FirstWorks to Present NOCHE FLAMENCA, 3/26-27

FirstWorks to Present NOCHE FLAMENCA, 3/26-27

FirstWorks presents Spain's most authentic flamenco touring company, SOLEDAD BARRIO and NOCHE FLAMENCA in a spellbinding evening of flamenco dance, song (cante flamenco), guitar, and opportunities to delve into the culture of this passionate art form. Featuring the Bessie Award-winning Soledad Barrio, said to be the best flamenco dancer of the modern era, Noche Flamenca will astonish FirstWorks' Providence audience on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 8 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets). This performance marks the finale of the FirstWorks 2015 Artistic Icons series, which presents artists across the disciplines of theater, dance, and music who have significantly impacted their fields to Providence audiences. Tickets to the Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca evening performance start at $23 and are available at first-works.org or 401-421-ARTS.

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca's visit to Providence offers a rare opportunity to see the best of the best. "This is a chance to see someone who will be written about in history," stated FirstWorks' Executive Artistic Director Kathleen Pletcher, speaking about Ms. Barrio's remarkable and renowned skill. Critics place Ms. Barrio in the pantheon of great dance artists like Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham. Her dancing has been described as evoking "an entire vocabulary of fire: blazing, scorching, smoldering, flaming, incandescent" (Alan Helms, ballet.co, England). Noche Flamenca's full ensemble of dancers and musicians is known for honoring the art of flamenco - giving equal balance to dance, song, and music, and taken to their depths, distilling these presentations into a deeply moving, visceral experience.

The award-winning Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca perform true flamenco - an art born out of the trials of Romans, Jews, Moors, and Gypsies from India and Pakistan living in 15th, 16th and 17th-century Andalucía to express solidarity and the universality of the human experience. "There is no stage dressing with Noche Flamenca; there doesn't need to be. Theirs is a primitive expression driven by rhythm, and rooted in an electric blending of culture," continued Pletcher.

Ticketholders to the 8 p.m. performance at The Vets will be invited to delve into the rich history and culture of flamenco through an evening program enhanced by a pre-show lecture by Noche Flamenca company director Martín Santangelo starting at 6:30 p.m., JumpStart performances by local youth groups at 7 p.m., and a tapas sampling from area restaurants.

In addition to their March 27 Artistic Icons performance at The Vets, Barrio and company members will lead dance workshops for area students and members of the community through the FirstWorks Arts Learning program. On Thursday, March 26 the artists will engage with dance students from Sanchez High School in Providence, RI; Qualters Middle School in Mansfield, MA; and Providence College. A Community Dance Workshop at Providence College takes place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at '64 Hall, The Slavin Center, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence. The Providence College community and the public are welcome for a chance to learn Flamenco dance steps and to indulge in a sampling of Spanish food & drink.

Noche Flamenca was formed in 1993 by company artistic director Martín Santangelo and his wife, lead dancer Soledad Barrio. A nonprofit organization with a base in New York City, Noche Flamenca has become Spain's most successful touring company, performing regularly around the globe. Santangelo has successfully brought the essence, purity, and integrity of one of the world's most complex and mysterious art forms to the stage without the use of tricks or gimmicks. In the presentations of Noche Flamenca, all aspects of flamenco-dance, song, and music-are interrelated and given equal weight, creating a true communal spirit within the company - the very heart and soul of flamenco.

FirstWorks is a nonprofit organization that brings the world's stories, history and culture to local Providence audiences through world-class performances and opportunities to interact with artists and their artistic forms. As the final performance in the FirstWorks 2015 Artistic Icons series, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca close a curated series "filled with legends," Pletcher says. "These artists not only devote their lives to answering the question of how art shifts them individually, but how their art shifts the outside world."

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca perform at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets) at One Avenue of the Arts in Providence, R.I. on Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. For more information on the artists or to purchase tickets visit www.first-works.org or call The Vets box office at 401-421-ARTS.