"Al-Andalus" - A contemporary look at Flamenco dance in Fort Collins.

I just wrote a press release for The Coloradoan describing my new work that will be part of the August 5th and 6th event, "Al-Andalus: An Evening of Spanish Food, Wine and Dance."  I enjoyed articulating some of my thoughts about this upcoming event:

In Al-Andalus, a new full-length work, choreographer Alicia Laumann traces the roots of flamenco dance and song as it was developed in the barrios of southern Spain where the persecuted Jews’, moors’ and gypsies’ ancient traditions blended to form a sensuous and mysterious new art form.  Using a contemporary dance vernacular, Ms. Laumann, takes the audience on an aural journey with the use of traditional and contemporary Moroccan and Sephardic music to highlight how the fusion of these traditions produced what is today known as flamenco.

Laumann says, “I am not a trained flamenco dancer but I fell in love with it when I studied in Spain for six months.  Flamenco to me is one of the most beautiful and important classical traditions precisely because of its unique roots and because it was an art form birthed out of hardship.  When the Inquisition effectively drove these minority groups into the mountains in southern Spain, it was their ability to live in relative harmony that produced flamenco.  I find that fascinating and a small picture of the best in humanity.”  

She goes on to say, “Out of respect for the form, I have stuck to my roots - ballet and contemporary dance - but have tried to represent the essential elements of flamenco dance: the duende, or spirit; its sensuousness through large expansive movement; the element of community through unique groupings; and, its rhythmic vitality through strong percussive movement.”