by Marco Aquino
After a solid performance in Colores, part of the 2015-2016 season at the Carver Community Cultural Center, the avant-garde flamenco group Arte y Pasión re-emerges this fall with their latest offering, A Glass of Wine. Premiering at this year’s We Flamenco Fest, A Glass of Wine reunites the group’s rotating cast of members along with opera singer Janese Odom and multimedia/performance artist Daniela Riojas.
A flamenco troupe at heart, Arte y Pasión has become known for a multidisciplinary approach that pushes the boundaries of their chosen genre. As artistic director Tamara Adira told the San Antonio Current, the group’s collaborations with artists and musicians from various genres are “delightful exchanges” that fuel each member’s creativity and allow for unexpected results.
Since the recruitment of modern dancer Stephan Gaeth in 2013, the group’s performances have become increasingly experimental, gaining a sort of visual aesthetic that seems as much a part of the show as the choreography or footwork. Whether it’s the purple bata de cola Adira and Gaeth don in their signature piece Angel of Gravity, or the large Minotaur heads worn by the dancers in Colores, the group’s visual elements are no less than striking.
According to Adira, A Glass of Wine explores the seemingly simple act of drinking a glass of wine. Burdened by the terror attacks in Nice, France, over the summer, and the growing sense of unease in its aftermath, Adira initially expressed her sorrow on Facebook. When a friend who lives in France saw one of Adira’s prayers, he responded with, “Oh Tamara, don’t pray for us! Just have a fine glass of wine.” The idea for the project was born.
“There is a general sense of hopelessness and alienation, and a sense of losing control,” Adira said. “Sometimes in those moments we turn inwards, and that glass of wine is sort of a guilty pleasure. While it’s not a political statement, A Glass of Wine is our way of processing the general state of things.”
Previously known simply as Flamenco Fest, the newly rebranded We Flamenco Fest steps beyond its base at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center to various locations throughout the city. Other highlights of this year’s festival include the Lisa Perello Flamenco Fashion show ($10, 7pm Fri, Geekdom Event Center, 131 Soledad St.) and the Guadalupe and San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department’s “celebratory dance” collaboration Jaleos ($15-$40, 8pm Sat, Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St.).
Visit facebook.com/weflamencofest for the full schedule of events.
A Glass of Wine
$20-$50, 8pm Thu, Sept. 29, Brick, 108 Blue Star,
$15, 10pm Fri, outdoor performance space, 329 N. Main Ave.
(210) 241-2771, brownpapertickets.com