Artists – delMar (2017)

Maria Avila

flamenco dancer

Maria Avila has established herself as an independent dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Recent achievements include being awarded a mentorship to study with Myriam Allard. Receiving professional development grants to study in Sevilla, Spain, as well as performing in the 2016 Coetaní Experimental Flamenco Festival in Athens, Greece. Locally she has trained at Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy, Karen Flamenco, and completed Centro Flamenco’s professional two-year dance program. Maria Avila currently performs with Calle Verde, Raises y Alas and La Triana.

Michelle Harding

flamenco dancer

Michelle began her flamenco dance training in Vancouver with Oscar Nieto in 2001 and began performing two years later. Since then she has developed into one of the city’s most experienced and sought-after tablao performers. Beyond this traditional style of flamenco, she has collaborated with artists from outside the usual scope of the form to experiment, innovate and challenge expectations. She has worked with such diverse artists and groups as The Plastic Acid Orchestra, Tyson Naylor (jazz pianist), Mashregh (Persian-flamenco fusion), Wen Wei Wang (contemporary dance), Krystle dos Santos (jazz-soul singer) and Silk Road Music Ensemble.

Michelle has been involved in the Raíces y Alas Flamenco project since its inception and has danced in dozens of professional presentations including performances at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, Victoria Flamenco Festival and many productions with Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre. Michelle has studied flamenco and classical Spanish dance in Spain, Greece, Canada and the USA with funding from the Canada Council. She teaches at Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy.


Dayna Szyndowski

flamenco dancer

Dance and music – inseparable. Dayna’s experiences in dance have all been informed by this connection, and her pursuit of rhythm. She has primarily studied tap dance and its rich history in jazz music and improvisation as a means of communication. This led to investigations in Afro-Cuban & Greek music, body percussion, and most significantly now, her focus on contemporary flamenco. As a result of the magnetic magic of percussive dance and the desire to continuously learn and seek new rhythmic inspiration, Dayna has been fortunate enough to spend time across Canada, the US, Cuba, Spain, and Greece performing and studying with many tap, flamenco, and music greats, and passing on what she has learned as a teacher to all ages and levels.


Elisa Thorn


Originally from Chicago, Thorn moved to Canada to study at the University of British Columbia, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Music in Harp performance. Since graduating in 2011, she has become a sought after addition to the creative music scene as a harpist and composer. Known for her use of extended techniques, electronic effects, and unconventional uses of the harp, Thorn is active in many projects including Gentle Party, Hildegard’s Ghost, Star Triptych, and Red Moon.

In 2014 she was awarded an Early Career Development Grant for a year long mentorship with Dr. Lisa Cay Miller from the BC Arts Council to study composition. She attended the 2015 International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre, a residency at Spread Art in Detroit in spring 2016 and most recently was selected for the Trading Places Project for a residency and performances in Montreal with guitarist Tony Wilson.

Thorn has been featured in Dances for a Small Stage, Coetani Festival for Experimental Flamenco (Greece), BC Buds Festival, Sonic Boom Festival, Suoni Il Per Popolo Festival (Montreal), Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Free Arts Festival.

She released her debut album, Hue, in January 2017. It has been lauded as “smart, contemplative, progressive” (Georgia Straight) and “unique and creative” (Vancouver Sun). In March 2017, her project Gentle Party will be releasing an album under the Phonometrograph label.


Andrea Williams

flamenco dancer

Andrea is a major contributor to Vancouver’s artistic community with her experimental and provocative approach to flamenco. She has produced, choreographed, and danced in the sold-out productions of Raíces y Alas (2010), Voces (2011), Colores (2012), Pairings (2013), and táctil (2015, 2016). Her choreographies have also been featured at notable Vancouver dance festivals such as New Works, B.C. Buds and the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. She was an invited soloist for the New Works: Dance AllSorts 2014 season and for Mozaico Flamenco’s 2015 productions of “Viñetas del Mozaico” and “Three Sides of a Coin”.

As a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts grant for Professional Development (2009), Andrea embarked on an extended comprehensive study period in Seville, Spain, at Escuela Matilde Coral and with renowned teachers Ángeles Gabaldón, Isabel Bayón and Rafaela Carrasco. With the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council, she spent the first part of 2016 living in Seville studying intensively with the legendary Belén Maya, a master of contemporary flamenco and bata de cola, and Cristina Hall, an innovative multi-media flamenco artist.