flamencoThe Dance Centre
Flamenco Rosario + Mandala Arts and Culture

Date and Venue 29 May 2014, 12 noon | Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The Dance Centre has for its mission to entertain and educate. In this particular programme, Flamenco Rosario and Mandala Arts and Culture, two of Vancouver’s most highly regarded dance organizations, joined forces to present a program of flamenco and the bharata natyam style of classical Indian dance. These two contrasting styles share ancient cultural origins, which can be seen in the percussive footwork, complex rhythms, and detailed use of the hands. This performance will trace the similarities, differences and ongoing evolution of two vibrant and beautiful dance genres.

Rosario Ancer of Flamenco Rosario gave a brief history of Flamenco which mixed three cultures: Moslem, Sephardite and Christian. Gypsies who originaed from India picked up along the way the original dances of India, then passing through Morocco, assimilating Arabian dance and song, and finally, ariving in Southern Spain with the Sephardite culture.

Thus, we see Indian, Arabic and European influences in the Flamenco. In this programme we had the Mandala Arts and Culture Society present two dances--one traditional and the other, contemporary. I found them almost alike, the difference being the contemporary was more "chutzpah", so to speak, instead of slower in dance and music.

With the Flamenco, the classic was first performed and later, a more modern version of the Flamenco where, at one time, women didn't wear pants but lately, they would do the dance steps of the men with the difference being that the women would use their hands and feet while the men only used their feet to dance.

I'm familiar with Rosario Ancer's work as I've reviewed many of her shows through the years. Her Academy has produced a lot of excellent dancers who have moved on to the professional world..

This was both an entertaining experience seeing two different cultures that somewhat had a lot of similarities.


© 2014 Ed Farolan