Wortham Center for the Performing Arts presents Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in a fiery Valentine’s Day performance at Diana Wortham Theatre on Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, at 8 p.m. A pre-show V.I.P. tablao, an intimate performance featuring a special drink and hors d’oeuvres package, takes place on February 14 at 6 p.m. in Henry LaBrun Studio.
“On top of being a special way to kick off a Valentine’s date night at the Wortham Center, the tablao is an opportunity to experience up-close the body movements and facial expressions that convey such deep emotion in flamenco,” says Wortham Center community engagement director Jared McEntire.
The pre-show tablao also serves as an introduction to the company’s main performance and newest production, Reflejos Flamencos. Danced to live music, Reflejos Flamencos explores the idea of limits and connections across both literal and figurative borders. “Because flamenco is based on so many cultures, including Spanish, Arabic, Judaic, Gypsy and Latino, a lot of people can relate to it,” says the company’s co-founder Carlota Santana. “It is a very expressive art form with intense emotions including love, hate and anger, and audiences from any background and language can identify with those.”
The company will also host a community master dance class open to all ages and skill levels on February 15 at Henry LaBrun Studio. The 75-minute session includes a brief history of the origins of flamenco, followed by supportive and fun hands-on instruction. By the end of the class, participants will be able to perform a simple choreographed dance. “People tend to gain a level of appreciation for performances when they learn a bit about how they come together,” says McEntire. “When class participants see Flamenco Vivo dance on the Diana Wortham Theatre stage, they can have fun recognizing moves that they learned.”
Carlota Santana is an internationally renowned flamenco and Spanish dance artist and educator. In 1983, she co-founded Flamenco Vivo with Roberto Lorca. Following his death from AIDS in 1987, she was determined to continue their work. In the decades since, she has led Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s growth as one of the country’s most successful flamenco companies, with a mission to promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of Hispanic heritage. She has been named “The Keeper of Flamenco” by Dance Magazine and honored by the King and Government of Spain with La Cruz de la Orden al Mérito Civil for her passion, excellence and dedication to the art of flamenco.
Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Tickets are $20–$68. Tickets to the master class are $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit WorthamArts.org or call 828.257.4530.