Celebrate dance, music, culture and love with Flamenco Vivo at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 14 and 15
The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts welcomes Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, America’s premier Spanish dance company, to its main stage in Diana Wortham Theatre for two evenings of colorful dance, music and culture, starting at 8 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15.
Dedicated to the belief that the universal spirit of flamenco, a multicultural art form, has the power to build bridges between cultures, the company’s mission is to promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of the Hispanic heritage, producing quality dance works, fostering cultural connections through arts education programs and nurturing the next generation of artists and educators.
Hailed as “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 “all the years of passion, excellence and dedication to the flamenco art,” Flamenco Vivo co-founder Carlota Santana is an internationally recognized flamenco and Spanish dance artist and educator.
“Flamenco is all about emotional expression,” said Santana. “The whole art form is about rhythm and emotion, and often that means romance and love — and all the happiness and sadness and anger that goes along with it.”
In 1983, she co-founded the company with Roberto Lorca, and, following his death from AIDS in 1987, Santana was determined to continue their work. In the decades since, she has led Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s growth as one of this country’s most successful flamenco companies.
“Most of our artists that tour with me come in from Madrid or from elsewhere in Spain,” Santana explained. “On tour, we are five dancers — three men and two women — and four musicians, because the music is always performed live. Two singers, two guitarists and one of my singers is also a percussionist.”
Santana also created the company’s innovative arts-in-education program, integrating Spanish dance and culture with academic curricula, and has pioneered bilingual education initiatives targeted to immigrant populations, as well as programs addressing the special needs of students with disabilities.
In 1996, local arts councils in North Carolina invited Flamenco Vivo to establish a second home in the state in order to conduct bilingual programming targeted to the state’s growing Hispanic cultures. Since that time, the company has developed outreach initiatives that serve communities in nearly every part of the state, including many previously unexposed to Hispanic art forms.
Valentine’s Day with Flamenco Vivo: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a pre-show V.I.P. tablao performance, featuring a special drink and hors d’oeuvres package, 6 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Henry LaBrun Studio, prior to the 8 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre. Space is limited. Learn more at worthamarts.org.
Community Master Class with Flamenco Vivo: This public master class will increase the participant’s awareness and understanding of flamenco dance and its cultural heritage. The class is 75 minutes and includes a brief history of the origins of flamenco dance, music and song and how the various cultures that inhabited Spain have influenced flamenco. Open to the general public — all ages and skill levels. Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. in the Henry LaBrun Studio. $10. Learn more at worthamarts.org.
Matinee Series Performance: Celebrate diversity and connect students to Spanish culture and heritage through the living art form of flamenco in a 10 a.m. performance for students on Fri. Feb. 14. Recommended for grades 4-12. Open to teachers/students, families, homeschoolers, and community groups. For reservations, call the box office at 828-257-4530.
Flamenco Vivo’s Asheville performances are made possible through funding from the Arthur J. Fryar Charitable Fund. Additional support is provided by Sponsors Hedy Fischer & Randy Schull, Richard & Francee Healy, Steve & Rena Hoffman, Susan Holden, Sherry Kellet, Mary Ann Kiefer & David Erwin, Jill & Joe Lawrence, Tina McGuire, Alastair McDonald Odom, Ronna & Rob Resnik, Arby’s, Contemporaneo Asheville Gallery & Shop, Mosaic Realty, JAG & Associates Construction, Jonas Gerard Fine Art, Renaissance Asheville Hotel, and Wells Fargo; additional support is provided by Media Sponsors 103.3 Asheville FM, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Hola Community Arts and, WNC Magazine.
The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18 Biltmore Ave., and the three-venue performing arts complex includes the 500-seat Diana Wortham Theatre, as well as the new Tina McGuire Theatre, a black box theatre seating up to 100 people, and the new Henry LaBrun Studio, seating up to 80 people. The 2019/2020 Season is made possible by Season Sponsors 67 Biltmore, Asheville Citizen Times, Blue Moon Water, Buncombe County TDA, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel.
To obtain more information about the Wortham Center’s 2019/2020 Season or to purchase tickets for Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s Friday or Saturday, Feb. 14 or 15 performances (Regular $48; Student $43; Child $20; Student Rush, day-of-show with valid I.D. $10), or the special Valentine’s Day V.I.P. pre-show, call the Wortham Center Box Office at 828-257-4530 or visit worthamarts.org.