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SEMPITERNO coming to Shambhala Music Hall

By Contributor
July 2nd, 2019

International flamenco music and dance ensemble Fin de Fiesta Flamenco will be in Nelson, Friday, July 12 at the Shambhala Music Hall as part of its tour of theatres and festivals across France and Canada this summer.

The show in Nelson will be the 101th in Canada. 

SEMPITERNO, a hypnotic new production that explores the timeless yet ever-changing art form of flamenco.

Fin de Fiesta Flamenco has spent the year composing and choreographing this original new work from their home-bases around the world. Artistic director and dancer Lia Grainger (from Vancouver) works out of the hallowed Amor de Dios studio in Madrid, as does flautist Lara Wong (Vancouver), who is making a name for

herself as an extraordinary improviser and accompanist in the city’s acclaimed flamenco clubs.

Guitarist Dennis Duffin (Toronto) is based in Seville, Andalucía — the cradle of flamenco — where he composes and collaborates with a unique community of flamenco artists from around the world. Singer Alejandro Mendía (Saint Lô, France) and his wife, dancer Deborah “La Caramelita” (Vancouver) make their home in Bordeaux, France, and percussionist Hanser Santos Gómez (Havana) has called Montreal home ever since emigrating from Cuba five years ago.

The band worked independently and then assembled several times throughout the year in Sevilla and Bordeaux to create SEMPITERNO. The name means “eternal” or “everlasting” — something that has no beginning and no end.

It is the story of flamenco itself. The art form evolved as migrant gypsy peoples moved from India across Europe, eventually arriving in the southern Spanish province of Andalucía where their music and dance traditions mixed with Spanish and Moorish folk forms.

It is an art form that is constant, yet ever evolving with the people singing and dancing it. In Spain today, the stars of flamenco like Israel Galván and Rocío Molina use contemporary dance, jazz, electronic music and modern projections to tell their stories, moving further and further away from the traditional. It is in evolution that is without end, and Fin de Fiesta Flamenco is a part of that evolution.

SEMPITERNO also tells the story of the eternal magnetic pull of the flamenco art form, a pull that has drawn Fin de Fiesta Flamenco’s members away from the countries where they were born, and to Spain, as it has done to generations of international musicians and dancers.

“As artists practicing a foreign craft in a foreign land, we bring a unique and perspective to the art form,” says Grainger, who has called Spain home for the past four years.

“We seek to remain true to flamenco’s roots, but at the same time, we cannot help but be Canadian, French, Cuban — so we choose to embrace it.”

In Sempiterno, Fin de Fiesta tells the story of flamenco’s undefinable beginning and endless evolution. Searing vocals weave with rapid guitar arpeggios. Haunting flute melodies accent staccato footwork and earthy rhythms as skirts swirl and feet stomp. From profoundly traditional to fearlessly innovative, Sempiterno uses the stunning language of flamenco music and dance to tell the story of an art form in constant flux.

It is also something of a farewell tour. Musical director and guitarist Dennis Duffin will retire from the ensemble at the end of the summer to live in Seville year-round.

In 2019, Fin de Fiesta Flamenco honours his remarkable contributions to the ensemble over the past seven years, and looks forward towards new musical collaborations and experimentations.

Photo Caption: Guitarist Dennis Duffin (Toronto), based in Seville, Andalucía, will be part of a Hypnotic Evening of Flamenco Music and Dance at the Shambhala Music Hall. — Submitted photo

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