Born in Holland and raised in Madrid (Spain), Manuel Barriga studied ballet with Victor Ullate Ballet Academy and Carmina Ocaña School of Ballet. He started his professional career with Ballet San Jose (San Jose, California) then moved to New York City to dance with New York Theatre Ballet while occasionally performing with Barcelona Ballet (known formerly as Corella Ballet) in Natalya Makarova’s La Bayadere and the Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Bejart’s Bolero for the Lincoln Center Festival. In August 2012 Mr. Barriga joined Carolina Ballet for their 15th
season and continued to perform with them for five more seasons. In May 2017, Mr. Barriga retired from the stage to continue teaching ballet, he became a Certified Gyrotonic® Trainer, and recently graduated as a Massage Therapist from Wake Tech Community College. This is Mr. Barriga’s second appearance as a guest artist for the Wake Forest Dance Festival. In his first appearance in 2017, he performed “Yo te quiero siempre”, a song by composer Ernesto Lecuona, with his wife and dancer Mayerlin Muñoz. Mr. Barriga is currently a faculty member at
Destiny Dance Institute in Wake Forest.