VISION FOR THE FUTURE: A CONTINUUM
The Flamenco Centre in Perspective
As a professional practitioner and teacher of flamenco I take the privileged responsibility to be a custodian of the art form in my community.
As such, it is my life's commitment to raise the profile and help reveal the universal relevance and cathartic benefit of flamenco, despite its culturally specific Spanish origin, to today's mainstream Australian society; to increase the community's experience, practice and appreciation of flamenco; and to contribute to the promotion of integrity in pedagogy and performance to the best of my ability and resources.
The most immediate and sustainable way to project flamenco into the community is to teach the art form in formal classes. Students who study at the Flamenco Centre are trained to attain a thorough understanding of the technical and cultural aspects of flamenco so they are capable of sharing this information responsibly with others in the community.
To this end I include all members of the Australian community, regardless of culture, race, creed, gender, sexuality or lifestyle choice, in classes and social events of The Flamenco Centre, thereby improving access to, participation in, and thus knowledge and appreciation of the art of authentic flamenco.
Through continued and applied study students will be able to perform the art on stage at community and professional events, thus providing a multi level profile in public settings for the community's appreciation. Ultimately, student training will be taken to level of teacher, so that the art form can reach further into the community.
The social context of flamenco is crucial to its natural state, therefore social events related to the appreciation of flamenco art and culture will be regularly organised, to which the general public will be invited.
STUDENTS - MIRRORING THE PROCESS
My students are the embodiment of my Vision; they are the ambassadors of all walks of life, and in turn become ambassadors of flamenco and of my organisation. They continuously bring clarity to my vision for flamenco in Canberra. Unified in the art form, and dancing with a firm footing in both technique and inspiration, they draw audiences from our local communities well into the cathartic expression that is flamenco.
WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR THE FLAMENCO CENTRE?
In running The Flamenco Centre Canberra I am nurturing the first seed of a vast forest. This forest needs fertile soil, and with flamenco tuition this means proper facilities.
As I've previously shown, the success of The Flamenco Centre depends entirely on consistent availability of a suitable studio. Without a suitable venue, authentic flamenco training cannot take place. Flamenco cannot be taught in any dance studio; the heavy technical requirements for flamenco dance demand a studio with optimum conditions - in particular a sprung timber floor, built to be used, and sound/vibration attenuated. Despite Canberra's support for dance, such venues are rarely, and rarely available. Canberra must get serious about building facilities that suit all forms of dance - including flamenco.
The Belconnen Arts Centre currently provides a stable environment which allows some promise for the revival of my work. After trying nearly every possible dance venue in Canberra over a ten year period, and been systematically evicted from each one, I am grateful that the Belconnen Arts Centre provides at least some hope for the recovery of The Flamenco Centre, and re-ignites the possibility to realise flamenco's relevance to our community. My three-year experience at the Griffin Centre of five days per week proved that given the opportunity and support, flamenco can flourish with impressive vigour, well supported by a clearly appreciative community.
My operation is not just a seed for flamenco's patrimonial future in this community. It is a species seed, so therefore it is all the more precious. Flamenco is a famously difficult artform in technical terms, but moreover, its natural shape is determined by its Spanish roots; therefore the common mis-perception is that it is not accessible to non-Spaniards. I beg to differ. My operation, with its aims, objectives and methods, is indeed the means to changing this mis-perception. As my multicultural students will attest, flamenco is relevant and meaningful to all members of Australian Society, regardless of ethnic background or experience.
I remain hopeful that one day I will be able to manage my own dedicated premises to which I can give full-time my focus, energy and resources and realise the future of flamenco in our community - a future that is ready to unfurl today.