Duende Flamenco Festival 2020
The Aga Khan Museum’s sixth annual “Duende Festival” presents a series of virtual talks and performances, tapping into Flamenco’s power to transform just about any venue into a hive of soulful humanity.
This year’s edition of the Duende Flamenco Festival will not take place at the Aga Khan Museum, but will be streamed for free online from November 25th to the 28th. Presenting the festival virtually is more than just a practical necessity of the COVID-19 era. It is a creative response to a collective yearning for passion, authenticity, expression, and connection — the same emotions and values that Flamenco represents.
- On Wednesday, November 25 at 8 pm (ET).
- One of Canada’s foremost elder statesmen of Flamenco reflects on his brilliant career in a new music-and-dance-tinged talk for the Aga Khan Museum. Drawing on his five-plus decades as a performer, choreographer, teacher, and student of dance, he will paint a vibrant and personal portrait of Flamenco’s impressive flourishing in North America. Nieto’s talk will illuminate the tradition’s pluralistic origins and how they have endured and developed through political and social change .
- On Thursday, November 26 at 8 pm (ET).
- A cast of Toronto-based artists will showcase Flamenco’s elemental voices in a selection of new tablaos captured inside the Aga Khan Museum. Using a variety Museum spaces as a canvas for their explorations, these dancers and musicians will each trace a different path down Flamenco’s family tree. Fantasía is a collection of five dream-like “visions” imagined by Toronto singer and dancer Shirlita La Pili and brought to life with the help of dancer Lia Grainger, vocalist and dancer Tamar Ilana, guitarist Nicolas Hernandez, and percussionist Derek Gray. This series of instrumental encounters, vocal expressions called cantes, and exuberant dance numbers will illuminate the eclectic origins and broad range of the Flamenco tradition.
- Friday, November 27 at 8 pm (ET).
- Presenting selections from her upcoming Azadi.Libertad release, Iranian-born singer Farnaz Ohadi will debut her latest sonic experiments fusing Persian balladry and Flamenco. Accompanying the Canadian Folk Music Award nominee will be her band the Mashregh Ensemble, featuring Josue Tacoronte Otero (guitar), Amir Amiri (santour), Michael Rush (bass), Hanser Santos Gomez (percussion), and Sydney Cochrane (Flamenco dance). Due in 2021, Azadi.Libertad began as an personal response to social unrest that flared up in Iran in early 2020. “Intense emotions are fully on display, ranging from nostalgia, to pain, yearning, and rage,” Ohadi says. “Nevertheless, the underlying current of each song always remains within the exploration of the idea of how deeply the two genres can be fused.”
- On Saturday, November 28 at 2 pm (ET).
- Spanish Flamenco luminaries Emilio Ochando (dance) and Miriam Mendez (piano) along with Toronto pioneer Carmen Romero will present a preview of their latest work-in-progress. Por qué? / Why? is an interrogation of the creative process in the COVID-19 era. This ensemble defies disruption by drawing upon their artistic ingenuity, fiery passion, and the volcanic language of Flamenco. A short, “behind-the-scenes” mini-documentary of the creative process will be followed by a “work-in-progress” by Romero in Toronto, collaborating virtually with Emilio and Miriam, who are in Spain. A live-streamed conversation with the artists will follow the performance, with an opportunity for a Q&A.