Moving DF Activity into Washington County

Flamenco Vivo at Hubbard Hall on 10-3-21. Photo by Kim Engel

Year: 2020/2021
DanceForce Member: Kim Engel
Artist: Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
Community Partners: Hubbard Hall, Cambridge NY; UAlbany Performing Arts Center
Audience: 35
County: Washington

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Flamenco Vivo traveled to the Capital Region in October 2021 to perform as part of the Dance in Albany series. Following a performance at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center, the company made a visit to Hubbard Hall in Cambridge to perform Tablao Flamenco. DanceForce funds were utilized to support the fee for this performance in rural Washington County to expand the reach of the organization. Originally, this project was planned for the fall of 2020 but had to be rescheduled due to the global pandemic. DanceForce member Kim Engel worked directly with David Snider, Hubbard Hall’s Executive & Artistic Director, on planning and execution of the project. David and his staff handled the promotion and administrative details for the performance.

Named for the wooden floor used by a bailaor/a (dancer), tablaos are intimate venues where flamenco is performed. Tablao performances are highly improvisational in nature and offer audiences a rare, up-close opportunity to watch the dynamic interplay between flamenco song and dance. With a cast of five performers, this show was ideal for Hubbard Hall’s intimate 1878 opera house that was made even more close-up and personal as capacity was reduced to an audience of just 35 because of the pandemic. The performance was presented on October 3, 2021 to a full house.

Back in the 2016-17 season, both Hubbard Hall and the UAlbany Performing Arts Center were part of a consortium of ten organizations that brought Twyla Tharp and her company to eight NYS counties. This was the first time that just the two venues paired up for a project together.

In light of the current global health crisis, small venues like Hubbard Hall are especially vulnerable. The DanceForce support and partnership with the UAlbany Performing Arts Center were critical components in making Flamenco Vivo’s visit to Hubbard Hall possible. Being able to present this renowned company in the 21-22 season helped re-energize the Hall after the difficulties of the pandemic and was a wonderful artistic and cultural opportunity for the people of this rural community

“Our community was blown away by seeing such talented dancers in our intimate space. I received unprompted complementary messages from attendees for two weeks after the event. The artists were also lovely to work with, as was Kim Engel at UAlbany. We are so appreciative of the DanceForce’s support and commitment to making this performance possible for our community.” ~ David Snider, Executive & Artistic Director, Hubbard Hall