GALA Hispanic Theatre is coming full circle with the latest iteration of its Fuego Flamenco Competition, which runs three weeks, from October 29 to November 13. For the final eighteen years, the pageant has introduced native, nationwide, and worldwide artists to the DMV, and continues rising its scope to make flamenco accessible to DC audiences. This 12 months, XVIII Fuego Flamenco Competition has expanded to incorporate three weekends of phenomenal performances in three totally different featured reveals.
To search out out extra about what this 12 months’s performances have in retailer, I spoke with Abel López, GALA’s affiliate producing director, and Edwin Aparicio, pageant creator, curator, and performer.
What led GALA to create the Fuego Flamenco Competition?
Edwin: We created this out of necessity to meet a necessity to coach the viewers in flamenco. I simply felt a lot ardour for it that I wanted to share that with the DC group. To ensure that me to try this, I wanted to search out some form of secure method of doing it. I began in GALA after I was 17, after I discovered dance. I did my first play with them in La corte del faraón, I believe it was. That is why, for me, it’s full circle.
I got here again to GALA to do my preliminary reveals with my very own firm earlier than the pageant. Once I noticed that there was an curiosity and in addition a necessity for this in the neighborhood, I and the administrators of GALA — Hugo, Rebecca, and Abel — all bought collectively and mentioned having the primary 12 months collectively. The celebs aligned, and that is our 18th 12 months.
How have you ever seen it develop in that point?
Abel: It was a one-week factor, then two weeks, and now this 12 months, it’s going to 3 weeks. You’re going to see a bunch based by a Spaniard who moved to New Mexico presenting a number of the extra acquainted types of flamenco, conventional flamenco, and items of choreography from the flamenco world. Then Edwin is presenting one thing that’s specializing in masculinity and the gracefulness of flamenco by males. The third act is extra targeted on music and interpreted by dance. You see that music and the composition of the music grow to be important with the third firm, versus simply dance. With every program, you’ll see one thing very totally different from the final program, but it surely’s all flamenco.
We’re additionally including matinees this 12 months, so this system shall be out there for colleges to see. They’ll get a way of a really particular cultural expression of dance, flamenco, versus modern or ballet. Then we’ve had, for the final three years, Flamenco en familia, wherein we provide free workshops for flamenco for younger children. There’s one thing for everyone. There’s one thing for the households, there’s one thing for the faculties, and there’s one thing for most people to take part in.
Edwin: We’ve achieved numerous attention-grabbing issues with the pageant inside my firm. We’ve employed numerous artists from Spain, so the pageant now, to say the least, is thought among the many flamenco artists within the space. That’s one of many issues that’s modified over time. We’ve introduced consciousness inside the DC group of this wealthy artwork kind and in addition created the curiosity and once more, the necessity for extra, to a degree the place now DC is taken into account a hub that corporations need to come to from Spain and all around the U.S. to carry out. It’s very attention-grabbing as a result of flamenco was recognized in New York Metropolis, Albuquerque, and considerably in California, however DC was by no means thought-about a cease to be considered till we began with this pageant.
What makes this 12 months particular to you? Is there something you’re significantly enthusiastic about?
Abel: Seeing the work is all the time terrific as a result of it’s so totally different, however I believe what’s particular to me continues to be college students and younger children engaged within the free demonstrations and the workshops that we provide. Dance is for anyone. Anyone can dance. It’s possible you’ll not be capable of do all the identical actions, however anyone can transfer their finger in dance and create tales. You see these children — their faces gentle up after they placed on the music and attempt to replicate the steps that the flamenco dancer’s doing. They get so excited, they usually don’t see any variations. They only benefit from the motion and the music. They are saying they realized how you can specific themselves. Even in theater, after we do the scholar matinees, it’s the response the youngsters should seeing somebody onstage who appears like them. It’s very particular.
Edwin, inform me extra about your piece, Flamenco Males. What are you enthusiastic about for this efficiency?
Edwin: I’m actually excited as a result of it’s 4 males, 4 totally different views, and 4 totally different types of dancing. Two male dancers that come from Spain are Ivan Orellana and Gabriel Matías. Matías is Madrid-based however Brazilian-born, in order that’s including to his essence of flamenco. Ivan is a really classically educated dancer and is gorgeous and wealthy in motion. We even have Ricardo Osorio, who relies in New York and born in Mexico, who can also be a really conventional dancer. After which you will have me. I’m DC-based, Salvadorian-born, and Madrid-taught. All of us carry totally different attitudes to the way in which that we take into consideration flamenco and its expression. We additionally employed Sara Jiménez to choreograph one thing for Ivan. Like, what does she suppose masculinity in flamenco is? So there are actually 5 of us dancing as a result of her voice is there as a choreographer and we are able to’t ignore that both. I’m excited in regards to the new items, the brand new dancers that I’m bringing in, the brand new life that’s coming into flamenco. I’m enthusiastic about all the pieces.
What sort of perspective do you carry on masculinity? What do you are feeling like you might be expressing on this piece?
Edwin: It’s attention-grabbing as a result of my predominant educators have been feminine. My predominant trainer, La Tati, has been thought-about a considerably masculine dancer, however to me she was very female. In flamenco, you’re speculated to be dancing a sure method, shifting a sure method. She by no means stopped me from utilizing my higher physique in a different way than any man. She by no means really stated, “Do that arm this fashion.” She stated, “So long as you be at liberty and open, transfer the way in which you want. And if it doesn’t look dangerous, I’ll by no means right you.” So then my femininity comes from watching her for thus a few years, dancing with so many corporations and in addition with such love for the artwork, that it was simply breathtaking and intoxicating. I by no means forgot it. I believe that my masculinity in flamenco varies. It will depend on how I really feel, however to me, it’s simply my voice. I don’t consider it as female or masculine. It has no gender. To me, it’s simply dance.
What do you see as GALA’s function in the neighborhood?
Abel: I see GALA as a reminder that the American theater is greater than what’s being produced by mainstream organizations. In DC, we play a task in offering range and getting ready a brand new technology of artists and artist members to need to see that as a result of it’s grow to be part of their expertise and id. I additionally suppose that it’s a reminder that artwork is available in totally different varieties, totally different types, and totally different languages. Whenever you see theater, it’s broad sufficient to embody not solely a distinction in aesthetics, however a distinct language, a distinct perspective on the identical challenge, and generally the identical perspective on a problem. I believe the humanities carry the potential of with the ability to dialogue for higher understanding, or connecting the current with the previous and seeking to the long run. We play all these roles, and we entertain as nicely.
What would you want people to remove from this specific pageant?
Edwin: The fervour that we’re making an attempt to precise with our dance. To be excited, to be pleased. In spite of everything, we’re performers. I used to be simply having this dialog with certainly one of my dancers yesterday. We’re artists. We’re right here to make individuals pleased. To assist them overlook their sorrows and their worries for that one hour and 45 minutes. To only have them sit there and benefit from the pleasure of motion and the pleasure of flamenco. To be impressed to only possibly dance for ten minutes of their life and check out flamenco out. One thing alongside these traces.
The 18th worldwide Fuego Flamenco Competition will run for 3 weeks from October 29 by November 13, 2022, on the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Single tickets are $48 Thursday by Sunday; senior (65+), pupil, and navy tickets are $35. A Low cost Competition Move is $114, which features a ticket for one efficiency of every of the three corporations. For extra data and to buy tickets, name 202-234-7174 or go to www.galatheatre.org.
Fuego Flamenco XVIII opens October 29 with Cerrando el círculo, choreographed and directed by Spanish Flamenco artist Antonio Granjero. Ignite your senses with excessive octane flamenco on this critically acclaimed piece showcasing dancers Angel Muñoz and Estefanía Ramírez; singers Momi de Cádiz and Trini de la Isla; and guitarist Juan José Alba. Performances are October 29 at 8 pm and October 30 at 2 pm.
Fuego Flamenco XVIII continues November 4 with Flamenco Males, directed by Edwin Aparicio, and co-choreographed by Mr. Aparicio and Sara Jiménez and Gabriel Matías, winners of the Fuego Flamenco GALA Award on the prestigious Competitors of Flamenco and Spanish Dance in Madrid. With fiery footwork and muscular grace, the piece options the distinctive qualities and stylistic vary of 4 achieved male flamenco artists led by Mr. Aparicio. The present additionally options musician Gonzalo Grau, twice Grammy-nominated and award-winner for Lámpara minera, 2021; guitarist Ricardo Marlow; percussionist and singer Yiyi Orozco; and singer Amparo Heredia “La Rempompilla.” Performances are on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 at 8 pm, and Sunday, November 6 at 2 pm.
The ultimate week of Fuego Flamenco XVIII opens Thursday, November 10 at 8 pm with Alejandra, a shifting piece wherein José Almarcha’s masterful and intimate composition pays tribute to his late mom. A “nice and lucid composer” (El País), reminiscences reverberate inside every be aware and theme that he develops, offering glimpses into his private historical past, his roots, and his id. Accompanied by the highly effective choreography and dance by Lucía Ruibal, singer Fabiola Santiago Castillo, percussionist Jonatan Pacheco López, and violinist Fernando Clemente López, this present brings new depth to this style. Performances proceed Friday, November 11 at 8 pm; Saturday, November 12 at 2 pm and eight pm; and Sunday, November 13 at 2 pm.
COVID Security: Masks are obligatory. Proof of vaccination or latest damaging COVID-19 take a look at (taken inside 72 hours prior to indicate time) is required for all patrons ages 5+.