Looking to spice things up this Valentines Day? Look no further than SUBLIME, Nova Scotia’s annual mid-winter Flamenco extravaganza taking place this coming weekend at Alderny Landing in Dartmouth. Event founder and organizer Maria Osende brings the love.

What motivated you to start this event, and when was that?
Flamenco and Valentine’s Day are the perfect match for each other – romantic, passionate, exotic and for a change of weather – hot!

How has the event evolved over the years?
The event started in 2005 as a small, intimate, one-night show with four artists on stage at FRED Art Gallery and Café. Now, it is a full main stage production taking place at Alderney Landing Theatre with 10 performers and a stage.

What's on the agenda for this year's event?
This year we are premiering SUBLIME, a blend of flamenco, blues, and opera fusion. Inspired in the concept of the SUBLIME, that moment that ebbs between beauty and passion, it has a dangerous quality of greatness. The production has nine scenes of very different nature and style, all under this concept.

What were some of the challenges of putting it together?
The most challenging is for sure finding rehearsal space and rehearsal times for such a large group of people. Additionally, for me dealing with many decisions, as well as being the director, choreographer, and one of the performers, it gets very intense. Sometimes, I wake up at night thinking about the long lists of things that I have to get done the next day.

What is the biggest reward working with SUBLIME?
Creating, choreographing and working with great talent. That makes it all worth it.

You've pushed the Flamenco agenda here for a number of years. How has that community grown?
The community has embraced flamenco and grown incredibly in the last 10 years. Halifax has one of the largest flamenco communities in Canada, next to Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, of course.

What are the Seahorse soirees all about?
Our Flamenco Happy Hours all about bringing Haligonians an authentic flamenco grass roots experience. They run the last Thursday of the month at the Seahorse Tavern from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring and promoting local talent. It truly feels like being in a "tablao" a flamenco nightclub, in Spain. I love the place. They also have great tapas and sangria, by the way!

What's next on your Flamenco agenda?
We have some very exciting shows happening next season as well as of course the Fall for Flamenco Festival in October, but for now it is all a surprise. I can tell you in a couple of months!

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