Email release of the instructional video to all registrants by 12 noon
Thank you for your interest in the KW Flamenco Fest. In order to keep in line with public health measures, but still keep flamenco alive in our community, we will be offering a “shadow” version of the fest online. This digital fest will still run from July 21st – 31st and will entail virtual workshops, meet-ups, and video performances.
We first founded the Little KW Flamenco Fest in the summer of 2018, in order to try to create a more sustainable flamenco community here in the Waterloo Region. Through the fests, we’ve brought in visiting artists to lead workshops for the current KW flamenco student body, tried to open up the opportunity for all those interested in giving flamenco a try to do so in a fun and exciting way alongside fellow, enthusiastic first-timers, and to collaborate with our guest artists in a live performance. It seems that nourishing local flamenco paid off, for interest in local flamenco happenings had grown to the point where this summer we had planned on expanding the Fest so that it would no longer be called the Little KW Flamenco Fest, but rather the KW Flamenco Fest. The original program would have run from July 21st to the 31st, with 7 workshops and 4 performances at various venues in Kitchener & Uptown Waterloo. We had planned on featuring several artists, including a Wilfrid Laurier alumnus who now resides in Granada, Spain—in the heartland of flamenco; and the theme was to be “Flamestizo”, exploring the influence Latin America has had on the flamenco tradition.
But then, the pandemic and global shutdown created a new world. With festivals and events being cancelled through the summer, with international travel restricted, and with ongoing physical distancing restrictions, we realized the need to change the original Fest plans.
Email release of the instructional video to all registrants by 12 noon
Creating the Flamenco Sound with Julian Berg, 8 – 9 p.m via Zoom
Footwork Technique, 7 – 7:45 p.m via Zoom
Live session with Josie Sinnadurai on the 25th, 11 – 11:45 a.m via Zoom
Live session with Ronaldo Monge on the 26th, 11 – 11:45 a.m via Zoom
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For guitarists of all levels and musical genres, join Julian Berg for an on-line workshop as he demonstrates and explains the critical elements of the flamenco sound. You can follow along on your guitar or observe and learn.
Julian has trained with Jesús Panea Morente from Extremadura, Spain and in Paco Peña’s flamenco program at Codarts conservatory in the Netherlands. In addition to ongoing performances, he offers classes in guitar – flamenco and the fundamentals of jazz and classical – in KW and the GTA.
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Tune-in to Claudia Aguirre’s personal footwork practice. During this session, you are invited into Claudia’s home studio to get an insider’s view of the practice required for honing footwork skills – the incremental steps needed to build up stamina, technique, and rhythmic precision, using methods and tools such as drills and metronome or “compas” tracks. Through this session, we aim to increase appreciation of flamenco dance for practitioners and non-practitioners alike. Dancers: please feel free to follow along. We hope it will inspire and inform your own at-home practice. This session might also be of interest to musicians—e.g., percussionists—interested in seeing footwork patterns.
Claudia has studied flamenco dance and vocals in Toronto and Spain, and holds an M.A. from York University’s Department of Dance. She offers vocal and dance training in KW and the GTA.
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Our global lock-down period has given Claudia Aguirre the unique opportunity to further explore her dance vocabulary, in particular the possibilities of flamenco arm-work (braceo) and hands (floreo). In this session, Claudia invites you into her home studio, where she will demonstrate the different approaches to flamenco’s upper body-work. This will range from the foundational positions of the arms and alignment of the body, to the more nuanced transitions from one pose to another. Through this “behind the scenes” session, we hope to inspire flamenco dance students to explore these intricacies in their own training (please feel free to follow along); and to make all audience members more cognizant of flamenco’s aesthetic tradition and evolving practice.
Claudia has studied flamenco dance and vocals in Toronto, The Netherlands, and Spain, and holds an M.A. from York University’s Department of Dance. She offers vocal and dance training in KW and the GTA.
This 3-part workshop will begin with Part 1 on Tuesday the 21st, when we send registrants a 15-20-minute instructional video created specially for the Shadow KW Flamenco Fest 2020. In this instructional video, guest artists Ronaldo Monge and Josie Sinnadurai will demonstrate and break down two separate dance sequences. Each one is short but packed full of energy, with lively steps you can use at any flamenco party (surely on everyone’s bucket list for as soon as this social distancing period safely ends). On Saturday July 25 & Sunday 26 at 11 – 11:45 am, Parts 2 & 3 are interactive instructor-led on-line sessions with the artists. During these sessions, registrants can meet the dancers (Part 2 with Josie on Saturday and Part 3 with Ronaldo on Sunday). This online workshop is geared towards those who have already taken flamenco classes and know the basics of the movements, technique, and vocabulary.
Both Ronaldo and Josie have been guests at the previous Little KW Flamenco Fests, wowing the audiences with their energy and talent. Ronaldo has studied in Granada, Spain and runs his own tablao shows in Chicago. Josie has studied extensively in Seville, Spain and recently toured with the welsh National Opera. We eagerly welcome their return!
We’ve been hard at work creating a virtual “performance”, featuring our international guests and flamenco friends–Josie Sinnadurai and Ronaldo Monge–our guest dancers from the previous two Little KW Flamenco Fests. In this video, you will get to see Josie, Ronaldo, Julian, and Claudia all coming together for a fun flamenco party “por tangos”. For the launch of this video project, please join us for a live chat / watch party on Facebook and YouTube so that we can connect with you and tell you what it’s been like to host this the fest virtually. It would be great to share this moment with you.
Tell your friends about the flamfest!
Claudia’s training in Spanish dance began with one of Toronto’s Flamenco and Spanish dance pioneers, at Paula Moreno’s School of Spanish Dance. She later spent several happy years training as a vocalist at Carmen Romero’s School of Flamenco Dance Arts. More recently, Claudia has taken classes with Toronto’s newest Flamenca on scene—Maria Serrano—and was part of the musical ensemble in her school’s 2017 showcase and for her presentation of Por Derecho, 2019. In the interim of these endeavours, Claudia has gone on trips to Spain, where she has studied with master flamenco instructors.
Apart from training in Flamenco, Claudia has studied jazz vocals, classical upright bass, Bollywood dance, hip-hop, and musical theatre. One of Claudia’s earliest post-secondary vocal instructors was York University’s jazz faculty member, Lynn McDonald; followed by musical theatre performer and coach, Louisa Burgess Corbett at George Brown College.
Claudia now co-runs her own business with her spouse, Julian Berg. Together, they are cultivating the flamenco scene in Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and in the suburban districts of the Toronto by teaching classes and workshops in flamenco dance, singing, and guitar. In 2018 they founded KW’s first ever flamenco festival—the Little KW Flamenco Fest. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree in Urban Planning as a part-time student, in which she is learning about arts-for-health, suburbanism and planning for the arts, and age-friendly communities.
Julian is a flamenco guitarist from Oslo, Norway, who has trained with renowned flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña while studying in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. At age 15, Julian signed up for lessons with flamenco guitarist, Bettina Flater, who upon her departure to Spain, recommended he study with Jesús Panea Morente. During this time, young, self-driven Julian also studied hard on his own, and learned much from online sources, such as the instructional videos of Jason McGuire and Adam Del Monte. While this certainly developed Julian’s self-discipline, it was no replacement for knowledge imparted unto him by Morente, who showed him the importance and skill-set required for accompanying flamenco dance and singing, and who encouraged Julian to pursue training in Spain and via Peña’s conservatory degree program. It was at the conservatory where Julian refined his skills as a dance accompanist through the rigorous mandatory accompaniment classes and by accompanying dance classes during his extra-curricular time.
At Codarts Conservatory, Julian was also exposed to classical music that ignited an interest in composition, most specifically, in that of the Baroque style. He continues to develop his knowledge of composition, music notation, theory, and ear-training.
Julian is now a permanent resident of Canada and co-runs CalúJules—Flamenco Plus with his spouse, Claudia Aguirre. In 2018 they founded KW’s first ever flamenco festival—the Little KW Flamenco Fest and offer classes in theory, guitar, accompaniment, and dance year-round.
Welsh-born dancer Josie Sinnadurai began studying flamenco as the age of just 3 years-old, taking up ballet and contemporary dance shortly afterwards. She trained in contemporary dance at the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School, graduating with a 1st class degree, and went on to complete a Masters in Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Josie joined the National Dance Company Wales as an apprentice dancer for their 2015/16 season, touring the UK with them. But Josie’s zeal for flamenco still burned strongly inside her, and after her contract with the company ended, she moved to Spain to pursue her career as a flamenco dancer.
Josie trained intensely at the world-famous Centro de Artes Flamencos Amor de Dios in Madrid as well as at several schools in Seville and Jerez with many of the top names in flamenco today, including Rocío Molina, Belén López, Inmaculada Ortega, María Juncal, Marco Flores, Isabel Bayón, Rafaela Carrasco, Ursula and Tamara Lopez, Domingo Ortega, Irene "La Sentío," "El Oruco" and Angel Muñoz.
Highlights from Josie’s career include performances in Spain and Germany and tours of Canada, Israel and Britain. She was the invited guest artist at the first edition of the Little KW Flamenco Fest back in 2018. Othercareer highlights include: directing and starring in her full-length show, "Estudios,"commissioned by the Festival Flamenco de Montreal; touring with her group Flamenquines; performing with renowned gypsy flamenco musician Agujetas Chico in "The Aguja Project;" and dancing in Woody Harrelson’s Hollywood film "Lost in London." Josie has also performed at the Flamenco Festival du Capitale, the Festival de Jazz de Montreal, the 15th Annual Blackout Festival, given numerous performances at the Cabaret Flamenco de Montreal, Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market, the Féria de Abril de Cardiff, and danced at established tablaos in Seville including Flamenquería and La Madriguera de Mai.
In 2019 Josie joined the Welsh National Opera for their 2019/2020 season as the flamenco/tango soloist in the UK tour of their new production of Carmen—a role that was created on her. She also founded her own all-female flamenco group, Brujas Flamenco, with whom she toured the UK in 2019; and is one of the founding members of the new ballet company Brecon Festival Ballet.
Ronaldo Monge, flamenco dancer and percussionist, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began his artistic formation in April 2006 with Antonio Santaella, dancer and choreographer from Granada, Spain. Since December 2006, Monge has performed in the predominant “tablaos” of the capital city. Between the years 2007-2011, he was a member of the flamenco company Mozaico Almudéjar, directed by Antonio Santaella, in which he performed at various festivals and musical scenic plays.
Highlights of his career:
• From 2010-2011, with the La Compañía flamenco company, Ronaldo co-produced several shows, including the sold out “Entre la Ida y la Vuelta” at the Nuyorican Café; and “De Tablao... La Pasión del Flamenco” at the Bóveda de Triana in Old San Juan.
• In July 2011, Ronaldo relocated to the great city of Chicago, IL and immediately merged into its flamenco scene.
• In 2016, he founded the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company, producing sold out shows in Puerto Rico: "Tríptico Flamenco" at the Bóveda de Triana, and "Entre Tiempo y Flamenco" at Celebrate Puerto Rico.
• In September 2017, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico invited Ronaldo to perform his production of "Del Negro al Vivo" at the prestigious theater of Miguel Covarrubias in Mexico City.
• In February 2018, with the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company, Ronaldo produced “Puerto Rico A’flamencao.” The company was invited to perform in Chicago, at various venues and prestigious theaters including Old Town School of Folk Music and Segundo Ruiz Belvis, receiving the support of the Chicago Community Trust Fund.
• Between 2018 and 2019, Ronaldo made several guest artist appearances as a percussionist and dancer in Houston and McAllen, Texas; and in August 2019 was the guest artist at the second "Little KW Flamenco Fest" in Canada, where he led workshops and was featured in multiple performances in Guelph, Waterloo, Hamilton, and Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
• In February 2020, Ronaldo produced “Puerto Rico en la Piel” at the Segundos Ruiz Belvis Center, a show presented by the 12 Tiempos Flamenco Company that mixed poetry with Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
Ronaldo is currently residing in Chicago, where he teaches at several schools and is the resident artist the Ensemble Español and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. He is also a member of the grammy-nominated band Guitarra Azul and recently became part of the first Consorcio Flamenco of Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in New York.
His dance education spans Latin America, North America and Spain, with training and performances in San Juan, PR; San Diego, CA; Sevilla and Barcelona, SP; Chicago, IL; Buenos Aires, AR; Mexico City and the Flamenco Festival of Albuquerque, NM. Ronaldo has studied with many renowned artists such as Jossette Reily, Cihitli Ocampo “La Gillardi”, Juan de los Reyes, “El Torombo”, “Farruquito”, Carmen Ledesma, Carmela Greco, Alejandro Granados, Carlos Rodriguez, Ivan Vargas, Jose Barrios, Rafael Campallo, Alfonso Losa, La Lupi, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Jeanne D’arc Casas and Vico Zapata, among others.
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Scarborough (Toronto): Near Warden and Hwy. 401. Waterloo: Near Weber St. North and Albert St. Group dance classes in Waterloo are run at Star Performance Academy, 455 Dutton Dr, Waterloo, ON N2L 4C7
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