The Houston Flamenco Festival

Arte y Pureza performs at Frenetic Theater, Houston during the Houston Flamenco Festival.

This year's Festival was again a great success.  Whether it was sharing a glass of wine and dancing Sevillanas with your friends, participating in the workshops, or attending the different presentations and shows, the Festival had a variety of opportunities to celebrate and participate in Houston's flamenco culture.

The Festival was inaugurated with a party at Del Espadin Flamenco Studios (Headquarters of the Flamenco Foundation of Houston), where students and flamenco aficionados alike where treated to a performance by acclaimed Houston dance troupe "Cuadro La Tempestad".  The party's casual atmosphere gave attendees the opportunity to interact with the performers, and ask questions of the teachers, eat, drink, and toast Flamenco!

The festive atmosphere continued later in the week at Cha Champagne Bar, where the festival and its sponsors brought a piece of Sevilla's April Fair with a flamenco inspired fashion show, many bottles of tinto, and some well danced sevillanas.

The core of the festival was of course the presence of acclaimed cuadro Flamenco "Arte y Pureza" led by guitarist Ethan Margolis and dancer Cihtli Ocampo, who travelled to Houston in the company of singer Juan Bacán, of the legendary Pinini gypsy clan. 

Arte y Pureza conducted a series of workshops on technique, compás, cante, and improvisation revolving around the Soleá and Bulería rhythms; students also had the opportunity to take private cante lessons from Juan Bacán.  The workshops, which were open to students levels, were extremely challenging and informative, but also thoroughly fun, and they confirmed all attendants in their passion for flamenco!

The Festival closed on a high note with an exhilarating performance at Frenetic Theater by Arte y Pureza, in which the audience was treated to the mastery and agility of Ethan Margolis's guitar, power, passion, and grace of Cihtli Ocampo's dance (cantiñas and siguiriyas), and the exquisitely mournful rumble of Juan Bacán's singing in his Soleá and his Siguiriya.

Until next year, and remember to keep it real, keep it gypsy, and keep it in compás!

All images courtesy of Userofreality Photography. 

Many thanks to our sponsors:
Frenetic Theater
Cha Champagne Bar and Mon Venin, LLC for sponsoring "Aires de Feria",  
Del Espadin Flamenco Studios for hosting the workshops,
And for their continued support, we thank:
The Consulate General of Spain,
Userofreality Photography
Dear Polia...
Nadia Palacios Lauterbach, Design Consultant

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