Intercultural Journeys presents Close Ups: Elba Hevia y Vaca
November 10 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Bolivian immigrant, flamenco dancer, and choreographer Elba Hevia y Vaca has devoted her life to infusing feminism into flamenco. Challenging and reframing traditional flamenco ideas, Elba’s creative work breathes potent contemporary women’s issues into the framework of a century of dance form.
Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Elba Hevia y Vaca began her study of classical Spanish dance at the age of five. She later studied and danced with master dancer Ana Martinez of the Ana Martinez Flamenco Dance Company in D.C., and danced with Washington’s Raquel Peña Spanish Dance Company, appearing as a soloist at various venues throughout the U.S. In Philadelphia she continued her study of modern dance, jazz, and contact improvisation from various Philadelphia artists.
In 2000, Elba founded Pasión y Arte (PyA) out of a strong and intensely personal conviction that highly-stylized traditional Spanish flamenco dance is a perfect vessel to empower women. Elba and Pasion y Arte have performed at the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Jacobs Pillow and other notable dance venues. She’s been supported by the Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage, the Knight Foundation, Barra Foundation, Samuel L Fels Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Philadelphia Foundation, PNC Arts Alive, Leeway Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation.
Elba has taught courses at local schools and universities, often representing students’ first encounter with this dance form and she is currently a Senior Adjunct Professor at Franklin & Marshall and at Temple University, teaching various levels of Flamenco.
Elba Hevia y Vaca. Photo: Nia Benjamin.