Here at The
Dance Insider, we love our cirque. Flasher, choreographer, and dancer Maura Nguyen
Donohue loves it so much, in fact, that one summer she ran away to join
it, or at least study aerial dance at Colorado's Aerial Dance Festival.
back with some tricks, and while you shouldn't try those at home (kids), Maura
also returned with some web tips -- sites of various cirque companies and enterprises.
So if you want to cyber-run away from Home and link to the cirque...just click
on any of the following and we'll take you there.
Dance Company (Winston-Salem, NC) - www.albanelved.com
- Founded by Karola Luttringhaus in Berlin, Germany. Since 1999 the company resides
in the US.
(San Francisco, CA) - www.flyawayproductions.com
- Artistic Director Jo Kreiter
Productions (Boulder, CO) -
www.frequentflyers.org - Artistic Director Nancy Smith
Legs On The
Wall (Marrickville, NSW, Australia) - www.legsonthewall.com.au
WI) - www.glitter-box.com/cycropia
- a collective troupe.
Canada) - www.cirkids.org
(San Francisco, CA) - www.projectbandaloop.org
Mexico - www.aquilaarts.com/airdance
(London, UK) - http://22.214.171.124/sf/
Theater Co (Leeds, UK) -http://www.expo7.demon.co.uk/page2.html
Dance Co. - http://www.vivaaerialdance.co.uk/
Arts (Boulder, CO) - www.aircat.net
- Cathy Gauch, Artistic Director.
Here at The
Dance Insider, we are inundated by press releases announcing the imminent arrival
of "The Queen of Flamenco." But Flamenco Insiders know there was only one true
Queen of Flamenco: Carmen Amaya.
the moment in 1917 when the four-year-old, skinny, dark gypsy girl
started accompanying her guitarist father to the seedy Somorrostro
taverns, where she would sing and dance for customers who paid by
throwing coins on the floor, until the day in 1963 when she died
of too many toxins in her compact and fiery body (Amaya was reportedly
drinking 15 cups of coffee per day, rising at 6 p.m. and dancing
until 6 the next morning), Amaya was an eternal dancing flame, never
no place better on the web to get an intimate, multi-media view
of Amaya than Flamenco-world.com.
site includes generous excerpts from Paco
Sevilla's "Carmen Amaya, Queen of the Gypsies."
In one chapter, Sevilla first recounts the popular legend of how
Amaya, whose father "El Chino" finally brought her to Madrid at
the urging of the great Flamenco guitarist Sabicas, made her first
big splash at Villa Rosa, known as the cathedral of flamenco. "Look
here," Sabicas is reported to have proclaimed, "you have among you
a Catalan gypsy who does very well and knows all you could want
to know about this business of dancing!" At this, a cantaor named
"El Peluco" reportedly guffawed and protested: "A Catalana? She
has to be a fraud." Sevilla - who doesn't necessarily endorse the
legend -- continues:
is seated to the left of Sabicas, and at her side, El Chino. Peluco's
comment does not sit well with Carmen. She rises abruptly, faces
the cantaor, and says to him, 'Fraud? Watch this...!' Carmen Amaya,
the Catalan gypsy, breaks into a dance, while Sabicas and El Chino
hum some ancient verses of soleares under their breath and their
hands beat on and caress the marble tabletop. El Peluco opens his
eyes in amazement. Carmen is dancing for him! There is no sounds
of guitars, only an audience who knows about these things. Carmen
improvises. Suddenly, El Peluco rises from his chair and, to the
amazement of the rest, leans against a wall and, while beating his
head forcefully against it, cries out wildly, 'Fraud, fraud?...
I called her a fraud! That is what it means to dance, girl!.'
without stopping, comes close to El Peluco, corners him, drives
him crazy... The spectators, astonished, stand on the chairs and
tables in order to see the spectacle of El Peluco crying and bleeding
from the wound in his forehead that he got from hitting the wall.
The impassioned gypsy girl, such a little thing, has kicked off
her shoes and is dancing, spitting fire from her eyes, all because
they have called her a 'fraud'. Meanwhile, a voice sounds a cante,
a profound cante, that speaks of passion, of mountains, sun, and
bramble patches [zarzales]. Carmen Amaya, the Catalan gypsy, dances
to the rhythm of that cante. El Peluco shudders and continues singing.
El Peluco sings for Carmen Amaya and Carmen Amaya dances. But now
Carmen has forgotten that they had called her a 'fraud,' she has
forgotten El Peluco, she has forgotten everything. Carmen Amaya
now dances for herself. In reality, Carmen Amaya never has danced
than explores how much of this is legend, and how much fact.
If you want to get an audio sense, at least, for what drove El Peluca
to bang his head against a wall, Flamenco-world.com also offers
a Real Audio clip, "Alegrías
(taconeo)" from the CD "Grandes Figuras del Flamenco
(Vol. 6). Carmen Amaya." To be able to listen to this, you'll need
RealPlayer. (Warning: the RealPlayer
site is somewhat difficult to navigate, but somewhere
on there you do have the option to download a free version!)
site contains information on ordering the above book and recording,
as well as Amaya's
last film, "Los Tarantos," made in the last year
of her life; she didn't live to see it's release.
site also offers a general, but colorful, biographical
sketch of Amaya.
York is not the only place where great dance -- or great dance criticism
-- happens. One of our favorite dance critics is Marcia B. Siegel,
currently writing for the Boston Phoenix. Siegel brings to her work
a lifetime of watching dance as well as an ability to make the reader
feel like he or she is with her in the theater. You can check her
current reviews weekly by clicking
at The Dance Insider, we love our dance art and photography, but
also drawings and paintings. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
have a kick-ass website which is a great resource for art-lovers,
featuring a database of 70,000 (and growing) images. Go to http://www.thinker.org.
Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you'll find a bar for "The
Thinker Image Base." Next to keywords, type in dance--and see what
happens! (Hint for better viewing: Once you select an image, select
Zoom 20" on the Display Options to maximize the size of the image.)