12 Days: Compania Carmen Romero and The School of Flamenco Dance

Jan. 13, 2020

Dance Ontario's DanceWeekend'20 is less than two weeks away! Today we are featuring Compania Carmen Romero and The School of Flamenco Dance.

DanceWeekend'20 is happening January 25 & 26, 2020 at the Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre.

 

Connect with Compania Carmen Romero and The School of Flamenco Dance:

www.carmenromero.ca

Instagram: companiacarmenromero

Facebook :@carmenromeroflamenco

 

Can you tell us little bit about your company/collective/school?

Carmen Romero is known for her powerful performances. “she ….delivers flamenco with a raw immediacy that is far closer to the source than a lot of the theatrical Spanish dance passed off as authentic." -  Toronto Star

Compañía Carmen Romero is a flamenco dance and music collective based out of Toronto, Canada. Originally founded in 1986 by Carmen Romero as artistic director to Candela Flamenca.

Carmen Romero is of Spanish heritage and was raised in Canada. It is remarkable that she has developed a collective of dancers and musicians that went on to perform with the collective, in Europe the United States and Asia. 

"The exclusive focus and depth of Romero’s commitment to the art of flamenco is not just understandable given her family heritage, but somehow fitting and more authentic.  She truly belongs to the history of flamenco in a way not easily achieved by non-Spanish dancers." Dance International

The collective was then a group of musicians and dancers who performed primarily at municipal and multicultural events. The collective produced three full-length theatrical flamenco productions: El Embrujo (The Bewitched) (1993), Flamenco Ayer y Hoy (Flamenco Yesterday and Today) (1997) and Carmen Complex (2003). Flamenco de Ayer y Hoy premiered at DanceWorks at the DuMaurier Theatre Centre, Toronto, then toured Canada the United States parts of Europe and Asia until 2002. The collective also created many smaller works such as Luna Llena (Full Moon) (1998), presented at fFIDA: this work competed in the 9th annual Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco at the prestigious Teatro Albeniz in Madrid, Spain.Compania Carmen Romero is recognized as an international flamenco dance company representing Canada.

School of Flamenco Dance Arts

Carmen Romero directs and teaches the art of flamenco as an interdisciplinary language. She founded her school  in 1990. Her main focus is teaching you the language and helping you develop your own aesthetic. Many dancers and musicians have graduated from the school and are pursuing their own creative work as independent artists as well as working under the direction of flamenco companies in Canada and abroad.

From beginner to professional, children to adults, students learn to develop rhythm, movement, song and music. As you become more proficient, Carmen will lead you on a path of exploration in choreographic and musical creation. Flamenco is about life and it is a lifelong practice where you never stop learning and lets you discover you passion. Annual parties, guest artist workshops, Flamenco markets, recitals and public presentations offer students an opportunity to share their love for flamenco.

 

What are showing at DanceWeekend’20?Program notes for Dance weekend 2020?

Compañía Carmen Romero
Variaciones Flamencas

Choreography: Carmen Romero

Music: Julian Berg Guitarist, Claudia Aguirre vocalist

Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan

Dancers: Carmen Romero, Ardith Bearvedlt, Ana Giuliano,Emma Aragon, Helen Lianis, Kelly Enston,Sara Cabrera-Aragon, Raquel Romero, Juanita Garces Restrepo, Sienna Markham.

About the work: Variaciones Flamenca are a compilation of works created by Carmen Romero that represent her aesthetic and her curiosity to explore relationships in dance amongst dancers and musicians. There are three works, the first is a dialogue between two people who communicate through music. The second is a traditional flamenco work entitled De Oro y Plata (Of Gold and Silver) based on the mining songs of southern Spain and choreographerd her advance students of the school. The third work is a structured improvisation within the flamenco form that require artists to communicate and react in the moment.

About Compañía Carmen Romero:

Award winning artistic director, Carmen Romero has developed a rich aesthetic that reflects her desire to use flamenco as a language of expression in and outside of its traditional context. She uses Flamenco is a language used to connect with audiences. Generating creations through experiences in life, relationships, and many forms of art and music.  The company works within a collaborative spirit and invite curiosity, challenge, and risk into the process.

Who are the performers/collaborators in this piece(s)? 

Carmen Romero, Julian Berg, Justin Brown, Claudia Aguirre, Andvance dancers from the school of flamenco Dance arts.

Can you talk about your creative process? What inspires you? 

My creative process is organic in that I create in the moment based on context. This context can be a theme, a feeling or external stimuli such as music, architecture or experience.  Sometimes I create story boards, vision or mood boards to keep me focused. When working with musicians I collaborate with them and start from the point of improvisation to explore and extract elements of skill, aesthetic and sentiment.  I am inspired by the human condition. I am very interested in relationships, be it among living creatures or inanimate structures.  My work has a strong commitment to my audience as their energy is integral to how we all relate in the moment during performance.

Please share your experience performing in a previous DanceWeekend and/or tell us what you are looking forward to at DanceWeekend’20? 

It has been more than 20 years that Compania Carmen Romero has performed at DanceWeekend.  Previous experiences were always positive and it feels good to be included amongst other wonderful artists.

What is one surprising or interesting fact about your company/collective/school?

My company is the only flamenco dance company to have performed in renowned flamenco festivals such as Nimes festival du flamenco-France, Encuentro de la Castanuelas-Girona, Spain, Certamen de Coreografia de danza Espanola y flamenco- Madrid, Singapore Centre.  Carmen Romero was hired by Shakira to coach her on her Gypsy song for Sale el Sol world tour.

Do you have any up-coming performances/events you would like to share?

Compania Carmen Romero is production for several new works for 2021 season. Stay tuned.

Photo: Carmen Romero by Marc Lesperance