Espacio Flamenco and the PAC present NOCHE FLAMENCA, an unforgettable evening of flamenco music and dance Sunday September 3rd, 7:00pm at the historic Performing Arts Center. With NOCHE FLAMENCA, Espacio Flamenco (Portland, OR) shares the best of it’s repertoire, taking audiences on a journey through the different “palos” or styles of flamenco. Each dancer brings her unique interpretation to the table, together celebrating the diversity of this enchanting Andalusian art form.
At the heart of Espacio Flamenco’s performance are the soulful vocals of Moroccan born singer Randa BenAziz. Randa began her performance career at the age of ten and incorporates arabic and jazz influences into her flamenco interpretation. Espacio Flamenco musical director Brenna McDonald provides guitar accompaniment for the group. An accomplished soloist in her own right, Brenna has devoted her life to the study of flamenco music and dance and is one of the few female flamenco guitarists (“tocaoras”) in the world qualified to play for singers and dancers. Nick Hutch and Christina Lorentz bring the groove with top notch percussion and palmas (hand clapping) essential to Flamenco. Dancers or “bailaoras” Lillie Last, Montserrat Andreys, Kelley Dodd, and Christina Lorentz charm and inspire the audience, leaving no choice but to shout “olé!”
Flamenco is an improvisational art form that combines song, dance, instruments (mainly guitar), hand clapping, and other percussion elements. Declared a World Heritage Treasure by UNESCO in 2016, Flamenco developed as an amalgamation of centuries of cross pollination between the many cultural presences within Spain and along Spanish trade routes. While it’s precise history is unknown, it is thought to be greatly influenced by the Roma people, called Gitanos, who migrated from Rajasthan to Spain between the 9th and 14th centuries, bringing with them tambourines, bells, castanets and a variety of songs and dances. The arm and hand movements of Flamenco closely resemble those of classical Indian dance. These traditions combined with the cultures of the Sephardic Jews and Moors make up the Flamenco we see today.