Recent Flamenco Projects by Oscar Nieto
Cafe de Chinitas
• October 28th, 2006
• June 8 & 15, 2007
Café de Chinitas is an enchanted cafe where red-golden cheong sams and Asian melodies fuse with flamenco's virtuosity and bravado. This unique performance marks the first time the 'East meets West' fusion has ever been seen on a Vancouver stage.
“We adopted the name 'Café de Chinitas' because it blends fiery Flamenco dance with the exotic Asian sounds of the Orchid Ensemble. While Flamenco is typically fused with jazz and Latin music, it has never been expressed with a Chinese element, so this idea is truly original and also extremely relevant for the City of Vancouver,” says Project Artistic Director Kasandra La China, “We aspire to create a local following for the Café de Chinitas series as a true representation of who we are. It is a pure reflection of our cultural identity.”
The name 'Café de Chinitas' comes from a historically significant café in 19th century Spain which was an opulently decorated, architecturally dramatic building with a stage that attracted the era's best Flamenco artists. The area's extensive commerce with the Orient attracted many Asian women (known as 'chinitas') to the café, leading to its eventual name. Later, the café was immortalized by poet, writer and musician Federico Garcia Lorca (1898 - 1936), who wrote the famous Petenera song that will be the opening act of the show.
For more information view the Cafe de Chinitas page on the Al Mozaico Flamenco web site. Newspaper articles:
Poemas de Alegrias
• October 16th, 2005
• October 28th, 2005
Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre fused the traditional flamenco music of Peter Mole (guitar) and Paco de Leon (singer) with the contemporary jazz sounds of Flamenco Heresy in a flamenco dance spectacular, Poemas de Alegria. The show featured the dance virtuosity and creativity of renowned Vancouver personalities — Oscar Nieto, Artistic Director, and Kasandra, Choreographer & Dancer (pictured at right, click on photo to enlarge). Oscar Nieto has been hailed as the “Flamenco Fred Astaire.” Kasandra has been dubbed “the city's rising flamenco star . . . one of the finest bailaoras in Vancouver.” Mozaico Flamenco's five member dance company was joined by special guest dancer from California, Pablo Pizano, a master technician of flamenco footwork.
The company took Poemas de Alegrias on tour to 100 Mile House on October 28th to resounding audience acclaim (three standing ovations). The following day workshops were conducted in cante, castañuelas, Introductory and Intermediate (Bulerias por Fiesta) baile. With a growing audience province-wide, Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre hopes to conduct more touring and educational programs in the future.
Espiritu Sin Nombre
Saturday, October 2nd, 2004
OSCAR NIETO and the Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre company ignited the stage in a sold-out performance October 2nd in Vancouver, BC. The program was inspired by the poem ‘Espiritu Sin Nombre’ (‘Spirit Without Name’) by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (reprinted below). Original choreography by Oscar Nieto evoked the ineffable power of life embodied in passionate form through both solo and company pieces.
The production brought together several elements from the world of Spanish and flamenco dance. One was the presentation of Spanish Neo-classical choreographies that were danced in the company of Lola Montes (Oscar’s mentor) and also were part of the repertoires of dance companies in the early part of the 20th century. Some of these dances are no longer performed in contemporary flamenco dance companies and it is Oscar’s vision that by presenting these choreographies they will not be lost.
The evening also included a gallery showing of powerful flamenco paintings by Marta Robertson Smyth in the foyer. Her work is often surrealistic and, like flamenco, personal and passionate. As well as being an established sculptor and painter, Marta has been a student and aficionado of flamenco for ten years. View her paintings at www.martademaria.com.
Espiritu Sin Nombre
Click here to listen to the ‘CBC Interview with Oscar Nieto’ which aired October 2nd, 2004. In this 13-minute interview, Oscar Nieto converses about the production Espiritu Sin Nombre (Spirit Without Name), and the process he follows from inspiration to choreography. He also discusses the resurgence of interest in traditional choreographies such as ones created by his mentor Lola Montes in the middle of the last century, that were recently re-staged for Espiritu Sin Nombre. Also included is commentary by visual artist Marta Robertson Smyth, whose paintings augmented this production. (Note large download file size, 6.5 mb)
OTHER 2004 PERFORMANCES:
2004 CLASSES & SPECIAL WORKSHOPS:
To view flamenco projects by Oscar Nieto in 2003 and previous years, please go to our Projects 2003 page.