One of Halifax’s finest professional Flamenco groups, Compañía Azul will premiere their new show at 8pm on Saturday, June 23rd at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre. Compañía Azul’s inaugural performance took place in 2010, the same year that UNESCO declared Flamenco to be an “intangible cultural heritage”. As part of their designation, UNESCO describes Flamenco as “encouraging dialogue, reflecting cultural diversity and testifying to human creativity”.
Such a description would aptly fit Compañía Azul’s upcoming show, composed of entirely new Flamenco works, written, choreographed and performed by their members. The art of Flamenco marries the voice, the dance and the musician rooted in the traditional sounds and Andalusia in Southern Spain. Compañía Azul creates a passionate, stunning display of emotion, sound and colour. Founded by dancer Megan “Azulita” Matheson Hamilton, she is joined by guitarists Bob Sutherby and Daniel MacNeil, singer Sean Harris, percussionist Ian MacMillan, and dancer Sandra Tziporah.
Director & principal dancer, Megan Matheson Hamilton, who happily calls Eastern Passage home, felt drawn to write a piece that captures the experiences of studying with a gypsy teacher outside Seville and the constant pull she feels between being immersed in Flamenco and being settled with my husband – about both of which she’s very passionate! It’s a beautiful love song for her husband to thank him for understanding her annual trips to Spain.
Megan describes the company members as talented and extraordinary musicians. “Hearing and performing our own lyrics, music and choreography makes the experience very moving and I think allows for an even more authentic expression of emotion, which to me is the greatest gift that flamenco gives.”
Guitarist Dan MacNeil describes the creative process involved in putting this show together with Compañía Azul as an interesting and truly wonderful experience. “I believe we all inspire each other, as everyone in the group has contributed their own ideas to create true collaborations. The whole process was a joy.
This new show features completely original works – telling our own stories by way of a passionate and unique Spanish tradition. This programme is a new departure for Compañía Azul. Collectively they felt that they had an opportunity to explore their own artistic ideas and have collaborated to create an exciting new show which will premiere on June 23rd. Singer Sean Harris was driven to write a piece detailing the role of the fisherman – committed to his life at sea and on land. Perfect for the Flamenco form “Seguiriya/Martinete”, Harris presents the sea as the fisherman’s temperamental mistress, one which his wife knows he cannot leave. The music, lyrics and dance combine to reflect an emotional portrait of the struggles of a life from the ocean.
Recognized for their excellence this Nova Scotian company will be performing with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia in November 2012 and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in Alberta in January 2013.
Compañía Azul invites you to come enjoy an energetic, riveting, and sultry evening of original Flamenco performance. Be transported to the alluring Andalusian coast without leaving the shores of Nova Scotia. Act fast – this show is one night only!
Compañía Azul performs Saturday, June 23rd at 8 pm at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue. Tickets are $23 in advance, $25 at the door. Available online at: http://www.dancens.ca/compania-azul.html , by phone at 422-1749 or in person, Tuesdays through Thursdays 9am-3pm at Dance Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road.