We are 49 days away from the opening of Dance Ontario's 25th Anniversary Edition of DanceWeekend!
Leading up to the event we will be introducing the artists/companies that will be presenting works.
First up...Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company!
They will be performing on Sunday January 21 at 6:15pm.
Get to know a little bit about them:
- Can you tell us little bit about your company/collective/school?
After spending many years in Spain performing and touring internationally with top flamenco dance companies Esmeralda Enrique made an impromptu decision to come to Canada when she accepted a performing job at a Spanish night club in Toronto in 1981. On opening night she peaked through the stage curtain and saw a handsome man in the audience. Little did she know that she would meet that man following the performance and he would become her husband. Settling in Toronto, Esmeralda needed to work in her profession as dancer, teacher and choreographer.
In 1982 she founded both the Academy of Spanish Dance and Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. Now 35 years later her school is internationally recognized for quality training in flamenco and Spanish classical dance. The school is held in particularly high regard by the artists from Spain who come to teach master classes and workshops.
The now well established award winning Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company’s history is rooted in flamenco and Spanish Classical dance that honours traditional flamenco singing, dance and music while offering a contemporary aesthetic. EESDC has been presenting an annual Toronto Season since 1990 and has developed an ever expanding repertoire that has earned both critical and popular acclaim. It took many years, if not decades to create a company of unique, talented local dancers and musicians that is recognized for the exceptional level of their productions. The company received two Dora Mavor Moore Awards in addition to numerous nominations over the years. NOW Magazine readers voted EESDC Toronto’s Best Dance Company for 2015. The Company, under Esmeralda’s direction, continues its commitment to imaginative choreography and artistic excellence.
The school and the company studios, located at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite B104, are a hub of flamenco and other dance and arts activities. They are available to rent at reasonable rates for rehearsals, classes, filming, and performances. Visit us at www.flamencos.net
- What will you be showing at DanceWeekend?
Flamenco consists of three integral elements: dance, song and music. For DanceWeekend the company will perform excerpts of existing repertoire to give audiences the opportunity to experience a range of flamenco forms. Each form, such as alegrías, tangos or farruca has its own rhythm structure and emotional quality. Our presentation will offer a small taste of what is to come in our spring concert at Fleck Dance Theatre.
- Can you talk about your creative process? What inspires you?
Flamenco has shaped my life's history. It is my great passion. It excites my mind, it enraptures my soul and comforts my spirit. Through flamenco I find truth, beauty and goodness. Good flamenco is always stirring to the listener who hears with their heart. It communicates beyond what words can describe and beyond what movement can say. It is the language of the soul. Flamenco is more than a profession to me, it is a way of life, and it permeates my personal and professional life through its philosophy of honesty, dignity and integrity. I believe that one does not have to be a performer to be "a flamenco". A flamenco is anyone who is emotionally and actively involved in this philosophy. The art of flamenco is merely the outward expression of the flamenco way of life.
- Do you have any other up-coming performances/events you would like to share?
We will be presenting our annual Toronto Season at the Fleck Dance Theatre May 4-6, 2018. The extraordinary singer Manuel Soto (7th consecutive year with EESDC) and Dora Award winning, internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Juan Ogalla will join our superb Toronto based dancers and musicians for a captivating and exhilarating evening of flamenco and Spanish dance.
- What is one thing you love most about your dance community?
As dance artists in Toronto we thrive by being in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities. This is a rich environment for creative and cultural exchange in all the arts.
- What does performing at the 25th Annual DanceWeekend mean to you?
Our company artists always look forward to participating in DanceWeekend. It provides an opportunity to connect with other performers and provides an unparalleled opportunity to introduce the capacity audiences to flamenco and Spanish dance. Over the many years of participating we know many people have been introduced to our company and have become flamenco enthusiasts because of attending DanceWeekend. It is an honour to be included in the 25th Annual DanceWeekend.
- What is one surprising/interesting fact about your company/collective/school?
It has always been the objective of EESDC to build a flamenco company in Canada that provides audiences an authentic experience of this art form from Andalucía, Spain. That is why our performances have live music and include a singer whose interpretation of songs and their specific rhythms sets the emotional quality for the dancers and other musicians. In the early days of EESDC there were no flamenco singers in Canada and resources didn’t allow us to bring singers from Spain. Now it would be unimaginable to perform without a singer. We now invite Spanish artists, singers in particular, to join us in creating new repertoire and to perform with us as members of the company for our Toronto Season.
Photo by: Cylla von Tiedemann