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At the forefront of flamenco dance in Canada, the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company proudly presents the world premiere of De La Raíz – From the Root, an exquisite performance that showcases both the roots of this powerful art form and its proliferation as a vital contemporary art form embraced around the world. Flamenco, an art form like no other, speaks to the heart and touches the soul.
The award winning Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, founded in 1982, has a history rooted in flamenco and Spanish Classical dance. The company has developed an ever expanding repertoire that has earned both critical and popular acclaim. With unique, talented dancers and musicians the Company is recognized for the exceptional level of their productions receiving three Dora Mavor Moore Awards in addition to 20 nominations over the years. Passionate and driven, the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company continues to enthrall audiences with its commitment to imaginative choreography and artistic excellence
EESDC’s powerful dancers – Juan Ogalla (guest artist from Cádiz, Spain who recently received the Pellizco Flamenco Award from the 2018 Festival de Jerez and who earned a 2011 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance, returning for his seventh appearance with the company), Esmeralda Enrique, Pamela Briz, Virginia Castro, Paloma Cortés and newcomer Alison MacDonald – are accompanied by the extraordinary virtuosic singer Manuel Soto of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (who returns for his eighth production with the company). Soto is joined by Montreal-based singer Marcos Marín, who returns to EESDC after many years; and musicians Caroline Planté of Montreal (one of the few female flamenco guitarists in the world who returns for her fourth season with the troupe and is also the Musical Director for the work) and guitarist Benjamin Barrile, returning for his fifth season.
ESMERALDA ENRIQUE is one of the most celebrated flamenco dance artists in Canada. Lauded internationally as a performer, choreographer and teacher, Ms Enrique has been honoured with Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for Outstanding Performance four times and for Outstanding Choreography twice. She has been named one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians and in 2014 the City of Barrie, Ontario dedicated their fifth annual Rhythmfest to Esmeralda in recognition of her contribution to dance in Canada and North America. Ms. Enrique is the founder of The Art of Flamenco Symposium, held in Toronto in 2011 and 2013. She was the recipient of the inaugural Young Centre for the Performing Arts Dance Award as Senior Artist in 2012, the year that marked the 30th anniversary of both the school she founded (Academy of Spanish Dance) and the company. Esmeralda grew up in the flamenco tradition, studying dance as a child and was working professionally by the age of 14. She toured North America with the famous company of José Greco and has appeared throughout Europe, the Middle East and Mexico with the distinguished dance companies of Paco Ruíz, Miguel Sandoval, Antonio del Castillo, Sara Lezana and Cristóbal Reyes.
JUAN OGALLA is one of the outstanding dancers of his generation. He made his professional debut in 1983 at the age of 11 in Las Calles de Cai at the Gran Teatro Falla de Cadiz in Cadiz, Spain. Since that time he has toured the world appearing with many of Spain’s finest artists including Christina Hoyos, Manuel Morao, Maria Pages, and Beatriz Martin. He joined Ballet Christina Hoyos in 1992 and performed with her as a soloist and a dance partner until 2000. Following this, Juan performed and collaborated with artists in many countries including Japan, Brazil, Spain, Canada, and the United States. He has appeared numerous times with Caminos Flamencos, as well as been a Guest Artist at the New World Flamenco Festival, Festival de Jerez, and Mont Marsan. In more recent years he has toured extensively with Noche Flamenca for the past several seasons. From 2008 to 2013 Juan performed annually as a dancer and choreographer for the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. During these years he was nominated for 5 Dora Mavor Moore Awards in the categories of Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding New Choreography. In 2011 he was a Dora award recipient for Outstanding Performance in EESDC’s production Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold. JuanOgalla recently received the inaugural Pellizco Flamenco Award from the 2018 Festival de Jerez. This award is given “to the artist who is able to offer an indescribable moment that transmits a special sensitivity.”
Dancers: Pamela Briz, Virginia Castro, Paloma Cortés, Esmeralda Enrique, Alison MacDonald, Juan Ogalla
Musicians: Caroline Planté, Benjamin Barrile, Manuel Soto, Marcos Marín