Dallas' Latino Cultural Center debuts new ‘Flamenco Black' performance this weekend

The Dallas debut of show unravels Flamenco’s Afro-Andalusian roots and Black history for the first time

Brandon Tijerina

A local nonprofit is aiming to shed more light on a bridge between two cultures.

The Flame Foundation is collaborating with local contemporary dance group B. Moore Dance to bring light to the descendants of Africans as they relate to Flamenco.

It’s a rich history organizers say hasn’t been unpacked or understood locally before, until now.

The world premiere for Flamenco Black starring visiting guest star flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves kicks off Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9.

The shows run from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Latino Cultural Center on Live Oak Street in Dallas. A meet and greet reception with the cast follows after both performances.

Flamenco Black is an evening length work that illuminates Spain’s Afro-Andalusian history, its influence and connections to the origins of Flamenco dance and music. The collaborative project features choreography by Yinka Esi Graves, Antonio Arrebola, Bridget L. Moore, and Delilah Buitròn Arrebola.

Andalusia is the southernmost community in Spain where Flamenco was born.

“Flamenco Black is a compilation of flamenco songs, dances, stories that are directly linked to Afro-Andalasion history, African Flamenco roots, and black communities,” said Delilah Buitron Arrebola, artistic director and producer of The Flame Foundation and Flamenco Black. “They express powerful imagery through traditional and contemporary stylization…I believe this is the beginning of future Flamenco Black productions.”

The idea of the Flamenco Black concept came from Delilah, who had both personal and professional experiences. The City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture Community Artist Program asked if The Flame Foundation would lead an hour-long discussion and performance on flamenco and its African origins and influence during Black History Month in February 2020.

Through her research, she learned about Yinka Esi Graves, a guest bailaora,or flamenco dancer, and choreographer, who is an African descent flamenco dancer from London who currently lives in Sevilla.

Delilah’s son, who is biracial black-white-Latino, asked if there were any black flamenco performers, and this lead her to think about why there hasn’t been any or more black performances. Delilah spent two more years learning about Afro-Andalusian and African flamenco roots and connected with Yinka and Bridget L. Moore of B. Moore Dance to start collaborating on Flamenco Black.

For more information on the show and tickets, visit www.flamencoblack.org.

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