The 7th Annual Fall for Flamenco Festival kicks off in true Spanish form on Thursday, October 11th with ‘Juerga Flamenca’ at The Seahorse Tavern in Halifax, featuring some of the hottest local and emerging flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists this side of Spain. Maria Osende, Artistic Director of Atlantic Flamenco Productions opens up about herself and the festival.
What inspired you to start this festival?When I first came to Canada, I discovered such a great city, with so much potential, yet so little flamenco! As a dancer, flamenco to me is a singular moment captured from a universal life experience. I felt this art worth expressing in Halifax to expose a new cultural dialogue for local residents to enrich our Atlantic community. I knew, almost immediately, that this was the place I could make this dream of bringing flamenco to Atlantic Canada come true. The local people here were incredibly welcoming and supportive of this vision.
What is the event's core mandate?The mandate is simple: to bring a world-class flamenco festival to Halifax every year that is comparable to ones you could previously only experience in cities like Toronto or New York. What distinguishes our festival from many others is that we bring guest artists directly from Spain – the very root of flamenco. Additionally, the festival offers many activities for the whole family, including free concerts and stage performances that centre around the powerful, centuries old gypsy tradition of flamenco.
What can audiences expect this year?This year, our 7th annual Fall for Flamenco Festival promises to be one of our most contemporary and non-traditional to date. Our featured performer, David Romero is known to push the boundaries of tradition and is noted for taking risks. In this much anticipated, first-ever Canadian performance, David Romero will highlight his masculine interpretation of the traditionally feminine bata de cola (flamenco dress with a train, fan and shawl) at the Spatz Theatre on Oct 19th.
How has the local/regional culture embraced Flamenco?Flamenco has been extraordinarily well received. Our annual Fall for Flamenco Festival would not be possible without our many generous sponsors, donors and volunteers and the support of the community. It is truly almost a miracle that Halifax hosts one of the largest flamenco festivals in North America.