Olé! — a Stunning Flamenco Performance Onstage

Tablao Flamenco artists performed in an all-school event April 6 as part of the annual Graham Gund ’59 Visiting Artist Series. The dancers and musicians transformed the stage in the Werner Centennial Center into an intimate setting much like nightclubs found in Andalusia, Spain. The dynamic, passionate performance, incorporating improvisation, dance, vocals and guitar music, was delivered by a cast of award-winning flamenco artists.
These types of performances are called “tablaos” because the stages on which the artists perform are made of wood, a material that offers an ideal sound for the “zapateado,” the rapid, stomping of their heels. Acoustics are very important, in the case of the floor, as it transmits a quality of clean and powerful sound. It is important to hear the sound of the dancers against the wood since it is a part of the percussion of flamenco. The guitar music played during the performance also is more percussive and the vocals have a fat sound, with low harmonics.
Following the performance, the artists gave a special masterclass on the stage for the dance and music students. This special event was made possible by members of the Gund family, who established the fund in 1991 in honor of Graham for his 50th birthday. Income from the fund underwrites the cost of bringing outstanding artists to Westminster to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the performing arts.

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