Magic Flute Flamenco
It was Mozart’s last opera. Die Zauberflöte premiered on September 30, 1791, just three months before Mozart died. At that first performance, the brilliant composer mustered the strength to conduct. His librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, took on the role of Papageno.
Wouldn’t Wolfgang Amadeus be surprised if he dropped into the Vancouver Playhouse this weekend. There, he will find talented Vancouver flamenco dancer Karen Pitkethly and her Karen Flamenco Dance Company doing their version of The Magic Flute.
‘Spain and India meet in Mozart’s magical tale.’ This performance is a collaboration between Karen Flamenco and Diwali Fest. “It’s exciting,” says Pitkethly, “working alongside Kathak, Bhangra and Bollywood dancers celebrating the Diwali Fest in the theme of light overcoming darkness.”
The performance is directed by Rohit Chokhani and choreographed by Karen Pitkethly, Amika Kushwaha, Christina Benitez and Fanny Ara.
As Prince Tamino and bird-catcher Papagena set out on their journey to rescue Pamina – the Queen of the Night’s daughter – the performers will illustrate the parallels between flamenco and classical kathak dancing. “A slithering serpent, a beautiful bird catcher, a prince and princess are all part of the magic,” Pitkethly teases.
Karen has been a face of flamenco around the city for more than twenty years. Some of us got our first flamenco shoes in taking classes with her at Rosario Ancer’s studio on Dunbar. Pitkethly has studied ballet, contemporary and flamenco, the latter both here and in Spain. She now has a dance company, a busy life in choreography and Karen Flamenco Studio in Mount Pleasant.
The Karen Flamenco Dance Company are known for their flamenco-flavoured productions of classic stories: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan.
Here we see a lovely film of Pitkethly directed by David Cooper with music by Daniel Mendez.
Written by Elizabeth Newton