Entertainment

Exhibition highlights history of Spanish dance in Arizona

Posted 9/25/21

Spanish dance has become a mainstay of annual programming at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and this year, an exhibition tracing the history of Spanish dance in Arizona will accompany …

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Entertainment

Exhibition highlights history of Spanish dance in Arizona

Posted

Spanish dance has become a mainstay of annual programming at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and this year, an exhibition tracing the history of Spanish dance in Arizona will accompany Flamenco Íntimo performances.

"Spanish Legacies: 75 Years of Spanish Dance in Arizona," a historical exhibition co-curated by Julia Chacón of Julia Chacón Flamenco Theatre and Arizona State University along with Brittany Arnold of Scottsdale Arts Learning and Innovation, opened Sept. 24, 2021, in the center’s ArtReach Space and runs through Jan. 9, 2022. 

The ArtReach Space is located right outside the Center’s Stage 2, where Flamenco Íntimo performances are held, in the south hallway of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

“This exhibition means a great deal to me, personally, because it traces my artistic lineage,” Chacón stated in the release. “Artists devote their lives to their craft, adding to the aesthetic and personality of place. I hope the exhibition conveys how much Spanish dance contributes to an Arizona aesthetic.”

Spanish Legacies is a historical exhibition of a living tradition — photographs, videos and artifacts showcasing how Spanish dance came to existence in Arizona, as told through the stories of four influential dancers: Laura Moya-Rosner, Adelino “Eddie” Fernandez, Lydia Torea and Dini Román. 

As these artists performed, taught, traveled and settled in Arizona, they connected the desert with a greater world of dance.

This exhibition allowed Scottsdale Arts Learning and Innovation, the educational branch of Scottsdale Arts, to take a closer look at one of the genres presented at the Center. 

Arnold stated in the release that Chacón’s expert knowledge of Spanish dance in Arizona led to what is now the first exhibition in the ArtReach Space that historically encapsulates a living tradition.

“For centuries, the transcendent power of the performing arts has allowed cultural exchange to happen across time and geography, becoming a universal language,” Arnold, noting the influence of Spanish culture in Arizona. “The unique and expressive nature of Spanish dance, specifically, played a key role in that exchange, and we have the four featured dancers to thank for carrying on that legacy.”

Two of those dancers will take part in a post-show question-and-answer session following the Flamenco Íntimo performances on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30. Those special Spanish Legacies performances will also feature works inspired by the four artists at the center of the exhibition.

Regular Flamenco Íntimo performances run on Oct. 8, 9, 15 and 16 as Julia Chacón Flamenco Theatre showcases the power of internationally experienced flamenco dancers and musicians — complete with beautiful costumes, undulating arms, fiery footwork, intricate Spanish guitar and soul-stirring vocals.

Abbey Messmer, programming director at the center, stated in the release that Scottsdale Arts first developed a relationship with Chacón when she advised the center for its Discovery Iberia series in 2014, providing guidance on the art and culture of Spain and Portugal. 

Chacón has also served as chair of the center’s Dance Advisory Committee, in addition to presenting dozens of shows throughout the year in the center’s venues.

“Julia is a treasure and has been a wonderful partner throughout the years,” Messmer stated. “We take pride in long-term relationships with artists in the community. To watch artists develop their work over time is a joy, and audiences continue to be fascinated by the performances that Julia and her cast present each year.”

The exhibition is open during the center’s regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. It will also be open during evening performances.

For more information about the exhibition, visit ScottsdaleArtsLearning.org/exhibitions and visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/events for information about Flamenco Íntimo performances.

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