DanceForce Member: Carlota Santana
Artists: Leslie Roybal, Carlota Santana
Community Partners: Emilio Ochando; Fanny Ara; Lorena Franco
Counties: Erie, New York
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana will continue expansion of the annual Flamenco Certamen USA. A unique competition for rising flamenco artists, this program brings professional, pre-professional and student-level flamenco artists from across the globe together in New York State with the overarching goal of fostering the next generation of artists. This project creates opportunities for dancers to experience exponential growth and expand their network of support, all while combining quality education and performance with community engagement and sharing this multicultural art form with audiences beyond the island of Manhattan.
The Flamenco Certamen at its core is a competition. However, multiple levels of support are built into the full trajectory. Flamenco Vivo will offer assistance in writing resumes and bios as well as support recording the application video for those interested in applying. Once selected to compete, Flamenco Vivo will pair each Finalist with a flamenco community Mentor to help them shape their dances in the 6 – 8 weeks before the residency and final competition. Finalists and Mentors may meet either in person or online, as Mentors may come from a Finalist’s immediate area, or outside their vicinity. Flamenco Vivo has identified several mentors for this purpose, including two from outside of the NYC area; in Westchester and Suffolk counties.
After the initial application process, up to 10 Finalists are selected to compete at two levels; student and pre-professional. The Finalists receive extensive ongoing support in the form of mentorship and coaching leading up to and during the week-long residency that takes place with a partner in an upstate region. This year, we hope to bring the program to the Buffalo community. This residency is where dancers take daily classes, receive focused on-on-one guidance from professional mentors and invaluable time with live musicians. This experience is immeasurable for the artists who take part. Many come from under-resourced communities, and areas where there are few, if any, flamenco guitarists and singers to work with. The Finalists, Mentors and Musicians spend 24 hours a day together, focused on growth and building a strong network of fellow artists. Alongside these offerings, Flamenco Vivo provides the host community with an introductory flamenco class, and attendance to the Certamen Dress Rehearsal, which includes a feedback session to encourage an understanding of flamenco dance, music, and culture (estimated attendance 100 for dress rehearsal showing and 30 for workshops).
The evening length competition will take place on Friday, October 20, 2023 at The Bruno Walter Auditorium at the NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (estimated audience 207). Finalists will be evaluated by a panel of professional community artists. Winners will receive free studio space, cash awards, the opportunity to participate as a guest at the Madrid Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco, attendance to classes at esteemed flamenco academies in Spain and our newest award is for one dancer to perform at the famed Tablao Las Carboneras in Madrid, Spain. Virtual passes will be available for fourteen (14) days following the live performance.