Artists – táctil (2015)


Maria Avila

flamenco dancer

Maria Avila has been involved in the art of flamenco for well over a decade. She has trained at all three of Vancouver’s top flamenco schools; Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy, Karen Flamenco, and completed Centro Flamenco’s professional two-year dance program. Maria has lived abroad to train intensively at Flamenco Abierto in Sevilla, Spain and Pro Arte in Queretaro, Mexico. Over the years Maria has performed as both a Flamenco Rosario and as an Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre company member. Currently, Maria Avila has established herself as an independent dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Recent achievements include being awarded a B.C. Arts Council grant for professional development in 2013 as well as performing at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival in 2011 and 2014. She collaborates with Calle Verde, La Triana, and Raíces y Alas.

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, known for her improvisational instinct and sharp, clean footwork. 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.

Michelle has been involved in the Raíces y Alas project since its inception and has also 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) and Silk Road Music Ensemble.   She has performed in the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, Victoria Flamenco Festival and dozens of other professional presentations around the Lower Mainland.  Michelle has studied flamenco dance in Spain and continues to attend workshops by visiting artists.  She studies and teaches at Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy.

Dayna Szyndowski

flamenco dancer

Dance and music – inseparable. Tap dance grew up with jazz music and is maturing with cultural influences from around the world. It is this ever-evolving characteristic that works its magnetic magic on those who love the art form. As a result of the desire to continuously learn and seek new rhythmic inspiration and because of a love of percussive dance as an improvisational form, 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.

Performances have included Athens’ Coetani Experimental Flamenco Festival, Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver, the Toronto Rhythm Initiative’s Nina & Joni shows, the Tap Ahead Festival in Germany, Astrolabe Musik Theatre’s NEWmatica, the Vancouver Folk Festival, the NYC & Vancouver tap festivals, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Greece’s Bridges in Time performance, the Zante Jazz Festival, and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. In past years, Dayna has produced and co-produced events like With You We Dance in Seattle with fellow tap dancer Jessie Sawyers, Miles to Feet in Vancouver with an incredible roster of local artists, and the Kino Jam sessions filling the Vancouver venue with a warm community of dancers and musicians eager to share. She is the recent recipient of a Vancouver Parks Board three year Artistic Fieldhouse residency with close musical collaborator Elisa Thorn.


Andrea Williams

flamenco dancer

Andrea is a major contributor in 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 (“Roots and Wings”, 2010), Voces (“Voices”, 2011), Colores (“Colours”, 2012) and Pairings (2013). Her choreographies have also been featured at notable Vancouver dance festivals such as 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 production “Viñetas del Mozaico”.

As a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts grant for Professional Development (2009), Andrea embarked on an extended intensive study period in Seville, Spain, at Escuela Matilde Coral and with renowned teachers Ángeles Gabaldón, Isabel Bayón and Rafaela Carrasco.