Flamenco Rosario Presents Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Photo: Flamenco Rosario

The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival’s 31st edition proudly announces its 2021 lineup of local and national flamenco artists from September 4 – 26.

The 2021 Festival will feature live & live-streamed performances, with both ticketed and FREE events including the annual lecture demonstration with Flamenco Rosario at the Vancouver Public Library. The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival is excited to present its all-Canadian lineup of artists and companies and audiences can expect innovative and dynamic programs that the VIFF always promises to deliver. Their revered international artists will be missed this year, but we look forward to their return in 2022.

Waterfront Theatre

La Otra Orilla (Montreal) September 23rd @ 8pm
Title: RITE

La Otra Orilla. Photo: Marie-Andrée Lemire

One enters into Flamenco as one enters into religion. With this explosive and visceral show, La Otra Orilla wipes the slate clean and returns to its roots, to the foundations of the art of flamenco. RITE is the perfect balance of body, voice, guitar, and percussion—four artists at the height of their craft in complete harmony: Myriam Allard, Heidi Graja, Caroline Planté and Miguel Medina.

An intimate conversation in which each embodies what the other is expressing in total synchronicity. RITE is severity, strength and the subjugating beauty of a ritual where the public and the artists enter into communion: a union of hearts, breath and souls—flamenco touching the sacred.

Transcending. Echoing each other. Leaving a trace. Experiencing this encounter, this ritual. Communing with those on stage and those in the audience. Breathing the same breath. Returning to yourself. Becoming the other. Heartbeats in sync.

Alma de España Flamenco (Victoria) September 24th @ 8pm
Title: Familia

Alma de España Flamenco. Photo: Rosario Flamenco

Families are the heart of flamenco. Those we’re born into. Those we choose. Yet, when we find flamenco, we come to that door as orphans in the dark. At that hearth, we are at last our truest selves. This is joy as tall as the flame. Joy with ash in its teeth.
Alma de España is artistic director Veronica Maguire, guitarist Gareth Owen, and dancers Amity Skala and Denise Yeo. They are joined by special guest, singer Oscar Nieto. Together, these artists invoke the ancestors and family yet to come.

Alma de España Flamenco Dance Company and School was co-founded over 30 years ago by dancer, singer, and choreographer Veronica Maguire alongside the late guitarist, Harry Owen. This was the beginning of this “Westcoast Familia.”

Flamenco Rosario (Vancouver) September 25th @ 8pm
To Victor with Love….

With their minds on Victor Kolstee’s soul-moving, spirited, beautiful music and the desire to honour and celebrate his life, Flamenco Rosario be presenting the works of three Spanish choreographers: Pilar Ogalla De Extremadura a GranadaAlbert Hernández La Sombra, and Cristina Hall Simbiosis, along with Rosario Ancer Solace. Flamenco Rosario is thrilled that the company will be joined by acclaimed singer Heidi Graja, and friend and long-time collaborator guitarist Caroline Planté, both from Montreal. Also, on stage, local percussionist Davide Sampaolo and Flamenco Rosario Dancers Katia Flores, Yurie Kaneko, Meghan Asher and Charo (Chien-Ai-Tsai).

Kasandra Flamenco Ensemble (Vancouver) September 26th @ 7pm

Kasandra Flamenco Ensemble. Photo: Rosario Flamenco / Sanka Dee

Kasandra Flamenco Ensemble is thrilled to present Solo Flamenco, fiery flamenco with bailaora Kasandra “LaChina”, cantaora Jafelin Helten and percussionist Davide Sampaolo. Experience the Kasandra Flamenco Ensemble, a group that has been dubbed “a feast for the eyes and ears with an energy that flows like water and skips like fire”.  Solo Flamenco presents Flamenco in its purest traditional form, The Cuadro. A “cuadro” is a flamenco group that includes flamenco dancer, guitarist, singer, palmas (handclapping) and percussion. “We are a four-piece jazz group speaking the language of Flamenco. The beauty of the cuadro is that it allows for unlimited individual expression in a spontaneous chemical interaction that can only be captured in the moment,” says Kasandra “La China”. 

Solo Flamenco is a virtuosic showcase of the variety of flamenco dance ranging from primal flamenco puro, to classical and fusion forms as Kasandra interprets traditional gypsy flamenco from Andalucia and multicultural Vancouver fusions with fluttering fans and manton de Manila silk shawl.  The group transports the audience like magic! “Cuadro” flamenco is a constant interplay of jazzy improvisation between musicians and dancer. With emotional and musical chemistry, soniquete and power, the Kasandra Flamenco Ensemble ignites the audience to an uproar.  Kasandra is also pleased to present a cameo by Mozaico Flamenco.   

Kasandra “La China” is one of Canada’s leading flamenco artists renowned for her unrelenting drive to push the artistic envelope. Kasandra is always hungry for new sources of inspiration and knowledge, constantly pushing her musical and choreographic mastery to its limits. She elicits combustible chemistry among artists and has forged collaborations with national and international flamenco artists to critical acclaim. “Vancouver’s flamenco star who has embodied flamenco with her dynamic, precise style.” Flamenco-World magazine. 

Picnic Pavilion

Flamenco for Children and Aficionado stage
September 4th & 5th starting at 11am – FREE event

On September 4th and 5th from starting at 11am, we are pleased to present the work of local Vancouver & Victoria-based Flamenco dance and music artists, on the Picnic Pavilion stage at Granville Island, 267 Old Bridge Walk, Vancouver

Mozaico Flamenco Ensemble (Vancouver)
Peña Flamenca (Victoria)
Iminah Amal-Hill (Victoria)
Jhoely Triana (Vancouver)
Bonnie Stewart & Friends (Vancouver)
Jafelin Helten & Friends (Vancouver)

As one of few celebrated festivals devoted to Flamenco Art in North America, the VIFF has since its beginnings in 1990 grown to a mature understanding of Vancouver’s multicultural audiences by nurturing the form’s hybridized roots in Sephardic, Persian, Gypsy and Indian cultures and by striving to reflect and connect its diverse sociocultural identity through work narratives underlining flamenco’s universal message of humanistic tolerance. Now a two-week-long annual event, the festival lends its visibility throughout multiple venues and locales in downtown Vancouver including the Waterfront Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Scotiabank Dance Centre, and Vancouver Public Library. With over three decades of flamenco presence behind it, the festival brings the city into stronger light for younger generations of dancers all around the world, while building new relationships with growing sister organizations across the nation through its eastern border, helping to forge a more integrated Canadian identity of flamenco.

FOUNDED BY FLAMENCO ROSARIO IN 1990 Flamenco Rosario holds a mandate to develop dance, music works and dance artists, in both the authentically traditional and contemporary innovative styles of Flamenco. Drawing the organization’s mission from this mandate, the company shares its passion for flamenco’s raw, emotional power and disciplined musicality through performances, workshops and professional training across Vancouver. Under the direction of Artistic Director Rosario Ancer and Musical Director Victor Kolstee, the company was founded in 1989, Flamenco Rosario registered as a non-profit society in BC in August 1997 under the legal name Rosario Ancer Flamenco Arts Society, achieving registered charity status in 1999. As an interpreter of flamenco dance, Artistic Director Rosario Ancer is interested in the continuing growth and evolution of the art form, rather than simply reiterating its past.  The company explores the possibilities of flamenco by crossing boundaries of history and culture, incorporating dancers from other dance traditions, international dance artists, musicians and vocalists into the development of new work. Ongoing activities for Flamenco Rosario include the popular In-Studio series featuring traditional dance styles, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival showcasing local and national and international guest artists, and Mainstage performances allowing for artistic experimentation. The company continues to honor the rich flamenco tradition and to produce presentations which stretch the boundaries and evolution of the art form.

Please visit the festival website for more info: http://www.vancouverflamencofestival.org/

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