Newsletter 11. 6. 2013

Table of Contents

♦ Upcoming Events
♦ Classes in Session
♦ For Sale
♦ On Barefoot Flamenco… by Eliza Llewellyn
♦ Vicarious Flamenco: Events you May Have Missed…by Daniella Santoro

 Upcoming Events

Micaela y su Fiesta Flamenca
The Refrigerator Art Auction and Gala Patron Party at the Louisiana Children’s Museum
420 Julia Street
Saturday November 9
6:00-7:00 pm

Eliza Llewellyn
Dancing GroundsSpeakeasy Studio Pop Up Show
Hi –Ho Lounge
Saturday November 9
9:15pm -10:00 pm (part of a series of dance preview performances)

Ven Pa’ca
New Iberia Spanish Festival
New Iberia, Louisiana
Saturday November 16
12:30 -2:00pm

Classes in Session

Dance Quarter 1719 Toledano St.
Flamenco Basics (Level 1) with Eliza Llewellyn
Sept. 11 – Nov. 13
6:30 – 7:30pm
Saturdays thru Nov. 16 (new)
3:15pm – 4:15pm
Drop-in: $15

An introduction to the beautiful, passionate, and profound gitano-Andalusian art form known as Flamenco. Perfect for all level of beginners, even those trying it for the first time, the session will examine flamenco posture, arm, hand and body technique, stylization, footwork technique, flamenco rhythms, and the basic structure of flamenco dance. Students will learn short segments or variations in each class.
Flamenco Basics on Saturdays will continue introducing the essential concepts of flamenco dance while reinforcing and deepening technique drills in footwork, arm work, and style. Students will be able to further
explore “compas” (rhythms) and “palmas” (hand clapping). Wednesday’s choreography will be reviewed at the end of class, making this an excellent complement to that class while also ideal for new students.
Flamenco or character dance shoes are best for class, but other sturdy footwear will work (i.e. low, thick-heeled shoes or boots approx. 1.5 – 3in high) and comfy clothing to allow movement like stretch pants, a long, flared skirt and a form fitting top.

Dance Quarter 1719 Toledano St.
Flamenco beyond the Basics (Level 2) with Eliza Llewellyn
Sept. 28 – Nov. 16
2:00 – 3:00pm
Drop-in: $15

Ideal for the advanced beginner or intermediate level student, this technique and choreography driven class builds on core aspects such as zapateado (footwork), palmas (hand clapping) and braceo (arm movements),
turns and marcajes (marking steps), as well as how to create an elegant balance of motion and energy to exude the type of passion that drives this art. Students will explore a variety of rhythms this session and will learn short segments or variations in each class. This class moves at a faster pace than the Level 1.

Private, semi-private and small group classes are available. Please contact Eliza at
or (504) 421-3517.
New Orleans Dance Academy
5956 Magazine Street
Beginners and Advanced Beginners with Micaela Paule
Thursdays (on going)
Drop-in: $15
Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate with Micaela Paule
Tuesdays (on going)
Drop-in: $15
Dance and Choreography with live Guitarist

For Sale!

Red flamenco skirt, with black trimmed single ruffle made in Spain (D’Pertiñez), size Medium. Excellent
condition. Can be used for practice or performance. For more information, contact Eliza: or (504) 421-3517

Barefoot Flamenco: Dialogues through Dance

By Eliza Llewellyn

     I recently watched a beautiful documentary about the meeting of Kathak dance and tap. Though worlds apart, these artists found a common ground: beneath their feet, a connection to each other, a dialogue, an exploration and a revelation. It reminded me of my own first steps in dance, stomping my feet into the earth, relishing in the impact and the beat- and I was still years away from discovering flamenco. So when people ask me “Why do you teach barefoot flamenco?”- often looking at me quizzically- I explain to them that flamenco is first and foremost a way of life, a language out of a specific culture (Gitano-Andalusian) and with deep, ancestral roots tracing back to India, Africa and the Middle East, among other far reaching cultures.
The connection to the earth and a shared human condition is fundamental and so much of this art form can be understood eliminating the shoes- an element often intimidating to the uninitiated. Other more practical barriers- such as a lack of proper flooring- also compelled me to devise another way to make flamenco accessible to different audiences. In fact, the first time I ever taught a “Barefoot Flamenco” class I was living in the jungles of southern Mexico and a small eco-hotel requested the classes as part of the “exotic” offerings for their guests, young and older, men and women. Our palm-thatched hut, with sand flooring, demanded a creative approach. Playing my favorite flamenco tunes, moving through the basics of posture, feeling the cool earth beneath our feet and the joy of motion became a fi rst step into a world many had never ventured to enter or, in some cases, a world completely unknown to them. The Barefoot Flamenco class that I teach today, combines body conditioning exercises, and an introduction to the language of flamenco with a heavy focus on braceo (arm work), floreo (hand flourishes) and palmas (rhythmic clapping). It’s a fun way to explore this rich, complex, and beautiful art form all while searching inside ourselves for that common ground, that language beneath our feet.

 For more information about Eliza’s Barefoot Flamenco & Traditional Flamenco dance classes or private
instruction, please contact and visit

Barefoot Flamenco with Eliza in 2014 at Dancing Grounds Speakeasy Studio in the Bywater.

Vicarious Flamenco…reflections on past events

Ven Pa’ca at Casa Borrega, November 1st
By Daniella Santoro

     Ven Pa’ca put on a spirited performance at the new (must-see!) restaurant/bar/venue Casa Borrega on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, last Friday November 1, known here in Louisiana as All Saints Day. Their unique
blend of traditional fl amenco palos and a jazzy fusion of alto saxophone melodies , nestled in well in the rustic dimly lit but colorful new venue, itself a fusion of Latin American folk culture, and New Orleans local culture. The place was packed with couples clinking margarita glasses, committed flamenco lovers perched at the bar, myself and my dancer comrades quietly tapping out rhythms on tables, chairs, and with our feet. Different than other longer staged performances, the environment of Casa Borrega offered a casual atmosphere to enjoy the music, a balance between intimacy and formality. Ven Pa’Ca performed two sets; Leticia performed a rousing Alegrias and concluded the formal program with a Seguiriyas with punctuating alternations of creativity and convention.
At the conclusion of the formal program, Leticia called upon dancers to join her in Sevillanas- a wonderful conclusion to match the energy Leticia’s dancing, and the musicians had already raised in the intimate space. Michelle and Leticia performed an elegant set on the small wooden stage. Then, Leticia warmly welcomed other dancers, myself included for another set of Sevillanas.   

     My personal favorite moment -because it was so unique and spontaneous- was when from my own vantage point, as Ingrid and I completed our own copla, I could see Vanessa, dressed in a full ‘day of the dead’ skeleton costume rise when the guitar trill beckoned, to match Leticia in their pasadas. Hands raised, back angled upward, her painted skeleton pallor obscured any typical registers of life energy, and so it appeared just for a moment out of time, that perhaps, the dead had risen and joined the party.
No image is more fitting for the eve of Dia de Los Muertos, which reminds us that life is short, and my personal addition: as Nietzsche once said “we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
As the candles and incense burned down on the day of the dead altar on the patio, I pondered how surely there is no better way to call the dead back to earth for a visit, then to offer them a dance.

Ven Pa’ca is: John Lawrence on guitar, Leticia Jimenez dance and palmas; Dave Sobel on cajon, Rob Wagner on mini saxophone.

In case you weren’t able to make it to an event or have acute symptoms of (FOMO- Fear.Of Missing.Out.) don’t fret! We will post photos from all events to our blog, and share show highlights!
Don’t forget to register your email on the blog at!

With duende and sincerely yours,
Flamenco Si Co-editors, Daniella Santoro and Ingrid Adrianza



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