Flamenco Festival showcases Spanish culture during February

Jan 31, 2013

North Central College will host its sixth annual Flamenco Festival during the month of February, showcasing the emotive, rhythmic music and dance from Spanish culture. Several events are planned—including dance classes, lectures, a performance and film. All are free and open to the public.

The Flamenco Festival presents the following events:

•    A free lecture titled “The Evolution of Flamenco” will kick off the festival on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from noon to 1 p.m. in Heininger Auditorium at Larrance Academic Center, 309 E. School St. North Central Spanish instructor Jelena Sánchez will present the evolution of flamenco music and dance originated in Andalucía, Spain, as a voyage through time, from its roots to modern day. Tapas and discussion will follow.

•    Experts in the field of flamenco will present on various topics during a flamenco conference on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. A discussion will follow.

•    The Chicago-based flamenco group The Guitars of Spain (Las Guitarras de España) will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. The guitar-influenced ensemble will play Spanish flamenco and world music and flamenco dancers will perform.

•    On Mondays, starting Jan. 28 through March 4, Sánchez will teach flamenco dance for beginners from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. in Heininger Auditorium at Larrance Academic Center, 309 E. School St. Participants will learn basic arm and body movements, footwork and musical rhythms. No prior experience is needed. Skirts for women and square-heeled shoes are encouraged.

In addition, North Central College’s Spanish program is co-presenting a free screening of the 2008 documentary “Nuestros desaparecidos” (Our Disappeared) and follow-up discussion by its director Juan Mandelbaum at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, in the College’s Smith Hall at Old Main, 30 N. Brainard St. Mandelbaum will be part of a discussion led by Silvia Goldman, North Central assistant professor of Spanish. The documentary investigates what happened to thousands of people who “disappeared,” were kidnapped and tortured by Argentina’s military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. Through rare archival footage, the film uncovers dramatic stories told by parents, siblings, friends and children of the disappeared.

Sponsors of the festival are North Central’s student club Fusión Española, Student Governing Association and the Office of International Programs. For more information contact Sánchez, North Central adjunct instructor of Spanish, at 630-637-5275.