The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Flamenco dance celebration inspires sold-out crowd

By Daniela Huebner

The Orchestra of New Spain presented a preview of its annual staged flamenco production to a sold-out crowd on Feb. 8 at the Meadows Museum. Those in attendance clapped, sang and danced along to the rhythms of this traditional Spanish folk music and dance.

The hour-long program featured guitarist Ricardo Diaz, who strummed his acoustic to the soulful notes of singer Cristo Cortes. All eyes, however, were on dancers Delilah Buitron, Elsa Champion and Antonio Arrebola, whose quick and fluid dance moves captivated nearly every member of the audience.

“I loved it. I actually saw them perform once before and as a result I signed up for flamenco lessons,” said Barbara Benac, attendee and museum docent of the performance. “I felt like I was going to have a seizure, it’s just so exciting.”

It was hard not to be inspired by the plethora of sounds, movements and artistry evoked in the small and intimate space. Buitron and Champion, dressed in traditional flamenco costumes, moved gracefully across the wooden dance floor. The sound of their dance steps echoed throughout the room and combined powerfully with the sounds of hands clapping, strumming guitar chords, soulful singing and an abundance of audience members shouting “Ole!” and “Bravo!” throughout the program.

Inspiration was plentiful in the small gallery space, which also featured traditional paintings by Joaquin Sorolla.

“We try to put more than one art in front of the program. So here we’ve got this incredible dance forum, the musicians that go with it, the poetry that is a part of it, and these paintings – we’re surrounded by this art,” event director Grover Wilkins said.

The art presented in the show highlighted the rise and surroundings of flamenco in early 20th-century Andalusia and spoke of its eclectic past. While flamenco is at the heart of Spanish culture, it developed and has roots in many different cultures, which attests to its wide-ranging popularity.

“It was originally the music of the outcasts,” Benac said. “It came from gypsies in India and Islams in North Africa who brought it with them to Spain.”

Today, flamenco is no longer a music and dance of the outcasts, but an increasingly popular art form across the globe.

“It’s an element that represents Spain and it is something we can all feel a part of. It transcends geography, borders and continents,” Diaz said, “it’s an expression of all kinds of emotions.”

These emotions could be seen, heard and felt throughout the entire performance – in Cortes’ deep lullabies, in Buitron and Champion’s slow and elaborate hand movements, and especially among faces in the audience.

Those who attended the free preview on Saturday evening were encouraged to purchase tickets to the full production this weekend, Feb. 14 and 15 at City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District. The performance will elaborate on Saturday evening’s preview and bring together the Museum’s Sorolla symposium along with two of Dallas’s renowned flamenco companies. Tickets for the show are priced at $25, $40 and $60, and it promises to be a vibrant evening full of dancing, music, color and magic.

To find out more or purchase tickets, visit the Orchestra of New Spain’s website.

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