Musical company

Siudy Garrido Flamenco Company comes to Lobero

Bringing a contemporary take on an ancient Spanish art form is no small task, but internationally acclaimed dancer/choreographer Siudy Garrido manages to swirl traditional and ultra-modern techniques into a brand of flamenco all her own. The artistic vision of Siudy Garrido Flamenco Company Flamenco Intimacy takes the stage on Saturday, June 4 at the Lobero Theater.

We caught up with Garrido while she was in tech rehearsal in her hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. Now based in Miami, her company travels the world, captivating audiences with a unique blend of this vibrant art.

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Flamenco is in your blood, and your mother was very accomplished with her own academy. What are the differences between traditional flamenco and your contemporary and avant-garde interpretation which calls upon other styles of dance and music? I first studied traditional flamenco at my mother’s academy, but I had an early taste for stage work when Joaquín Cortés invited me to come back to Caracas to dance a bulería in a hall of 2,000 seats. When I was 17, superstar Antonio Canales’ company auditioned me to replace the first female lead of Bernarda de Alba (lead was sick). I had to learn the whole show and rehearse in one day and perform the next day, again, in a 2,000 seat venue. Mr. Canales wanted to take me on tour, but my family wouldn’t allow it.

My mother devoted her life to teaching, but my vocation was to work on stage. I founded a professional dance company when I was 19. This is where the inspiration came to me to move forward in my search for a different approach to the aesthetics of flamenco.

Canales was a visionary and I soon learned that I had a different tradition in my own growth. With different influences, since I grew up in America and not in Spain. My footwork became essential and I devoted myself to learning with the best masters in Madrid and Seville. I also learned general techniques and styles.

To be honest, I love traditional flamenco music and styles (palos) flamenco. But in dance, my approach to my work incorporates my study of contemporary dance, emphasizing traditional flamenco dance lines.

Your costumes aren’t traditional either. I design costumes with contemporary influences from my own cultural reality, including pop and fashion influences. For example, I love Tim Burton’s ideas, and they inspired my costumes for Falla & Flamenco with Gustavo Dudamel in 2015, with these timeless ideas in some of his costumes designed by Colleen Atwood. You will see me dancing very traditional flamenco moves but in very non-traditional costumes.

What about music? I incorporate fragments of music like the jazz standard “Take 5” taken from bulerías or Salsa Pasajes taken from the alegrías, but I keep the music centered on the codes and rules of flamenco.

What can guests expect with Flamenco Intimacy? Flamenco Intimacy is part of our expression of these two years of uncertainty. Even though it’s a repertoire show and premiered in 2015, I’ve tweaked it a bit to allow for a sensible commentary on humanity – starting with a piece that depicts us in train to get out of isolation to rediscover the joy of living.

We will perform a guajira, which is a style of flamenco with a Cuban influence. Seguirilla and alegrías in choreography with our beautiful ballet with Spanish shawls and music solos by our great musicians, including Juan Parrilla on flute (composer Joaquín Cortés) and José Luis de la Paz on guitar (composer Cristina Hoyos).

And I will perform my very dear Soleá por Bulería, which is my favorite style of flamenco where I do my solos. We hope that the public can appreciate our work and that we can bring joy here too.

See for performance overview.

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