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Flamenco’s Greatest Dancers at Drexel

February 3, 2014

Israel Galván, Pastora Galván and Rosario Toledo are three of the most outstanding flamenco dance artists in the world, known for remaking this art form’s rich artistic traditions. Drexel University is pleased to host these three masters and the second Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, which will take place from March 1–16 in the Mandell Theater, other locations on campus, and elsewhere in the Philadelphia area. The centerpiece of the 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival will be two performances by Israel Galvin, two performances by Pastora Galvin, and four performances of works by emerging superstar Toledo, including her new work “Tapas.” The sixteen-day festival is rich with opportunities for everyone from flamenco aficionados to first-time audiences with a wealth of activities including master dance classes, film screenings, and lectures and panel discussions on the changing landscape of flamenco.

The festival concludes with Israel Galván’s, “La Curva” on Saturday, March 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m. at the Mandell Theater. La Curva features Inés Bacán’s spare singing and Sylvie Courvoisier’s atonal and dissonant piano compositions, musical accompaniments unlike anything known from flamenco music. With unparalleled mastery of Flamenco dance, Galván moves on to innovate by taking flamenco movement into an abstract realm and by infusing classical style with a distinct personal aesthetic. Through the dozens of works he has created since founding his own company in 1996, Galván has revolutionized the conceptual possibilities of flamenco with experimental investigations into choreography and staging. The New York Times said of Galvin, “It’s extremely rare in any genre to see a dancer of this singular imagination and authority.”

Pastora Galván will perform “Pastora” at 8 p.m on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14, at the Mandell Theater (33rd and Chestnut Streets). Choreographed by her brother Israel Galván, Pastora is also a masterful performer who provocatively questions flamenco’s conventions. To the accompaniment of brilliant guitarist Dani DiMoron, Pastora evokes the bygone eras of flamenco, tenaciously disobeys the flamenco archetypes of female beauty, and is an electrifying performer. Flamenco World says of Pastora, “what a shame that the curtain drops. More, Pastora, more.”

Rosario Toledo’s groundbreaking artistry subverts gender roles, incorporates elements of theater and other dance forms, and is heavily infused with humor. In 2012, Toledo won the prize for “Best Show” at Sevilla’s Bienal de Flamenco. She is creating a new work, “Tapas,” with Philadelphia modern dancers Eun Jung Choi and Meg Foley and tap dance master Germaine Ingram which will premiere on Thursday, March 6 through March 8th in the Drexel Dance Studio on the 4th floor of Main.

The festival is offering a 10 percent discount on tickets for all Drexel students, faculty and staff. Click here to purchase tickets.

Pasión y Arte, Philadelphia’s accomplished all-women Flamenco Company, and its Artistic Director Elba Hevia y Vaca organized the Philadelphia Flamenco Festival. "Nuevo Flamenco: The Galvan Legacy" has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the 2014 Flamenco Festival by the Knight Foundation. The first Festival in 2012 featured Rosario Toledo and played to sold-out houses throughout.