Vancouver International Flamenco Festival celebrates a way of life

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For performer and teacher Rosario Ancer, Flamenco isn’t just about the dance. It’s a vessel that helps her navigate through life.

“Flamenco celebrates our roots and our traditions,” says Ancer. “The art form puts me in contact with my inner self, where I can examine all of the possibilities of life.”

Ancer celebrates a milestone this month as the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival she co-founded turns 25. Among the many events and activities over the 15 days are two special events: a performance of Cadiz de la Frontera on September 19 by Andres Peña from Cadiz and Pilar Ogalla from Jerez de la Frontera, and Fast-Forward Rewind on September 26, a historical retrospective from Flamenco Rosario.

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Image: Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

“We’re excited to showcase where the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival came from and where we are going,” said Ancer. “We want to educate Vancouver on the art form, and celebrate our relationships.”

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Cadiz de la Frontera is described as a uniquely reflective work about the poetic entanglements of the sea and earth elements in Andalusia viewed through the prism of Peña and Ogalla’s flamenco.

“Both have very contrasting styles, and are such great artists. They are strong and passionate, and it will be amazing to watch them perform,” said Ancer.

Fast-Forward Rewind features selected excerpts from two of Flamenco Rosario‘s repertoire works, Raices (1997) and La Monarca (2013), combined into a brand new performance.

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Rosario Ancer (Image: Vancouver International Flamenco Festival)

“We want to give Vancouver a glimpse of what Flamenco is,” explained Ancer. “There is such a great variety of local, national and international artists using the dance and music for personal expression.

“Even if you have never seen flamenco before, we invite you to come out to the festival. It will make you stop and contemplate your life.”

The 25th Vancouver International Flamenco Festival runs until September 27. For more information, visit www.vancouverflamencofestival.org.

 

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Daniel Chai Daniel Chai is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a comedian who can be seen on various stages around Vancouver. He plans to one day host his own late-night talk show.
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