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Flamenco Festival dances into town


By Erika Roy, September 18 2014 —

The fourth annual Calgary International Flamenco Festival kicks off on Sept. 20, featuring seven days of music and dancing from Canadian and international artists.

Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music that combines singing, guitar and dance. The music includes hand claps and words of encouragement, also known as jaleo.

“The wonderful thing about a live flamenco show is the collaboration between the dancer and musicians on stage,” says media coordinator and flamenco artist Marinella Suriani. “It’s very organic. A huge part of the delivery of a good show is ‘el duende’ that takes place at the moment.”

‘El duende’ loosely translates as having soul or being in the spirit of evocation.

“Flamenco is amazing to watch,” says Suriani. “The music just flows through your veins.”

Suriani says the festival attempts to add to the cultural scene in Calgary by promoting flamenco. Attendees can expect to see sultry dance, intricate foot work and “very loud, intense, expressive singing,” says Suriani.

The festival begins with dancer Fiona Malena’s show La Cueva. Also performing in the festival is internationally renowned Spanish dancer Andrés Peñas.

A free ‘Flamenco at Noon’ concert will take place at the Church of the Redeemer on Sept. 24.

In addition to performances, the festival features a free flamenco beginner class on Sept. 27 from 3–4 pm at Platinum Performing Arts.

The Van Ginkel Art Gallery will display artist Paul Van Ginkel’s paintings of dancer Fiona Malena. The exhibit opens Sept. 19 and will continue throughout the festival. Malena and her ensemble will perform at the exhibition’s opening night.


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