flamenco dancer, choreographer, instructor, and producer
Andrea is the innovator, the madness, and the driving force behind the “Raices y Alas” series. Originally debuted in September 2010, “Raíces y Alas” (Roots and Wings) was conceived as a full-length show depicting the interaction between traditional flamenco, its varying cultural influ- ences, and its contemporary evolution. Andrea enjoys how “Raices y Alas – Voces” continues to stretch the limits of flamenco tradition. Andrea has been a member of Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre since 2004 and has performed in its productions “Espiritu sin Nombre” (2004), “Poemas de Alegria” (2005), “Café de Chinitas” (2006), & “Café de Chintas Imagines del Oriente” (2007), Feria de la Costa (2007), and Café de Chinitas Vignettes (2010). She has been featured with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver International Dance Festival, the Dance Centre’s Discover Dance series, Flamenco del Mar Festival, North Shore Folk Festival, Latin Festival and the West Coast Harp Society Tribute Concert to Jurgen Gothe. Andrea’s credits also extend to numerous performances in Vancouver & the Lower Mainland, 100 Mile House, Squamish & St. John’s, Newfoundland. She performs regularly in the Lower Mainland at the Kino Café and within the community.
Thanks to the generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Program, Andrea spent three exciting months in Jerez de la Frontera and Seville, Spain in 2010. She had the wonderful opportunity to enhance her traditional Sevillan bata de cola, mantón, and castañuelas technique and choreography at Escuela Matilde Coral. She also immersed herself in the exploration of a more contemporary styling with the innovative bailaora, Ángeles Gabaldón. Andrea has trained extensively in Vancouver with Oscar Nieto and Kasandra La China at Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy. She has also studied with renowned flamenco artists such as Rosario Ancer, Rafaela Carrasco, Isabel Bayón, Ángeles Gabaldón, Maria “Cha-Cha” Bermudez, Andres Marin and Sara de Luis.
Farnaz has extensive background in music making and singing. She is a multi-instrumentalist artist – and has strove to understand and play many families of instruments from woodwind (recorder, harmonica) to string (guitar, cello, piano and harp) to percussive instruments (tombak, drum set, darbuka, kalimba, djembe, zen tambour, tamboa). Her love of music and performance art has brought her in contact with many world class musicians and artists in Canada and abroad.
Grace dela Cruz
Meaghan completed her undergraduate degree in performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music studying with virtuoso bassist Joel Quarrington. She went on to earn her Konzertexamen with Michael Wolf at the Universitat der Kunste in Berlin. Meaghan also attended the Carl-Flesch Akademie in Baden-Baden, Germany where she studied with double bass phenomenon Janne Saksala, Principal Bass of Berlin Philharmonic.
Following her studies, Meaghan perfomed with the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie in Goerlitz, Germany and she was founding member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Symphony Orchestra in Japan. Since returning to Canada, Meaghan has performed with orchestras from coast to coast including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera, the Victoria Symphony, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Meaghan performs with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and is the Executive Director of Ballet Kelowna.
Michelle came into this world with a passion for dress-up and make-believe and an attention-seeking personality. For many years, she searched in vain for a suitable way to express herself. In flamenco, she has finally found a voice to silence a lifetime of whispered urgings (internal and external) toward reticence and propriety. Flamenco is the quintes- sential voice of defiance; from its Roma (gypsy) roots to the personal power it gives the individual student. Flamenco has no limits and it will not admit of fear or restriction. No matter what anyone else has to say, flamenco always beckons us to speak with our truest voice.
Natalie Hobbs was born and raised in Celista, BC. She moved to Edmonton, AB where she studied dance at Grant McEwa- nand obtained a dance diploma. In 2002, Natalie moved to Vancouver, BC to continue studying dance at Simon Fraser University. By 2004, she obtained a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in dance. Since graduation she has choreographed for professional venues in Vancouver as well as the interior of BC. Natalie is trained in Contemporary/Modern Dance, Ballet, Flamenco, Hip Hop, African Boot Dancing, Burlesque, and Salsa. Natalie has worked with Brian Webb, Heidi Bunting and Henry Daniel. Natalie has empowered women’s groups and worked with the Little Shuswap Indian Band as a dance instructor/dance therapist. She choreographed dance scenes for a Simon Fraser University student filmtitled, “Lily” which was screened at the 2009 Montreal World Film Festival. Currently Natalie is a creative dance assistant instructor at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver, BC. This summer Natalie danced at the Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival collaborating with a poet and a musician for an outdoor performance.
Shyiang discovered her passion for flamenco under the mentorship of Kasandra La China and Oscar Nieto. Shyiang has been a member of Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre since 2003 with the Vancouver company’s debut performance, Lola Montes and the Art of Spanish Dance. Since then, she has performed in countless productions including appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and in the Vancouver International Dance Festival.
Shyiang’s commitment to the art of flamenco has led her to seek out internationally renowned teachers both near and afar attending intensive workshops at the 2010 Flamenco Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the 2007, 2005 and 2003 Festivals de Jerez in Spain. Her remarkable aire, precision, and aesthetic sensibility are testimony to her varied, extensive training and her talent for preserving the traditional forms in combination with modern elements from contemporary flamenco.
Peter’s passion for flamenco was born during a trip to Spain, where he witnessed a group of Gypsies singing, dancing and playing guitar on a hillside in Granada. Since then, he has returned to Spain several times to study and sustain a connection with the latest developments of the art form. The Canada Council for The Arts has funded his most recent trips where he took classes with such guitarists as Carlos Heridia, Miguel Arragon, Diego de Moraio and Fyty.
For over a decade, Peter has been deeply committed to presenting flamenco of the highest calibre, and is regarded as one of the “pillars” of the flamenco community in Vancouver. His blending of sophisticated contemporary harmonies with the traditional rhythms of flamenco has distinguished him as an innovative and unique artist and he has become the first choice as accompanist for many leading dancers.
Peter has performed in concerts throughout Canada, including the Music and People Festival in Montreal, and the Vancouver Folk Festival. He has made several appearances on Canadian radio and television, including ZedTV, as well as performing and composing the score for the NFB documentary “Opre Roma”. He also composed and performed the music for “Mariposa: The Butterfly’s Evil Spell”, at the National Arts Centre. This performance marked the first flamenco fusion work to be presented at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa. His most recent performances include Poem de Alegria at the Norman Rostein, Chinese New Year Global Gala at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Cafe de Chinitas at the Norman Rostein.
Pirouz de Caspio
Born in Tehran, Iran in 1969, Pirouz Ebadypour “de Caspio” studied solfège and classical Piano at an early age in Iran and continued his passion for music after migrating to Canada in 1988 by studying Flamenco guitar and singing with authentic Roma gypsy flamenco singers from Spain in 2002. Since then, Pirouz has shared the stage with many local and world renowned flamenco artists and has grown to be one of the most authentic flamenco singers in North America with the vision to preserve, promote, and enrich the art form. Pirouz ‘s main influence for singing is Camarón de la Isla.
His most notable contribution to flamenco is the creation and maintenance of one of the most listened to and comprehensive online flamenco radio stations called “Flamenco Beat” since 2004. Peña Bulería Flamenco Club, under the direct management and vision of Pirouz, has been responsible for bringing quality flamenco programming to the Lower Mainland for the past 7 years under various titles including the very popular Annual Jondo Flamenco Festival which has grown to be one of the most anticipated and recognized flamenco festivals in the West Coast. www.flamenco.ca