We always knew there was more to the art of flamenco than the techniques we picked up one night while eating paella on Calle Ocho and watching a cross-dressing cantaor, who sang and danced with a pink fringed shawl tied tightly around his hips, make the tourists sing along. Now we can learn: The Arsht Center is hosting three days of events at the first Flamenco Festival Miami. Created in southern Spain as a peasant dance -- with influences from Gypsies, Jews, Arabs, and Africans -- flamenco is now an ever-evolving phenomenon of swirling skirts, clapping hands, and fancy footwork.
Tonight at 8, catch opening-night headliner Cuatro Esquinas with singers Carmen Linares and Miguel Poveda; nuevo flamenco guitarist Juan Carlos Romero; and dancer Pastora Galván at the Knight Concert Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $15 to $65. Judge local chefs at the free South Florida Paella Cook-Off outside on the Arsht Center Plaza from 6 to 8. Theres also Spanish food for purchase inside for performance ticket holders. In the next two weeks, you can become a flamenco expert with dance workshops, a photography exhibit, and free demonstrations. Call the Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722, or visit www.arshtcenter.org/flamenco for the full schedule.
Thu., Feb. 7, 2008