Lovers of traditional Spanish dance and music have three international masters of flamenco performance to learn from in Missoula this month.
“I met Teo Morca when I lived in Bellingham and he was giving workshops in the late ’80s and early ’90s,” said Flamenco Montana festival organizer Victoria Lenihan. “He’s spent 60 years performing and touring. I was thrilled when he wanted to come, so we started making plans.”
The festival runs Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21, with most classes taking place at the Ballet Arts Academy, 1620 Rodgers St. Suite 3.
Morca is an internationally known flamenco dance instructor, and has worked as a choreographer, author and lecturer as well. His workshops stress firm technical foundations and understanding of how to turn steps into dance. Morca has published several books of dance instruction, including “Becoming the Dance” now in its third edition. He has toured in Spain, England, France, Belgium, Holland and Italy as well as the United States.
Guitarist Carlos Lomas and traditional cante vocalist Vincente Griego also agreed to come to Missoula for the gathering. Lomas credits years working in Malaga and Madrid, Spain, for developing his playing and singing style. Since concentrating on flamenco style in 1965, he has released several albums of improvisational music and explorations of world-music styles.
Although raised in New Mexico, Griego has devoted his life to mastering flamenco singing techniques. He has performed with the Encinas Yjastros National Flamenco Company for the past six years, and toured extensively in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Lenihan said in addition to singing instruction, Griego helps students learn to interact with the classic flamenco quartet partners – guitar, dancer and hand-clapper.
No special clothing or experience is needed for the workshops. Dancers may want to wear heeled shoes. Guitar players of all skill levels may attend the instrumental classes, with either nylon or steel-stringed guitars. Singers are encouraged to bring a notebook.
Workshops cost $40 for single classes or $120 for any four classes. Participation in the entire four-day festival costs $400.
The evening charlas (informal discussions) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are free to workshop participants and cost $10 each, or $25 for all three evenings, for the general public. Students and senior citizens pay $5 per charla. A dance party for workshop participants only takes place Sunday evening at the Eagles Club.
For registration forms, check online at flamencomt.com/index.html or call 542-9270.
Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.