We are only 14 days away from DanceWeekend 25th Anniversary Edition!
Today's featured company is ¡Arte Flamenco!
They will be performing on Sunday January 21 at 3:40pm!
Find out more about them:
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your company/collective/school?
¡Arte Flamenco! has been around since 1990 when it was originally formed to represent Spain during the CNE's 'Say Si to Spain' exhibit in the summer of 1990. Its school counterpart was established several years later. The focus of ¡Arte Flamenco! has always been to present Flamenco dance works that embrace and honor the traditional style of this art form. In the late ‘90s, ¡Arte Flamenco! embraced the idea of Flamenco dance theatre, where by means of the dance, cante, guitar, and poetry, a story was being told. Themes that were chosen have been profound in nature and rooted in human experience from Alma Encerrada - Encaged Soul (1998) which was based on a personal story of an abused woman to Las Desamparadas estan Llorando – The Helpless are Crying (2006) which portrayed women of a mining town and their despair after a collapse in the mines. The school has also been active in presenting successful sold out performances since 2008 such as the Viva La Danza series, Olė Flamenco series and Pasión Flamenca.
2. What will you be showing at DanceWeekend?
We will be presenting 3 different traditional flamenco dance pieces: Martinete opener into a Tientos/Tangos and Alegrias. There will be a musical solo as well in between the Tientos/Tangos and Alegrias.
3. Can you talk about your creative process? What inspires you?
That is difficult to pinpoint. Any artist can have writer's block that can put a halt to any inspiration when trying to create a piece. And dancers/choreographers such as myself who are in the autumn to winter phase of life and where life seems to take more than it gives, finding inspiration can be challenging. Creativity does not come along when you exactly want it to. However, when it does come it is like a pouring out of ideas, images, emotions that one can put in movement. Thus you are on a creative roll – sometimes only short lived.
Nevertheless, I can best answer this question by reflecting back on the dramatic piece of Alma Encerrada which touched upon abused women. The process is as follows:
a) the reason – why to do it?
b) how to do it? This involves what combinations of rhythms will be used, whether or not poetry or spoken word will be used, etc. In other words I need to write a script of sorts which allows me to see and actually feel (of course in my mind's eye) the entire piece.
I am inspired by all forms of dance and also by live theatre where I can see how one actor relates to another and how the story is being told. My favorite of all time is Soulpepper’s Christmas Carol. I have seen it so many times, but it never ceases to amaze me nor inspire me.
Last, but surely not least, I would have to say it is the dancers, from students of dance to performers in DanceWeekend, who give me the support and thus the inspiration to continue on this journey.
4. Do you have any other up-coming performances/events you would like to share?
Currently working on material for an upcoming 2018 performance. Thus we are in studio working.
5. What is one thing you love most about your dance community?
I respect the different various forms of interpretation of this art form. There is beauty in that.
6. What does performing at the 25th Annual DanceWeekend mean to you?
Firstly, it is an honor to be part of this amazing yearly event. DanceWeekend gives us dance companies/collectives/schools, whether we be of small or large capacity, a great opportunity to present our work. It also serves to bring the dance community together. Each of us has an artistic voice and DanceWeekend allows us to express it. To my recollection, ꜟArte Flamenco! has been part of this event almost from the beginning, which is very emotional for me. I am grateful for all of these past opportunities. I would have to say that DanceWeekend in itself is an incentive to create, to perform and to be part of a larger community we call the dance community.
7. What is one surprising/interesting fact about your company/collective/school?
I am very passionate about teaching. My company and its school counterpart as an organization is an intimate one. I will finish by saying that it is an honor and privilege to guide them on their artistic journey in traditional Flamenco.