¡Arte Flamenco! Spanish Dance Co. is a Toronto based company that has been in existence since 1990 and was originally formed to represent Spain during the Canadian National Exhibition's 'Say Si To Spain' exhibit in 1990. The artistic direction for the company is to present traditional Flamenco and Spanish works that depict the elegance and richness of Spain's culture.
The artistic director for the company is Elena La Comadre. Her artistic goal is to present traditional Flamenco through song and dance. As an established dancer and choreographer trained in the Flamenco Arts, La Comadre's own interpretation is rooted in dramatic works that reflect this traditional style of Flamenco.
Prior to creating ¡ARTE FLAMENCO!, La Comadre held the position of principal dancer for several local Spanish dance companies such as the Paula Moreno Spanish Dance Co.
In 1996 the artistic direction evolved to embrace the idea of "Flamenco dance theatre" - the merging of drama, dance, cante and guitar in order to portray a particular story line. This resulted in dramatic and profound works that encompassed serious human and social issues while choosing themes rooted in human experience.
One artist who played a major role in La Comadre's artistic journey was Flamenco purist and traditionalist Cesar Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez was both singer and guitarist for the Company. Her commitment to him enabled her to present profound works that were innovative and yet traditional in nature. In 1995-96, Pablo Dominguez became the second flamenco voice for the Company. His commanding knowledge of Spain's culture has made him a powerful interpreter while reciting mesmerizing works of the great poets of Spain. Since the passing of Mr. Alvarez, Pablo has assumed the position of first singer for ¡ARTE FLAMENCO! The Company has an intimate core of dancers taught and trained in the style of ¡ARTE FLAMENCO!
From 1996 to 2006, La Comadre was very prolific in presenting significant works that embraced the concept of "Flamenco dance theatre".
about OUR WORK
Significant works that reflect the direction of the Company:
¡Déjame Gritar! ~ Let Me Scream! Let Me Shout!
Premiered in February 1996, Ford Center. Performed last in April 1998, National Gallery of Ottawa.
Abrazame Hija Mia ~ Embrace Me My Child
Performed in May, 1996 Du Maurier Theatre part of DanzaObras
Monja Gitana ~ The Gypsy Nun
Performed in February, 1997 at the Du Maurier Theatre.
Alma Encerrada ~ Encaged Soul
Performed in February, 1998 at the Du Maurier Theatre
Emigrante ~ Immigrant
Premiered in February 1999 at the Jane Mallet Theatre
La pena de Mi Padre ~ My Father's Sorrow
Premiered in May 1999 at the Jane Mallet Theatre
Llanto Flamenco ~ The Cry of Flamenco Song
Premiered in February 2000 at the Jane Mallet Theatre.
Medea The Tragedy
Premiered in November 2000 at the Jane Mallet Theatre
El Amor Brujo in One Act
Premiered in November 2002 at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre
Homenaje Flamenco ~ A tribute to the late Cesar Alvarez
Premiered in November 2004 Robert Gill Theatre
Las Desamparadas estan Llorando ~ The Helpless are Crying
Premiered in February 2006, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
From 2006, Elena La Comadre has focused on the school, mounting two performances each year. Click here for a list of these performances.