Colmena Flamenca

Year: 2021-2022
DanceForce Member: Carlota Santana
Artists: Leslie Roybal, Carlota Santana
Community Partners: Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana; Lake Placid Center for the Arts; NY Public Library for the Performing Arts
Audience: 980
Counties: Essex. New York

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana presents the Colmena Flamenca (Flamenco Hive), a two-tiered project composed of the Flamenco Certamen USA and the newly launched Artist Development Series. These two growth opportunities are designed to nurture rising flamenco artists in their path to deeper learning within the art form and to provide them with the integral tools necessary to prepare for a professional flamenco practice. The Colmena Flamenca is unique in that no other flamenco-specific professional development programs exist outside of Spain that provide a well-rounded, comprehensive pathway to a professional career.

The Artist Development Series, beginning in July 2021, is a year-long virtual program for up to 20 national artists committed to their artistic growth. Participants are selected by application and each month are provided with classes ranging from a study of the flamenco palos, history, dance structure, movement analysis, one-on-one mentorships with established international artists as well as an in-person upstate NY residency. Participating artists will further dive into the integral relationship between the song, music and dance in flamenco with 7 days of in studio work with live musicians during this time. Open level community workshops, professional Flamenco Vivo performances, lecture demonstrations for K – 12 schools and an informal in-studio showing of work created by the Artist Development participants will also take place during the residency week. The Artist Development Series provides a clear segue for participants to apply for and participate in the Flamenco Certamen USA competition.

The Flamenco Certamen USA, now in its 8th year, brings emerging talent to the public eye while fostering the continued development and exposure of the flamenco art form throughout New York State. Applicants from around the world submit video samples, written statements and resumes which are scored by a panel of established flamenco artists. Up to 10 finalists are selected to compete at the Estudio (Student) or Tablao (Pre-Professional) level. Flamenco Vivo supports the finalists with a residency intensive in preparation for the final show and judging, which is slated to take place at Lake Placid Center for the Arts October 9 – 14, 2021. The residency includes solo rehearsal time, one-on-one sessions with a mentor and rehearsals with the guitarist and singer who will accompany them for the final performance. The culminating event will be held at the prestigious Bruno Walter Auditorium at The NYPL for the Performing Arts on Friday, October 15, 2021, and will be open to the public. Finalists will be judged by a panel of professional community artists based on predetermined criteria. Winners will be chosen that evening and the prizes include free studio space, cash and the opportunity to participate as a guest of the Madrid Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco with special invitation to workshops with esteemed flamenco artists and open attendance to the Certamen competition, live in Madrid, Spain. Additionally a winner will have the opportunity to study for one week at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma in Madrid.