Prof. Sehdev Kumar
TORONTO: As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month, at the end of April, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company presented the world premiere of De Idas y Vueltas at the Fleck Theatre in Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
It was a dazzling performance by outstanding Flamenco dancers, musicians and singers.
Choreographed by Esmeralda Enrique and special guest artists from Spain, El Junco and Javier Latorre, the exquisite and vibrant dancers Pamela Briz, Paloma Cortés, Esmeralda Enrique, Ilse Gudiño, Noelia La Morocha, and El Junco, created a memorable evening, with musicians Óscar Lago and others, and singers Manuel Soto, and Matías López.
It was an evening to remember.
With the discovery of the New World by Columbus in 1492, the Spanish empire, culture, language and Catholicism spread all over South and Central America, and stretched as far the Philippines in Asia. This transmigration of the Spaniards to the Americas, and how it impacted the music and dances, and the lives of the people in subtle and not-so-subtle ways is the theme of
De Idas y Vueltas.
Through haunting songs and vibrant dances, the theme is explored with humour and intensity. Flamenco master Javier Latorre – awarded Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco for choreography and former soloist with the National Ballet of Spain under the direction of Antonio Gades – brought his consummate artistry to imaginative and inspired choreography.
It speaks very highly of the multiculturalism of Canada, and of Toronto in particular, that dancers and musicians from all over the world, of many traditions and themes, are making a place in the hearts and souls of Canadian audiences.
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company was founded in 1982 in Toronto under the artistic direction of Esmeralda Enrique. It has striven to create a harmonious balance between classicism and tradition on one hand and contemporary aesthetics on another. It is indeed a great credit to its founder Esmeralda Enrique, who is also an outstanding choreographer and a mesmerizing dancer.
Esmeralda’s quest as a dancer, like of all great artists, is to reach out for the soul of creation. “Flamenco has shaped my life’s history,” she says. “It excites my mind, it enraptures my soul and comforts my spirit. Through flamenco I find truth, beauty and goodness.” It as though Esmeralda is touched by the words of poet William Yeats:
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?
(Prof. Sehdev Kumar lectures on International Films at the University of Toronto. His latest book is, How’s & Why’s of an Unexpected Universe)