Francesca’s Fire

Francesca Nardi knows the fire of flamenco. The 17 year-old dance protégé will present that passion this Thursday night, with a performance at The Seahorse Tavern in Halifax. Recently AE spoke with Nardi about that flame.

What is your own ethnicity/heritage?
Like many Canadians, I have a very mixed heritage… Some Italian, Scottish, British, and Austrian.

When and why did you get involved with flamenco?
I got involved with Flamenco around age ten when I saw Maria Osende perform. I was completely enthralled by the passion, style and excitement of the dance, and wanted to try it. I had always loved to dance, and had a ballet background so I decided to start taking classes.

Are they the same reasons you do it today?
Flamenco still holds massive appeal to me because of the emotion, passion and artistry that goes into it. Flamenco is a very complex art form as well, and the knowledge that there is still so much to learn is endlessly motivating.

What are the challenges?
Like any kind of dance, Flamenco can be physically challenging and a tough workout! Also, the music can be complex, and learning to better understand the music and work with musicians has been an exciting new challenge for me.

What are the rewards?
Improvement! Hard work is the only way to improve, and every challenge has made me a better dancer. The reward is also getting to perform and do what I love most.

What have been some career highlights?
Sublime (Feb, 2013) was an amazing show to be a part of, and an exciting new challenge for me. The choreographies that Maria created spanned such a wide variety of styles, and her vision inspired all of us. Also, the support I have received from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust has been incredible, and has allowed me to have the amazing experience of studying in Spain.

What is the show on the 30th about?
The show on the 30th is going to be a great evening at the Seahorse with Flamenco music and dance. It is a chance for people to come watch Flamenco in a very authentic “Tablao” atmosphere. I will be dancing a variety of traditional Flamenco styles, and there will be some instrumental pieces as well.

What are your future goals with flamenco?
Right now my goals are to keep training and improving as a dancer and performer. I am also going to be pursuing a university degree in Hispanic studies, which ties in nicely with my love of Flamenco and Spain!

What are your thoughts on the state of flamenco in Halifax and Atlantic Canada?
Since I became a part of the Flamenco community six years ago I have seen it grow and expand in a very big way. Our Flamenco Festival has brought incredible artists to Halifax, and the community is continuing to grow all the time. It is also exciting to see how audiences in the city are supporting the Flamenco community and being exposed to this unique art form.

What can we be doing better?
As a young dancer, I would love to see more young people getting involved in Flamenco!

Francesca Nardi
Thursday, May 30th, 7pm, Seahore Tavern, Halifax
http://www.mariaosende.com/events.html