Pasión y Arte Investigates Femininity Through Flamenco and Post Modern Dance

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Pasión y Arte (PyA), under the artistic direction and choreography of Elba Hevia y Vaca, is poised to premiere the new work Cosas de Mujeres (Things of Women), in the unique landscape of Drexel University’s Pearlstein Gallery.  Set against the large-scale paintings of noted Lithuanian artist Ray Bartkus, this site-specific work explores the feminine objects that are used in the Flamenco – “manton” (shawl), “abanico” (fan), and “bata de cola” (long train), and what they mean for contemporary women.  Specifically, it examines how these objects are used to define femininity, begging the question, what does the world see when women embrace that part of themselves? This work also continues a conversation between the post-modern and Flamenco dance forms with modern dance artist KC Chun-Manning of Fresh Blood, adding a layer of contemporary texture and a fresh look at femininity.  Performances ar on April 10th and 11th at 8pm and April 12th at 3pm at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University located at 3401 Filbert St. Philadelphia PA 19104.

Hevia y Vaca and Chun-Manning started their dialogue surrounding 1096A.D.,  a work in progress, that was presented at the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The piece was described as “an electric dialogue between the flamenco and contemporary dance, which was not only artistically satisfying, it packed a visceral punch,” Lewis Whittington, Dance Journal April 2013.

For more than a decade, Pasión y Arte, Philadelphia’s premier all female contemporary flamenco dance company under the direction of Artistic Director, Elba Hevia y Vaca, has been embracing artistic excellence in performance, education and community engagement focused on modern feminist flamenco. Pasion y Arte continues to strengthen flamenco’s legacy as a classical form but expands the trajectory of modern feminist flamenco through its conservatory classes, performances, and national tours. In six original productions and its presentation of the 2012 and 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festivals, PyA empowers women through self-expression by embracing bold experimentation that challenges traditional flamenco gender stereotypes.

“Cosas de Mujeres” contains original composition and live music by Ricardo Diaz a well known and respected flamenco artist based in San Francisco, CA. His guitar playing has taken him around the world from the gypsy neighborhood of Caño Roto in Madrid, Spain to London, Tokyo and New York. He has performed, recorded and collaborated with internationally respected artists such as, La Tania, Alejandro Granados, Jesus Montoya, Jose Anillo, Juan Requena, Pastora Galvan, Canito, Alegria Suarez, Rafael Amargo, David Lagos and Andres Marin. In 2009 recorded his CD with top Flamenco artists from Jerez de la Frontera in Seville, Spain.Also joining the cast is Barbara Martinez who will conjure the essence of Flamenco with her cante jondo. Ms. Martinez sings an eclectic repertoire of flamenco, Latin and world music with her own group in jazz venues, and recently at Carnegie Hall/Weill. Barbara currently sings with A Palo Seco Flamenco Company, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and Pasión y Arte throughout the U.S.

“Cosas de Mujeres” will have three performances, April 10th and 11th at 8pm and April 12th at 3pm. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $16 for students/seniors. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit  www.pasionyarteflamenco.org/pyaperforms.