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"The Passion of Flamenco: When dance speaks the unspoken and no language is"
1999-07-25 until 1999-07-25
Dean Lesher Theatre
Walnut Creek, CA, USA United States of America

A complete dancer today, is well trained in more than one discipline. The European dance scene has seen a rebirth of the influence of Spanish dance with the fusion of Flamenco and Classical Spanish Dance with other styles. The excitements of these fusion's are very present in the Bay Area, which is America's hot bed of Flamenco.

This heat wave of creation, arrived last summer in Walnut Creek with the premiere concert season of Carolina Lugo's Brisas de Espa_a Flamenco Dance Company. Carolina's company not only presents the powerful intense energy of solo flamenco but the grace and joy of classical dances. She herself was trained in classical Spanish dance, which is a world apart from the introverted nature of flamenco, with its familiar roots of the earth. What ballet gives to both her traditions, is the physical strength of movement that seeks light and takes to the air. Perhaps, where these very different traditions flow within her blood we have the true creative force of Ms. Lugo's work. Each tradition is like a river joining to form an even more powerful force with its own life. During a rehearsal in preparation for Brisas appearance with the Eagles, Clint Black, and Bruce Hornsby at the benefit concert for Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Carolina explained her intense passion for dance. When a dancer is on stage, it goes without saying, they must be one with the music. Without this connection to the music, movement, and yourself, a dancer is only counting steps and performing routines. The heart of the dancer's work is to embrace the audience with the depth of our lives and the fiery sensuality of dancing. The magic of performing is for the dancers and the audience to experience our fierce pride, love, happiness and tears. The art of Flameno is the completeness of being, which the Gypsies of Spain refer to as 'duende', the possession of the sole. This quality, when it present, casts a spell over the audience and everyone becomes involved. The gift of the modern age is that with the speed of travel and communications we are able to emerge in the changes of the world's cultures. International artist Manuel Manolo Betanzos will be returning from a world tour for a month of performances and dance workshops with the company. Carolina believes that Manolo's fused style of dance makes him one of Spain's best dancers. He was trained in the earthy traditions of flamenco and the elegance of classical Spanish dance by many of the greatest maestros in Spain. His commanding presence on stage last summer earned him the admiration of local dance fans. Pepe Haro also from Spain will join the company as guest guitarist. His playing and musical arrangements bring power to every chord, shading and singing melodic line and above all, a rich rhythmic pulse. Exploring the emotions and feelings of flamenco has been a profound journey for Carolina. She was recently awarded a grant from the Diablo Regional Arts Association to further her own exploration of dance fusion and will collaborate for this year's performance with Brazilian Samba Queen, Katia Vaz. Carolina will present the World Premier of Dance Without Borders (Bailes Sin Fronteras). She promises that this work will be a moment, when dance speaks the unspoken and no language is required, only the passion to dance free of limitations. Both Spanish and Brazilian music and dance are diverse and represent a vast melange of cultural similarities and differences. The emotions of life are the fundamental pieces of both dance traditions. Carolina and Katia, will be joined by Carolina Acu_a, daughter of Carolina an American original whose style has been influenced by both traditions. The music will be sung both in Spanish and Portuguese by Roberto Zamora and Patricia Velasquez. Carolina explains that the artistic essence of both Flamenco and Samba is their expression of a gamut of feelings about life, embodied with an attitude. Carolina's dedication to dance has been a driving force in life since a very early age. When Carolina was five years old her parents took her to see the greatest Flamenco Dancer of all time, Carmen Amaya. She knew from that moment on, that her life was to be lived as a dancer. Her parents recognized her passions and worked hard to give her a foundation in Ballet as well as in Flamenco.

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