“Raíces y Alas” was conceived in 2009. Its mandate is to explore and to present both the roots (raíces) alongside the possible paths, or the wings (alas), that flamenco could take in the future. This project has a two-fold aim: to give flamenco artists a unique medium in which to present traditional and non-tradition flamenco works alike, and to enrich the flamenco tradition in Canada as a whole.
Raíces y Alas: VOCES
September 11, 2011
Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver
Flamenco as a genre groups together several voices – that of the singer, the guitarist, and the dancer. The roots of flamenco music are in the song form. It is also the voice of a people’s history. The guitar has taken the song form and grown the music into a more contemporary art form, for example embracing melodies from Moorish and Celtic influences, all the while staying true to the traditions of the melodies. The dance is the visual manifestation of the song form. The dancer is the piece of this ensemble that most stretches the limits of flamenco tradition. Contemporary flamenco dancers in Spain have incorporated modern, classical, jazz, hip-hop and dramatic dance forms into their performance.
One important part of this program was the full staging of the contemporary flamenco work “Genus”. This work involves five dancers, four flamenco and one contemporary, and is the voice of innovation in the program. The first movement was created for “Raíces y Alas” (2010) and had been germinating to its current form since. The most daring piece in “Raíces y Alas”, it was met with resounding acclaim and as a result has been featured in several Lower Mainland shows since.
Raíces y Alas
September 26, 2010
Havana Theatre, Vancouver
“Raíces y Alas (Roots and Wings)”, sold out five days after the release of tickets and three weeks before the show date. As a result of this demand and the public’s response to the show, a second run was planned for early 2011.
In addition, it is important for flamenco, and flamenco artists, to be pushed outside the currently established artistic boxes. The introduction of more contemporary movement and new-to-Canada techniques to the flamenco repertoire was a daring move in a traditionally more conservative school. Nevertheless, the performance of a new choreography “Genus” was provocative and well received. Moreover, the collaboration with Persian, Sufi, Contemporary, and Classical artists for “Raíces y Alas” has had an impact on the breadth and width of the art form within this flamenco community.