Flamenco is on fire in this town starting May 11 at Central Market stores as part of their Pasaporte Espana event celebrating the food and culture of Spain. Who knew that flamenco, the sexy Spanish dance with gypsy roots, has been building a big following here over the past five years? That's thanks to the Dallas Flamenco Festival, which holds semi-annual shows and now has worked with Central Market to bring one of Argentina's premier dancers, Marcela Cantania, and great flamenco guitarist Luis Ramos from Seville to perform. Along with Dallas flamenco star Delilah Buitrón, known as "La Musa Flamenca," Cantania and Ramos will be at Central Market stores through the week (see schedule below) and then at a "tablao" (a flamenco event in an intimate setting) at Decanter wine bar in the Bishop Arts district (408 N. Bishop Ave.) on Friday.
We tapped Troy Gardner, executive producer of the Dallas Flamenco Festival (and husband to Buitrón), for more info. Check out our Q&A after the jump.
Why has flamenco picked up so many fans in the Dallas area? It's not an old person's art form anymore. It's very youthful and energetic. And we bring a new generation of artists to perform it. Hot, 20-something performers. They're quick, sharp and modern. Marcela Cantania is a very hot young dancer.
Who is the audience for flamenco? Over the last three years the audience has expanded. A decade ago it was a small, art-conscious crowd. Our goal was to broaden the audience in Dallas the way they have in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Even in Austin and Houston there's a large following for flamenco. Now we get people of all ages, from kids to 80s. Our audience is getting bigger every year. We had 3000 people at the shows last October in Addison. We do an unusually sultry style of flamenco, which they like here.
Is the popularity of TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance? having any influence? I definitely think dancing shows on TV have helped. They're very influential in bringing dance to the foreground of our culture. We just finished co-producing a show called Dance for the Planet with the North Texas Dance Council and it included people from So You Think You Can Dance.
Do you practice flamenco at home and does it annoy your neighbors? We do have wooden floors in our house in Uptown. But we're pretty well insulated. No complaints so far.
Where to see these flamenco stars this week:
May 11: La Musa Flamenca, Marcela Catania and Isai Chacón at Central Market Plano, Noon-3:30 p.m.; Central Market Dallas, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; SMU Meadows Museum, 7-7:30 p.m. May 12: La Musa Flamenca, Marcela Catania and Isai Chacón at Central Market Plano, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Chayito, La Chispa, Alfredo Gonzalez and guitarist Luis Ramos de Sevilla at Central Market Fort Worth, 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 13: La Chispa and Luis Ramos at Central Market Fort Worth, 5-6:30 p.m.; Flamenco Noir Tablao starring all of the above, Decanter Restaurant & Wine Bar, 308 N. Bishop Ave., Oak Cliff, 8:30 p.m. ($20).
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