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Passion and Power – A Night of Flamenco

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Sizzle, heat, passion, power.  This is how many would describe a recent performance held at Dance Victoria Studio. I would add electrifying!

The occasion was titled, ‘Cherish: An Intimate Evening of Flamenco’, a Dance Victoria fundraiser, a passionate, cabaret style party created to celebrate all things Spanish.  The produced effect was mesmerizing.  Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with Sangria and the opportunity to meet, greet and mingle before flowing to the upper level of studio space.

The atmosphere filled with anticipation and tension as we filed into the beautiful ‘cantante’ outfitted with silent auction items of all kinds to satisfy the senses.  Funds raised help to continue to bring brilliant dance talent to the island.

A Sampling of silent auction items.

A sampling of silent auction items, including pieces by local artist Bill Porteous.

Each table included Spanish wines, tapas, and roses, the chocolate variety.   We dined on delicacies and awaited the main event, the opening dance by Monique Salez.

She was magical.  The guitar and vocal accompaniment whisked us away in spirit to Andalucía, the birth place of flamenco.

Deep primitive tones and chants accompanied the dancers with the heat and heart of the beat coming from the heels of their shoes.

Deep song, also known as Cante jondo permeated our DNA.  The tempo rose and fell with each step.  The dancers  instantly won our appreciation and respect.

Flamenco is made up of four elements, Cante-Voice, Baile-Dance, Toque-Guitar, and the Jaleo, which roughly translated means “hell raising” and involves the handclapping, foot stomping, and shouts of encouragement.

cherish2

As each dancer took the stage, I felt a powerful energy rise up from deep within.  The ‘duende’, a mystical flamenco experience filled the room and the audience was captivated at its core.  Each move, stomp, guitar strum and precise twirl engaged us at every turn.  It was thrilling to watch.  All present at ‘Cherish’, can now call themselves flamenco aficionados.

As a first time visitor to the studio, it was a pleasure to see a professionally outfitted space that has garnered world class acclaim.  Its spaciousness and well equipped modern feel, as well as its roster of talent, classes and teachers lends to its standing as a go-to stop for dancers, and famous dance companies on an international level.

Flamenco performers

Flamenco performers

Dance Victoria will be hosting many exciting performances such as Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet both performing at the Royal Theatre.  See their website for full details and performance calendar.

‘Cherish’ was a sold out experience.  The next time it is whispered that a cantante is in the making, be sure to secure your ticket immediately, they go quickly.

Victoria, continues to surprise me in beautiful ways.  Who knew such ‘power talent’ existed on the island and such exuberance existed for this culturally diverse performance art.  Well done to all, the 2016 season is much anticipated.

Ole!

kari5

An evening in the cantante! Left to right: Julie Rust, Pamela Sylvan, Jody Auchinvole, Kari McLay, Jody Hollis

Dance Victoria Studios, 2750 Quadra St., Victoria BC

 

 

 

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