‘While the poet wrestles with the horses in his brain and the sculptor wounds his eyes on the hard spark of alabaster, the dancer battles the air around her, air that threatens at any moment to destroy her harmony or to open huge empty spaces where her rhythm will be annihilated.’
So wrote poet and playwright Federico García Lorca – born 1898 in Fuente Vaqueros, Spain – in La Argentina.
‘The dancer’s trembling heart must bring everything into harmony, from the tips of her shoes to the flutter of her eyelashes, from the rustles of her dress to the incessant play of her fingers. Shipwrecked in a field of air, she must measure lines, silences, zigzags and rapid curves, with a sixth sense of aroma and geometry, without ever mistaking her terrain. In this she resembles the torero, whose heart must keep to the neck of the bull. Both of them face the same danger–he, death; and she, darkness.’
Carmen Amaya was an astonishing flamenco dancer who could most definitely ‘fill a dead, gray space with a living, clear, trembling arabesque, once which can be vividly remembered.’ Amaya was born ~ 1918 in the humblest of homes in Somorrostro, Barcelona. By the time she passed in 1963, she was known across the world for her dancing ferocity, finesse, art and speed.
Starting this weekend, you’ll be able to experience Vancouver’s vibrant flamenco scene at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. VIFF was started thirty years ago by Flamenco Rosario, led by Artistic Director Rosario Ancer and Musical Director Victor Kolstee.
In 2020, VIFF offers a mix of outdoor and virtual events. This weekend – on September 5th and 6th – features free, outdoor performances at the Picnic Pavilion stage at Granville Island, for a socially distanced, limited audience. You can also register for 48 hours of free access to a selection of online performances – starting with the much-celebrated Patricia Guerrero of Granada, Spain on September 19th and ending with Vancouver’s Flamenco Rosario on September 26th.