Elba Hevia y Vaca’s La Bolivianita to premiere at 2019 Fringe Festival, Sept 19-22

 Elba Hevia y Vaca, Artistic Director and founder of Pasión y Arte (PyA) is pleased to present the world premiere of her one woman performance piece, La Bolivianita, as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival. Performances will take place September 19-22 at the venue @exuberance, 1220 N. Mascher Street, Philadelphia 19122. Tickets are $20.

In her new solo performance piece La Bolivianita, dancer and choreographer Elba Hevia y Vaca explores her lifelong artistic journey with Flamenco. First introduced to Flamenco through her family’s pride in their Spanish heritage, La Bolivianita delves into the artist’s emotional and changing relationship with her beloved art form. The autobiographical work examines themes of primary importance to Hevia y Vaca, including her experiences as an artist, an immigrant, and as a mother and daughter.  As the artist ages and comes to term with her recent discovery made through DNA research that she is primarily descended from the indigenous Andean rather than the Spaniards, La Bolivianita poses many questions, one of which is: How does information about one’s genetics change the perception one has of oneself and how they see themselves in the world? Says Hevia y Vaca,”Through my own journey I saw how this art form was my medicine and a healing art form. I saw its potential to build on one’s power, courage, and pride. Flamenco can allow one to transform pain through rhythmic catharsis using footwork and body percussion and thus, possibly heal through this process. Flamenco is my language, my identity, my way of life on my nearly 50 year intense journey of study, exploration, and creation. I continue to strive to penetrate the Flamenco dance form at the deepest levels, making use of all that I have learned in order to give voice to myself, to women and their stories, and to persevere in my quest to push the rigid boundaries of traditional Flamenco, encoded over decades and centuries. My current ambitions for my work are rooted in a long and inherited chain of rebellions: first by marginalized cultures in response to social oppression; then by women dancers, quietly, in response to patriarchy; then, and now, by contemporary Flamenco dancers in response to the form’s rigid traditionalism.”

La Bolivianita has been in development since early 2018 and incorporates spoken word, the de-construction of modern Flamenco choreography, and culminates in an interactive dialogue with the audience. La Bolivianita is directed by world renowned Flamenco innovator, choreographer, and feminist artist Belen Maya (Spain).  “La Bolivianitashows courage and honesty. Elba shows herself as she truly is in her dance and in her words. This vulnerability gives the piece a unique voice,” says Belen Maya.

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, Hevia y Vaca founded Pasión y Arte out of a strong and intensely personal conviction that highly-stylized traditional Spanish flamenco dance is a perfect vessel to empower women.  These values have been reflected in the eight original, critically acclaimed works she has created for PyA, and in the numerous grants, fellowships and accolades awarded to Hevia y Vaca and PyA under her direction. In addition, she was nominated for prestigious Pew Fellowship in 2108.  She conducts master classes throughout the US, teaches various levels of Flamenco at her Overbrook Studio in West Philadelphia, as well as being and Senior Adjunct at Franklin & Marshall and Temple University. 

Daughter of the dancers Mario Maya and Carmen Mora, Belén was born in New York (1961) during one of their world tours. She started her dance training at a young age at the famous Amor de Dios Flamenco academy in Madrid, and would later go on to complete her training in classical and contemporary dance in various academies throughout Europe and the US. She began performing professionally as a guest artist in the famous tablaos including Tablao Zambra, Cafe de Chinitas, Tablao del Carmen & Los Gallos. She joined her father’s dance company where she would perform for 3 years, first as part of the chorus and later as a lead dancer. Breaking out on her own, she formed her own company and spent 6 years performing in Japan at the prestigious El Flamenco Tablao, and on her return she became the director of the Compañía de Baile de Andalucía. She continued to collaborate in the works of the major players of Flamenco and would be invited by Saura to participate in his 1995 film Flamenco. Her performance in this film, though short, would prove to be a watershed moment for female Flamenco performance – opening up new concepts of movement, musicality and even costume. She has continued to create and produce important projects over recent years and makes time to pass on her knowledge and experience at Flamenco dance schools and academies worldwide.. Her contribution to Flamenco over the 30 years of her career was recognized in 2015 when she won the Best Dancer award in the XV Premios Flamenco Hoy and was awarded the Premio de la Crítica del Festival de Jerez.

La Bolivianita
September 19-21 at
September 22 at 6:30pm
Exuberance, 1220 N. Mascher Street, Philadelphia 19122
Tickets: $20 Standard/$15 Student & 25-and-under
Online at

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