Israel Galvan Brings LA EDAD DE ORO to VIDF This Weekend

Israel Galvan Brings LA EDAD DE ORO to VIDF This Weekend

Bold and virtuosic flamenco artist Israel Galván makes his Vancouver debut with La Edad de Oro as part of the Vancouver International Dance Festival tonight and tomorrow, March 22 and 23, 2014 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Bringing both great subtlety and explosive rhythmic movement to his work, the Seville-born artist is renowned for expressions that honour flamenco's long lineage and history, while smashing stereotypes and preconceptions common to the form.

"It's been said that Israel Galván radiates mastery just by standing still. As a festival with roots in Butoh, it's needless to say that this intrigued us," says Barbara Bourget, Artistic Director. "As we discovered more of Galván, our excitement only grew. He is a truly gifted, truly visionary creator - interweaving the elements of guitar, voice, history, form, and inspiration into entirely unprecedented, wholly profound expressions."

Hailing from Seville, Spain, Galván has dedicated a lifetime to exploring and sharing the percussive, passionate form that is flamenco, beginning under the tutelage of his parents, dancers José Galvan and Eugenia de los Reyes.

Since beginning his professional career in 1994, he has won nearly every top prize available to a flamenco creator and performer, including Spain's prestigious Golden Fine Arts Medal in 2012 and the Spanish National Dance Award. When issuing the latter, the awarding body cited his "ability to generate a new creation of flamenco art without forgetting the true roots that have sustained it until today and make it a universal genre."

In Vancouver, he partners with cantor David Lagos and guitarist Alfredo Lagos in La Edad de Oro ­- a poised, kinetic exploration of the form. The work's title translates to 'The Golden Age' and refers to a period beginning in the late 1800s and running until the 1930s. Historians of the form generally hold that this era represented a peak for flamenco, and that - apart from exceptional cases - no artist today could match the quality, purity, and creativity of practitioners from that age.

In La Edad de Oro, Galván approaches this sentiment in two ways: first, as a gauntlet to be picked up. Second, as an invitation to explore these popular conceptions; applying his unique, contemporary aesthetic to the very roots of flamenco and dancing the 'golden age' as though it were a new era.

The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is a social-profit, artist run organization dedicated to supporting and furthering the art of culturally diverse contemporary dance.

Each year the festival scours the globe, and its own backyard, to assemble a thrilling month of emotionally rich and intellectually stimulating expressions. In doing so, the festival functions as an important link between Vancouver and a vibrant, international community of artists, ensuring that world-class contemporary dance will always have a place in the hearts and minds of Vancouver audiences.

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by Barnett Serchuk