Although only in its fifth year, the Toronto International Flamenco Festival has become a highlight of the year for flamenco fans as well as practitioners of the fiery art form.
Festival founder, Lionel Felix, every year imports a top dancer from Spain who, along with his or her accompanists, give workshops in a variety of aspects of flamenco including dance, guitar, singing and percussion. This year’s featured artist is Rubén Olmo who won the prestigious prize, El Giraldillo for Best Choreography at Bienal de Flamenco in 2010. He and his company will take part in the roster of workshops which includes choreography as well as classes for absolute beginners.
A free performance at the Four Seasons Centre in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre on Tuesday, October 18 will undoubtedly be packed, as all the free performances in this wonderful space are, so arrive early.
The festival culminates in an evening of song and dance that features a mix of imported and local talent including Calgary-based dancer, Fiona Malena. This year, the main performance will be at Koerner Hall on October 20, and though it’s an ideal space for its intimacy and acoustics, the tickets will sell out fast, I predict. It should be an unusal and interesting show which as Lionel Felix says “brings together the old and the new of flamenco, giving audiences a spectacular experience.”