Dancer and artistic director Lia Grainger performs with Fin de Fiesta Flamenco

Dancer and artistic director Lia Grainger performs with Fin de Fiesta Flamenco

Fin de Fiesta explores the many sides of flamenco

The flamenco groups brings together music and dance for a spectacular show and presentation of its new production, AUDACIA

Direct from Seville, Spain: Fin de Fiesta Flamenco dance and music ensemble presents AUDACIA, a bold new production that explores the many sides of one of the world’s most passionate and intense art forms: flamenco.

Though they come from different continents, Fin de Fiesta Flamenco’s core members make their home base in Seville. That being said, these musicians and dancers call the world home, and have spent much of the past year on the road, collaborating with artists from all over the planet.

Dancer and artistic director Lia Grainger made her way to China and Italy, while guitarist and musical director Dennis Duffin performed and composed in New York, and flautist/singer Lara Wong spent months working in Mexico. French singer Alejandro Mendia is new to the group and has toured everywhere from Morocco to Ecuador to Switzerland over the past year.

Flamenco has made its way to the far corners of the globe, and Fin de Fiesta Flamenco has travelled to those places and collaborated with the artists they have found there.

“We’ve chosen to live a life of movement, changing locations and countries, following the dance and the music where it takes us,” said Duffin.

Flamenco’s gypsy roots in Andalusia are echoed in the vagabond life the ensemble is living. The one thing that has made each place home for them is the fact that they did flamenco there.

“Flamenco has its roots in Spain, but it has become an art form of the world,” said Grainger. “I was recently in Shanghai and found myself jamming in a public park with flamenco dancers and musicians from Holland, Portugal, Italy, Spain and, of course, China.”

Grainger and Duffin found flamenco in unique ways. Grainger was once a collegiate level basketball player in her hometown of Vancouver, and then an award-winning journalist, but she threw it all away to become a professional flamenco dancer, a feat that once seemed impossible for the 6’2” blond-haired, green-eyed Canadian.

Duffin graduated with a PhD in astrophysics from McMaster University, but he promptly left Ontario to pursue his love of flamenco and went to live in Seville to study guitar with the best in the world. The two artists who founded Fin de Fiesta Flamenco in 2012 turned their backs on “normal” lives in order to devote themselves entirely to their true passion, flamenco.

Now, Grainger is returning home to Canada with an international band of musicians gathered on her travels to present AUDACIA. This will be the group’s second time in B.C., where they performed to packed houses in 2015, and this time they also head east with a host of shows in Ontario and Quebec. Their 24-show, cross-Canada tour kicks off in Salmon Arm on Friday.

AUDACIA will take audiences on a thrilling journey from flamenco’s traditional roots in the music and culture of southern Spain, all the way to its contemporary forms. Ancient rhythms meet avant-garde ideas and converge in an explosion of staccato guitar, haunting flute, stunning vocals and percussive footwork. To the south of Spain and back again, AUDACIA will leave you breathless, with the pulsing rhythms of flamenco beating in your heart.

Fin de Fiesta’s AUDACIA opens in Salmon Arm for two shows at the Shuswap Theatre, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. and July 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets available in person at Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm. The show plays at Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon July 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all shows are $25 per person, $22 students and seniors, $15 for children under 14, all available through eventbrite.ca