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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Casa Vicente Tucson Spanish and Flamenco Festival to spice up next weekend

    Looking for something to do next weekend?  Why not add a little flavor and spice to your day — literally?

    Starting Sept. 15, Casa Vicente Spanish Restaurant will be hosting its Second Annual Tucson Spanish & Flamenco Festival, sponsored by Marqués de Cáceres. This fiery five-day spectacle will not only bring the passion of flamenco dancing to the heart of Tucson, but will also capture the excitement of Spanish culture.

    To kick all your senses into the Spanish spirit, the celebration will be a haven for authentic Spanish cuisine. Throughout the weekend, vendors will serve traditional tapas — customary Spanish appetizers — that will get your taste buds tingling. Casa Vicente will also be open throughout the festivities, offering Spanish culinary splendor with its regular extensive dinner menu. And to drink? No Spanish festival would be complete without tantalizing libations. A fine wine tasting is also on the weekend’s schedule.

    The celebrations do not end there. The festival will offer activities and events to captivate other senses — stimulating your eyes, ears and sense of rhythm. The festival will feature an exciting and energetic live concert series with more than 20 local and guest artists from around the country, set to perform on the event’s outdoor stage. In addition, many distinctive artists from around the globe will offer workshops in flamenco dancing, song and guitar. Special guests include Antonio Arrebola of Spain, Marisol Encinias of the National Institute of Flamenco in New Mexico, Rebeca Tomás of New York, Tucson’s own Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo Student Company and many more.

    The festival will kick off Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Casa Vicente with a lecture by Adair Landborn titled “”Flamenco Dance and Spanish Bullfighting,”” which will focus on the similarities between the movement of both flamenco dancing and Spanish bullfighting. Following the lecture, the University of Arizona’s very own Malcolm Compitello, head of the department of Spanish and Portuguese, will be lecturing about the world of Spanish culture and cinema and will be showing a classic Spanish film.

    Special guest instructor Ricardo Anglada will continue the festivities on Thursday night. Beginning at 6 p.m., attendees will be able to experiment with learning the fundamentals and techniques of flamenco guitar in Anglada’s flamenco guitar workshop. A vocal workshop with Vicente Griego is to follow at 7 p.m., in which participants will be introduced to the foundation of flamenco — the song. Noche de Seis Cuerdas will then open a series of performances presented throughout the festival — dedicated to the art of Spanish guitar, this concert will feature both solo and group performances. In addition to listening to the music, audiences are free to enjoy the many tapas and beverages available.

    Those attending Friday night’s concert will have a front row seat to the passion and brilliance of the art of flamenco. Noche Flamenco, which is the Spanish and Flamenco Festival’s premiere performance, will feature some of the greatest artists of flamenco. Vicente Griego, Ricardo Anglada, Macarena Giraldez, Marisol Encinias and Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo are just a few artists on the schedule for this outdoor performance.

    Saturday and Sunday will be jam-packed with Spanish flare. Participants can start their Saturday with an introduction to the art of Flamenco dancing. Special guest instructors Mele and Jason Martinez — from Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo — will be offering a flamenco workshop at 11 a.m. for those interested in learning the fundamentals of the art. Afterward, Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo will offer a class in palmas, flamenco hand clapping, cajon, traditional flamenco drumming, followed by a Bata de Cola workshop (traditional flamenco dancing in long train dresses) with Rebeca Tomás at 1 p.m. For those who want to take their training even further Marisol Encinias — a renowned flamenco artist and the artistic director of the National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, N.M. — will be holding an intermediate/advanced flamenco dance workshop at 2:30 p.m. Next, attendees will be able to test out their acquired skills and improvise to live guitar and vocals in the Cuadro workshop with special guest artist Antonio Arrebola held at 4 p.m. The second installment of Noche Flamenca will conclude the day.

    The festival will host the same schedule of workshops on Sunday starting at 11 a.m, and beginning at 2 p.m. Tucsonans are invited to take “”a culinary journey through Spain.”” For $30, participants can discover and sample the history behind the Spanish cuisine and wine. Marisol Encinias will also be holding her intermediate/advanced flamenco dance workshop at 2:30 p.m., along with the improvisational Cuadro workshop with Antonio Arrebola at 4 p.m. Afterwards, Adair Landborn will be leading a lecture demonstration titled “”A Cultural Guide to the Mysteries of Flamenco Dance,”” which allows audiences to gather a deeper understanding of the elements of the art of flamenco by exploring the history behind the cultural and technical influences of the art.

    The Second Annual Tucson Spanish and Flamenco Festival will come to an exhilarating close at 8 p.m. on Sunday with Fiesta Latin. The grande finale of the weekend, this flamenco concert will be a non-stop party for all those who attend, will be to celebrate the vivacity and continuation of the art of Flamenco and Spanish spirit.

    So if you want to make your weekend sizzle, why not put a little flare in your step and head on over to Casa Vicente.

    For more information about schedules and costs, visit: or call Casa Vicente at 884-5253.

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