carlota Santana, founder of Flamenco Vivo, told Efe.

Conceived as a multimedia expo open until Aug. 3, one of its gems is a rare 1934 recording by Federico Garcia Lorca and Antonia "La Argentina" Merce during a performance in New York.

"The idea of creating the company was to take the flamenco of the "tablaos" (flamenco bars) into the theater. And that's what we've done for 30 years," Santana told Efe, before receiving the Order of the Civil Merit Cross from the Spanish consul in the city, Juan Ramon Martinez Salazar.

For Santana, a New Yorker by birth but an Andalusian at heart, taking the expo to the New York Public Library and the Lincoln Center shows that flamenco "is on the same level" as other revered arts like ballet and modern dance.

"My goal was to take flamenco from a lowly folk art not worth anything right to the top," the flamenco dancer said.

For his part, the Spanish attache for cultural affairs in new York, Iñigo Ramirez de Haro, assured Efe that flamenco "is in the best of health" and is one of the Spanish cultural expressions most loved by American audiences. 

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