7 Questions with Andres, Dont miss Early Bird Syd/Per!

23 Sep

Hola Flamen@s!

Before I go into the interview, the THURSDAY 24th September is the last day of the early bird special if you’re attending Sydney or Perth!

Adelaide is October 5th for Early Bird

Check the following pages for the relevant info (inc prices) and contact details for Jessica (Syd) and Farida (Per)

Perth info: https://andrespenainaustralia.wordpress.com/perth-891011/

Sydney Info: https://andrespenainaustralia.wordpress.com/sydney-15-18/

Anyway, Andres was kind enough to answer a few questions while he’s on tour in Vancouver, Canada. We hope you enjoy some extra insight on one of the world’s most respected bailaores and help you make a decision to attend or just observe…don’t miss out guys!

Question 1) How would you describe your last visit to Australia?

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Andres fishing in Fremantle Dec 2014

I have only very good and beautiful memories from my last visit to Australia. I really felt that the students
in Perth and Adelaide were eagerly awaiting my return. In both cities I felt a lot of warmth from the students which I appreciated. On the other side of the country, I returned to 2 cities that I loved and enjoyed in the past when I first visited in 1995. I was so eager to return to see old friends that I made 20 years ago like Zea, Diana, Ana, Johnny, Richard and also see how those cities have changed in the last 2 decades. Generally speaking, I still remember with great fondness and remember the sensations that I felt during the classes in all the cities and the moments I shared with everyone who was able to meet and hang out with. It was awesome! And I even went fishing! Ole!

Question 2) What are your plans for the rest of the year?

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Cadiz de la Frontera, Fin de Fiesta

At the moment I’m doing this interview from my hotel room in Vancouver. Pilar and I just performed and now we are running a series of workshops. (see Review “Cadiz de la Frontera Captures Full Spectrum Feeling“) In October, as you know, I’m doing my tour of Australia. After my Australian tour, I’m going to go be with Pilar and Martina in Turin (Italy) for some vacation time and more workshops.

In November and December I’ll be doing an important tour of Mexico (see tour info) with a lot artists where I will be performing and running classes too.  In between cities, I’m going to be working on a new show…shhhhhhh

Question 3. Ah I see! Do you having anything planned for the Festival de Jerez in Feb/Mar 2016?

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Festival de Jerez Info

At the moment I’m negotiating a date for the new show, at the end of October I should have it all confirmed. But I can’t say anymore….you’ll see!

Question 4.Who on the current flamenco scene are you following intently?

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Paco de Lucia

To tell you the truth that’s a tough one, because I’m following just about everybody. I like artists who perform or play with a lot of heart and soul, who are able to transmit authenticity rather than just have perfect technique. I know that sounds like the normal thing to say but if I do have to name names, I can’t go past the great Paco de Lucia, who’s been a fountain of inspiration for me.

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Edith Piaf

Question 5) Well what other artists outside of Flamenco do you admire or inspire you?

I really like to listen to a lot of soul, blues, jazz, boleros. Edith Piaf, Amalia Rodrigues, Chavela Vargas. I like to listen to music that relaxes and transports me to other places in my creative mind, it inspires me a lot.

Question 6) How is it going being Martina’s Dad? She’s more than 1 year old right?

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Andres & Martina Summer 2015

Becoming a dad is the most beautiful thing that has happened in my life. When Martina was born, it was a blessing but the change was hard, but I’d do it a thousand times. I’m super happy and you could say I’m totally heartstruck with my daughter.

Question 7) Do you have a funny habit or special ritual before going out on stage?

Nothing strange, nothing weird or superstitious.

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Ordago a lo Grande Winner of the 2015 Festival de Jerez, Best Show

I just need 30 minutes to be on my own, to breathe slowly and look inside my soul. I think about the people who are no longer with us but who are still very present in my memory. I do that so I can dance with emotion and it’s an important motivation for me to dance with honesty and truth.

 

Thank you Andres for taking the time to do the interview, and we look forward to your upcoming visit!

Hasta Pronto!

Sebastian

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Vancouver, Canada 23rd Sept 2015

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Martina’s baptism with El Londro (left), David Palomar (middle), Javier Patino (right)

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Summer 2015, Andres, Martina, and Pilar

 

Sydney/Perth…7 days till Early Bird Date finishes! (24th Sept) :)

17 Sep

tumblr_inline_noqrempkOU1st7gnn_500Hola Flamenc@s

Just 7 days till the 24th of September for Perth and Sydney workshop goers to take advantage of the early bird discount!

While Andres is currently in Canada performing/teaching @ the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival http://www.vancouverflamencofestival.org/, please dont hesitate to contact us!

Jessica Statham/SYDNEY (jessica@jessicastathamdance.com.au) and Farida/PERTH (faridance@bigpond.com) will answer any questions you have about times, dates, palos, studio locations etc!

Ah and don’t forget Sally Hillier from el El Agua will be in Sydney and Adelaide to showcase her beautifully designed flamenco wear!

Please note Adelaide’s’ Early Bird date is 5th October!

Hasta Pronto!

Sebastian

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el agua logo

Andres Peña Returns to Oz for 11 days

25 Aug

tumblr_inline_noqrempkOU1st7gnn_500Hola Flamenc@s

We are super excited to announce that Andres will be visiting for a short intensive 11 days in Australia. An award winning world class level artist who needs no introduction.

He will be visiting 3 cities, Perth 4 days, Adelaide 3 weeknights, and Sydney 4 days.

It will be quite a long time before Andres returns to Australia again due to his busy international work schedule, but we couldn’t let this window of opportunity to learn with one of the best go.

So if you’ve enjoyed his classes during last 2 visits or have never tried…this is the time to mark your calendars because it could be your last chance! afg_img_rsz (2)

New Palos in different cities taught by Andres will be Tientos, Caña, Siguiriya which for sure will be another choreography to add to the repertoire…and then also its chance to listen to Cante at a professional level that will no doubt bring goosebumps!

Please check each cities Early Bird Dates and Prices as each they both have different circumstances and so we look forward to your attendance.

This workshop tour is proudly sponsored by El Agua Flamenco Wear…check out their beautiful designs. elaguaflamenco.com.au

doc533490283012619420Andres is currently teaching in Cadiz for a summer intensive course…but more news will be coming as they come along!

Hasta pronto!
Sebastian Sanchez

 

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Post Tour Wrap up!

26 Dec

10845933_757149707711710_6014433807139270135_nHi everyone,
Sebastian here in Singapore on a 6 hour wait for my next plane to London and then sunny Moscow.

Which means I have some spare time to write the last post to wrap up the tour of 2014 with Andres in Oz.

Its been more than a week since our last workshop finished in10849953_10153329647816091_4449949249581186605_n
Adelaide, and everything has worked out amazingly well to say the least in just 2 weeknights.

Adelaide had the least amount of hours of the tour to contend with the Bulerias de Jerez and
the Advanced Tangos, but they managed really well.

I dont know if it was just the amazing level there is in Adelaide’s flamenco community or Andres’s teaching but I reckon it was a mixture of both 🙂 Ole tu Adelaide!

I would like to keep this post short so I just want to thank all who have been involved in making this tour possible, slightly different from last year. Making up a collective of dedicated organisations and individuals to help make the tour of Andres in 2014 a successful one.

Thank you so much to Deanna Blacher from Danza Viva/Perth and Jessica Statham from Sydney for taking the enormous financial risks of inviting an artist of the caliber of Andres all the way to our shores, both Andres and I are very pleased with the hospitality, generosity and professional organisation.

And then there is the immense support received from flamenco teachers, schools, students, helpers and volunteers around Australia who helped make this dream a reality, spreading the word, attending classes and giving us the much appreciated guidance and local advice.

Without you this tour could not happen and we hope for your continued support next time we visit 🙂

Also a big thank you goes to our Sponsors Senovilla and El Agua Flamenco wear for providing the support and making the workshop even more enticing!

We hope to repeat in 2015 bigger and better!

See you soon! Sebastian

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Andres Peña versus Vegemite: a photographic journey

22 Dec

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Day 5: Perth says thank you to Andres

16 Dec

Spenacourseday5o the Andres Pena course came to a close and I collapsed into a heap of exhaustion whilst also trying to get the last five days of my life done in a weekend. It didn’t really work and it isn’t really relevant, but I need some kind of excuse for not getting the blog out till now, right?

What’s that? You don’t mind when I do the blog as long as I finish with the letra? Now you have me wanting to wait a couple of hours to time this entry for the exact moment Andres’ flight back to Spain takes off.

Shh, Sophy, shhhh. Someone’s clearly still a little delirious.

Friday started with bleary eyes and lazy coffees and empty pot of Vegemite that made toast pointless for all.

Andres came to join Miguel and Sebastian for lunch at my mum’s place, and I invited Karen and Nicci, who thankfully weren’t working for reasons of baby and day off. Karen and I started cooking early in order to provide a ludicrous amount of food. I always feel a ludicrous amount of food is the best amount. We sat out in the sunshine and feasted on a whole lot of delicious cured meats and cheese my mum had bought and most notably on Karen’s giant baked snapper. Andres took care of deboning it and serving it up. I think that’s the way things work. If there’s fish around Andres takes care of it.

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The dogs chilled out under the table, hoping for morsels and just enjoying the company of the men’s legs.

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After coffee and Kosher cakes that Nicci brought we said goodbye to the girls, and then it was time to clean up, rest and get ready for the last night of the course.

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After dealing with the fact that my signs pointing the way to the studio had been taken down again, I settled our spectators in and took some pictures of the Tangos class. The ages in this class range from 11 to 65, which I think is pretty awesome. They also range from tiny to tall and from people who’ve been dancing for a year to people who’ve been dancing for a decade. Andres handled the mixed bag beautifully, giving special attention to ‘Gracie’. “I’m going to treat you like an adult,” he told her through Sebastian, and she smiled.

Check out some great photos of the final night:

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Next up was the Bulerias at which point I went to get coffee for Andres and Sebastian. This would have been totally fine if it had been Wednesday night again instead of Friday night. It’s been so long since I was young that I forgot Friday nights mean Beaufort street is a mess. I was relieved to find that I got back to the class in time for my favourite part: when everybody had a go at doing bulerias on their own. For many of these girls this was the very first time they’d ever tried it and I was pretty blown away by how well they did. You could see that people were starting to develop confidence in their instincts and were able to feel their way through the letra. Plus many of them were able to use Andres’ fixes when they made mistakes. And more than anything, I was so happy to see people dancing with vigour and a sense of humour even when they weren’t 100% confident in what they were doing. There’s nothing like seeing people start to come into their own with something new and seeing how much self-esteem and inspiration they are getting from it. Watching everybody I had a smile on my face so wide that my cheeks hurt a bit after.

I think I managed to get a decent photo of every person who danced. Except myself. It’s hard enough listening while dancing. Photographing oneself while dancing would be taking it to a whole other level and just doesn’t sound fun.

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After Bulerias, Farruca was something of a blur. It’s a good thing Adres allowed us to take video for our personal use (none for you, blog!) or I’m not sure I would have remembered any of the new work he did the next day. We were all pretty tired at this point but we did our best to push through and get the maximum out of the class that we possibly could while we still had Andres with us. In the end we did just over 6 minutes of Farruca all up, which is pretty great considering that we worked on the technique of some challenging steps along the way. It’s been several days and I’m still finding myself tapping the steering wheel or the kitchen counter and going Boom boom boom! – pause – Boom boom boom! I think you guys will know what I’m talking about.

After the course we packed up as quick as we could and headed out for a bite to eat. We thought we’d go back to Malt Supper Club since it had been so great, but unfortunately Friday night had transformed that into a bit of a mess as well. Thankfully there were many options open. We ended up at Guzman y Gomez for a quick burrito and beers, mindful of the fact that at least four of us had an early start in the morning.

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It felt like the same day when we woke up a few hours after getting home and struggled out to pick up Andres and drop the guys at the airport. Because it was actually the same day. You might be expecting some kind of goodbye photo, but I, for one, was in no fit state to be photographed. We had hugs instead, and thanks, and best wishes for Melbourne and Adelaide, which seem to have been going really well.

And now for the important part: class photos from Tangos, Bulerias and Farruca, unfortunately missing a few people who couldn’t make the Friday night. Maybe we should have taken one every night. Or maybe I should have photoshopped people in. It’s like I’m not even trying.

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Look how shiny our faces are! And not just in a sweat way. We are happy dancers.

All in all the course was a great success and if Deanna had been here she would have been so excited about the material and Andres’ teaching and approving of the hard work of all people attending the course. Andres’ visit meant so much to us and has everyone motivated to go further with their dancing, and especially with their understanding of cante and how to improvise in and around a Bulerias letra. He is such a warm and funny teacher, who communicates so much with his smiles and his ‘Oh my God!’. Thank you to Sebastian Sanchez for translating the rest for us and thank you to everyone who attended and gave it their all. Thank you to Deanna Blacher and Danza Viva for hosting Andres in Perth and working with Sebastian to make the tour a success. We are all so grateful for the opportunity we were given.

Perth says ¡Hasta pronto, Andres! and I will leave you with some testimonials from Danza Viva company members:

Andres’ class is one of the most valuable and inspiring flamenco class that I have had the pleasure to attend. Having an amazing singer and dancer as a teacher in class is something every dancer should experience, especially one that constantly challenges you to make mistakes. On top of that, amazing choreographies, beautiful voice and charming sense of humour definitely make his classes not to be missed. – Intan Oldakowska

A wonderful experience – a patient, genuine teacher, with amazing energy and his beautiful voice. – Natalie Warburton

I never expected to get so much out of Andres’ course, in particular the Bulerias de Jerez. What an absolute privilege it was to have been taught by the exceptional maestro that is Andres. I am a richer person, better listener and (hopefully) better dancer for the experience. Most of all, I am more passionate about flamenco now, than ever before. Thank you Andres! – Lisa Ravlich

Adelaide Flamenco welcomes back Andres with open arms.

16 Dec

photo 1Andres, Miguel (Senovilla) and I landed in Adelaide, practically the same time as Sally (el Agua) and Jessica Statham, who arrived from
Sydney safely despite the awful events that were unfolding in that city. But life goes on, and we had to think about the task ahead of putting a smile on peoples faces, through the Bulerias, Advanced Tangos, flamenco shoes and wear.

We held the workshop in the expansive ACPA on Gibson st, 4 massive studios one after the other…which turned out to be perfect for holding a flamenco class with its wooden floors, high ceilings, and long mirrors.

In the Bulerias, as expected students were able to accustom themselves to listening to the cante, and knowing how to use the tool and techniques imparted by Andres….and I can’t wait for tonights end of fiesta 🙂

The Advanced level in Adelaide is very high and we went through a huge chunk of choreography in just 2 hours, which throughly impressed Andres.

Tonight is our last day of the tour, I’ll try to post some photos etc to make it memorable. Also tonight is the last day Miguel and Sally will be displaying their shoes and clothes. Please feel free to come and check out the stock:)

hasta pronto!
Sebastian

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