Friday, January 27, 2012

Free flamenco master class Feb. 4 at Valéncia Arts Center

Winona, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s “Off The Page Series” and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will host a flamenco dance master class with Deborah Elias of Danza Española 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

The free class is open to dancers and dance enthusiasts ages 11 to adult. No experience is necessary. Students will learn expressive, rhythmic and creative Spanish dances to live music from the Danza Española musicians. Students are asked to wear comfortable clothing and hard-soled shoes. To register, call (507) 453-5500.

Guest artist Deborah Elias is a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s juried Arts in Education Roster of Artists, and 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.

Flamenco is an exciting and energetic art form from southern Spain that embodies rich cultural influences of the Andalusian, Gypsy, Islamic and Sephardic cultures that have lived there through history. The dancer’s rhythmic footwork, graceful arm and hand movements, and hand clapping are 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.

The SMU “Off the Page Series” will present a performance by Deborah Elias and Danza Española in the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre, Friday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call (507) 457-1715 or visit

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.