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"A touch of Spain" performance in Lanesboro

Mon, Apr 19th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Lanesboro Arts Center is pleased to bring "A Touch of Spain" to Lanesboro, Minnesota, on Friday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., at the St. Mane Theatre. "A Touch of Spain - The Moon's Desire" brings to life the passionate and imagistic poetry of Federico García Lorca, one of Spain's most beloved poets. Dramatic readings, flamenco dance, song, guitar, and jazz saxophone join to ignite Lorca's poetry. Passionate, soulful, playful, and introspective, this 75-minute performance will give audiences an intimate experience with an acclaimed poet not widely known in this region. Admission to the performance is free! Tickets are available at the door and in advance at the Lanesboro Arts Center, 507-467-2446.

About the Poetry

Filled with beautiful images and evocative emotions, the poetry of Federico García Lorca embodies the intense spirit of Andalucía (southern Spain), where he was born in 1898-a strong connection to nature and the land, an appreciation for the beauty of even the smallest things, the pain of life, and an almost premonitory fascination with death. A charismatic and independent-minded figure, Lorca was abducted by Falangist soldiers in 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil War, shot, and buried in an unmarked grave. His death remains shrouded in mystery and his body has never been found.

Although rooted in Andalucía, the themes in Lorca's poetry reflect the universal human condition. The same is true of the flamenco art form. Also from Andalucía, flamenco began as an organic, improvisatory folk art of the gypsies. Embodying influences of the Gypsy, Arabic, Sephardic Jewish, and other cultures that lived for hundreds of years in Andalucía, flamenco is based on individual expression and intense energy expressed in the soul-baring singing, the powerful strumming of the guitar, and the rhythmic footwork and strong torso and arms of the dance.

About the Artists

• Dancer/ choreographer/ director Deborah Elias performs throughout the Midwest with guitarist Michael Hauser, Fuego Flamenco, her own group Deborah Elias Danza Española, and as a company member with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre. A classically trained musician, she is known for her lyrical style and musical footwork. She has been the recipient of awards and recognitions from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Jerome Foundation, and Intermedia Arts.

• Raúl Ramos is an actor, director, teacher, and Resident Artist with Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis. He is also Artistic Associate with Teatro Del Pueblo in St. Paul and has directed many of their productions. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego's Hispanic-American Acting program.

• La Conja is a mesmerizing singer of Egyptian descent who naturally melds Spanish, Arab, and Indian musical influences into her work. Based in New York City, La Conja performs with companies throughout the U.S. as a flamenco singer, dancer, and choreographer.

• Well-known flamenco guitarist Michael Hauser performs throughout the Midwest with his groups Flamenco-A Touch of Spain and Cuadro Folklorico. Sometimes referred to as "The Father of Flamenco in the Midwest," he teaches and is currently on the music faculty at Macalester College.

This performance is part of a larger project, "Bringing Spanish Poetry to Southeast Minnesota," funded by SELCO-SELS (Southeast Libraries Cooperating) Arts and Culture Live! with funds from the Legacy Amendment "to preserve Minnesota's arts and cultural heritage" passed by voters in November 2008. The project engages twelve organizational partners in five southeastern Minnesota communities with the goals of providing an enjoyable artistic experience unusual in the region; expanding familiarity with Federico García Lorca, flamenco, and Spanish culture; and increasing interest in poetry. Performances of The Moon's Desire will also be held in Plainview, Winona, and Northfield as part of the project.

This project also engages children and young adults through classroom performance / demonstrations for school students, including the Lanesboro School music students (3rd, 5th, 6th grade choir students and senior high band students) who worked with Deborah Elias and Michael Hauser last week.

The performance on Friday, April 23 is free! Tickets are available in advance at the Lanesboro Arts Center galleries at 103 Parkway Ave. N. in Lanesboro (open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.), and at the door one hour prior to the performance at the St. Mane Theatre, 206 Parkway Ave. N. in Lanesboro. For more information call 507-467-2446. Lanesboro Arts Center mission is to serve as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages. For more information: 507-467-2446 / /

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