Congreso Flamenco (on-line performance)
This event is on July 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Congreso Flamenco is a Tablao Flamenco Performance that features the celebration of the diversity in the artistic exchange of cross cultural genres in music and dance. Congreso Flamenco incorporates Cuban percussionist Rosendo Leon Arocha, Flamenco Guitarist Nicolas Hernadez, Eclectic Jazz Cellist George Crotty, Flamenco singer Gina Tantalo and Flamenco dancer Carmen Romero. This is a congress of talent and artistry that explores flamenco from many different avenues. Rhythmical, soulful, fun and creative. Palos such as a flamenco rap into a fandangos de Huelva to an Alegrias that brings you to the shores of Cadiz, Congreso flamenco is traditional in a contemporary context.
Carmen Romero is a leading and award-winning established flamenco dance artist whose experience in performance, education, production and adjudication, affirms her position in the national and international dance scene. She has the innate ability for improvisation in the flamenco form, pushing the edge with confidence in her craft. Known also for her choreographic story-telling style, Carmen explores relationships and concepts in a manner that invites audiences into a visceral experience created on stage. She has received a Dora Nomination in 2003 for Best Choreography. She is a recipient of the Chalmers Award for the K.M Hunter Emerging Artists Award as well as nominated for Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance in 2013. She coached Latin Pop star “Shakira” in her 2010 Sale el Sol world tour. In 2000 Carmen represented Canada at the 9th Annual Certamen de Coreogrfia de Danza Espanola y Flamenco in Madrid and as a soloist at the International Castanet festival in Girona, Spain in 2014.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Carmen forged new creative pathways with live streaming performances for the National Arts Centre, Canada Performs series, as well the Canadian Stage. As well, she collaborated with Dusk Dances 2021 season presenting “Nuestro Leyenda” filmed by award-winning filmmaker William Yong. Recently, the prestigious Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, produced “Porque/Why?.” on a digital platform during the Covid-19 pandemic. Porque is a collaboration between Carmen Romero and some of Spain’s illustrious award-winning artists, flamenco dancer Emilio Ochando and pianist Miriam Mendéz.
In creation Carmen seeks the paths less travelled and leans heavily on intuition as a guide to developing and idea, thought or experience. She sees dance as moving architecture. The body creating shapes in space and time. She is fascinated with how these shapes can make suggestions, provoke thought on to both the artists and audience. Carmen Romero is not afraid to explore beyond her comfort zones to create dance that is passionate and relevant.
Nicolas Hernandez with over 30 years of experience under his fingers, Nicolas’ style has evolved into a distinctive, modern “voice” in the flamenco genre. His debut CD “Buscando mi voz” won a Just Plain Folks Award for Best Flamenco Album in 2009 and his second CD “Rupakerias” was released in 2018. One of the tunes from his Rupakerias album, “Mociones y Emociones”, was featured in a short film by RealD which was shown at film festivals in the USA and Europe and used as a promotion for RealD’s 3D capabilities for the film industry. The highlights of Nicolas’ career include performing a trio version of his debut CD at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2007, sharing a Dora Mavor Moore Award (with Chuscales) for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition Dance in 2015 and sharing a total of 6 nominations in the same category for 6 different productions between 2007 and 2013. Nicolas was the musical director for the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company for over 20 years and toured the world with the Jesse Cook band for 16 years.
Gina Tantalo, comes from a background of vocal training, expressed primarily through Flamenco cante. Her interest in the power of voice and resonance has become a lifelong exploration of vocal expression, transmission of emotion and purpose to be shared with audiences. She began her training in Spain with the Gypsies from Madrid and Seville. Since then she has had numerous opportunities to work and continue her studies with some incredibly gifted artists from Toronto, Montreal and Spain. She considers herself a lifelong student of flamenco song and remains grateful for her experiences in this art form so far.
George Crotty: Canadian cellist/composer George Crotty’s inquisitive eclecticism embraces fiddle-derived ornamentation, the agile one-finger gestures of Indian classical music, adapted electric guitar techniques, and the bold articulations of jazz bass. One half of the Loose Roots Duo with West Coast fiddler Gabriel Dubreuil, and leader of his titular world-jazz inflected Trio, the Toronto-based Crotty’s modernist genre-bending is heavily influenced by his hometown’s vibrant pluralism.
Following his graduation from the eminent Berklee College of Music, he joined a number of ensembles such as the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, Detroit-based National Arab Orchestra, and New York’s Brooklyn Raga Massive in addition to collaborating with the likes of Darol Anger, Simon Shaheen, Paquito D’Rivera and Anat Cohen. From 2019- 2020 he served as the cello chair on the North American tour of Broadway musical, The Band’s Visit.
Rosendo “Chendy” Leon Arocha is described as a “A jaw-droppingly brilliant percussionist,” but listen to his work and you’ll see how short that description falls. He’s quick. He’s tasty. His patterns inspire awe. But for him, his skills as a musician are second to him being a good person. Chendy grew up in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, and like many percussionists, his mother’s heartbeat while in the womb was his first musical experience. He describes his parents as “incredible human beings and his most important musical influence,” as they provided him unlimited access to dance and to listening and playing opportunities. Currently based in Toronto, Canada, he continues to collaborate and play with local artists such as Amanda Martinez, Hilario Duran, Sultans of String, Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook, Dominic Mancuso, Elmer Ferrer, etc…