Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flamenco dance highlights next Saint Mary’s ‘Off the Page’ Series

WINONA, Minn. — Experience the excitement and beauty of authentic flamenco dance with Deborah Elias Danza Española Friday, Feb. 3, through Saint Mary’s University’s “Off the Page” Series. The show — which energetically blends together dance, guitar and song — will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Lead dancer Deborah Elias’ rhythmic footwork, graceful arm and hand movements, and hand clapping will be accompanied by the powerful strumming and soulful chords of the guitar to express a wide variety of styles, or palos, from the most serious cante jondo, to the light-hearted cante chico.

Elias is a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Juried Arts in Education Roster of Artists. She has taught at Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre and School, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, and the University of Minnesota. She also performs and choreographs with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre. She recently presented, in conjunction with the Winona Public Library, “The Moon’s Desire,” a collaboration that revolved around the work of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorća.

Special guest singer Vicente Griego “is striking for his deep, sonorous wails that seem to come from a cavern, someplace deep within his soul” (Anna Poplawska, “Chicago Artist’s News”). Coming from New Mexico, Griego has devoted his life to the study of cante flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. He has toured the U.S., Canada and Latin America with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company.

This is the third Saint Mary’s “Off The Page” event — a showcase of Minnesota artists featured in venues around town.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Saint Mary’s is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov.4, 2008.