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Flamenco and Spanish Classical

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Flamenco and Spanish dance are shared by diverse groups as forms of cultural identity and expression, both in daily life and performance. In 2010, Flamenco was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In 2001, 1000 Islands Flamenco was the first flamenco entity established in South Eastern Ontario; merging with The Conservatory in 2019. Our continued aim is to share the traditional heritage of flamenco and Spanish dance, while inspiring innovation, as these dance forms evolve in their creative expression of contemporary themes.  Our classes foster respect for the combined contributions of authentic interpreters, the unique local context of the 1000 Islands, and global connectivity through the arts. Our goal is to support dancers in their personal growth, while preparing them as cultural ambassadors. The Conservatory welcomes all dancers to undertake a dance journey through the crossroads of world cultures, which offer a shared, respectful spaces that value and credit diverse perspectives, influences and  contributions.


Ages 7-12

Offers dancers aged 7 to 12 the opportunity to expand beyond their ballet training to explore the rich traditions of classical dance in the Spanish style. Spanish classical and ballet co-evolved as dance forms, and share a history and many features that allow dancers to respect and enjoy the contributions of both cultures.  Dancers will warm up with a ballet barre and centre, supplemented by current dance science exercises. After warm-up, dancers will be introduced to Spanish classical dance elements such as castanets, shawls, capes, canes, fans, dresses with long trains, and/or the structured improvisation shared with flamenco. Classes will use both Hispanic and  contemporary classical music.  



Ages 13+ 

Offers teens and adults an introduction to Spanish dance and culture through a uniquely beautiful form of classical dance.  Spanish Classical developed concurrently with ballet, and evolved into its own dance form distinguished by use of castanets, shawls (mantones), fans (abanicos, pericons) and dresses with long trains (bata de cola).  It is danced to Spanish classical music and includes steps, rhythms, stylistic elements, and improvisation techniques found in ballet, flamenco and Spanish folk dance traditions   Dancers will work on palmas (hand clapping), zapateado (footwork), filigrana (circling arm and hand movements) and marcaje (marking steps); including sevillanas (social dances of southern Spain).  Elements from Spanish classical and flamenco provide foundations for choreography found in iconic ballets such as Don Quixote.  Spanish dance also provides excellent cross-training for ballet dancers; this class integrates both traditional and science-based training methods to maintain a holistic, cohesive approach.  Dancers with different experience levels will be given progressions and variations to suit their needs.


Ages 13+

Youth and Adult Flamenco builds upon the Spanish dance foundations introduced in Spanish Classical to allow dancers a deeper technical and artistic exploration of the different palos (families) of flamenco.  Flamenco is a genre of music, song, and dance that evolved in Spain, particularly, but not exclusively, in Andalucía in southern Spain.  It is a cultural crossroads of great diversity, strongly influenced by the migration of the Roma from India to Spain.  It encompasses influences from Kathak/Indian, Roma, Middle Eastern, North African, Celtic, Mediterranean, Latin and Central American, and Iberian cultures.  Rooted in organic movement, the dance form interprets flamenco’s many rhythms and styles through the use of palmas (hand clapping rhythms), zapateado (percussive footwork), filigrana (graceful arm and hand movements) and marcaje (danced steps).  Dancers will also also explore the use of castanuelas (castanets), abanicos (fans), cajon (flamenco drum), mantones (large shawls), bastón (cane) and/or the bata de cola (dress with a long train). Flamenco’s immense malleability, spanning from simple to complex movements and gestures, is conducive to authentic expression for dancers of all levels of experience.  Flamenco interprets all facets of human emotionality, the situations eliciting these emotional responses, and the human condition, as both subjective and objective experiences.  Flamenco’s aspiration and its essence, which makes it remarkably inclusive, is sincerity. Dancers with different experience levels will be given progressions and variations suitable to their needs.


PREREQUISITE:  Spanish Classical

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