The American Bolero Dance Company (ABDC), held its spring season opener, “Tablao Flamenco,” at the Auditorium Centro Español, presented the multi-ethnic talent of the city and abroad.
Founded in 1996, the ABDC, located at 41-01 Broadway in Astoria, has explored the rhythm and sounds of Flamenco, a refined repertory of classical Spanish and traditions of the “Escuela Bolera,” (bolero school).
Gabriela Granados, artistic director and founder of ABDC, primary choreographer and head of the dance faculty, established the Spanish Dance School in 2002 which has provided flamenco, classical, regional folk and character dance classes for adults and children.
“The costumes are authentic and important because they represent each style of dance,” Granados said.
“I have known her for many years and she brings from Spain the best people,” said Maurice Blum, lawyer and ABDC board member. “Everything you see is genuine.”
ABDC’s Tablao Flamenco, a series of once a month live flamenco dance performances and other Spanish dance styles, was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant from the Queens Council on the Arts and the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
“I am so proud of Gabriela and the work that she does, with such limited resources, but so much passion,” said Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director, Queens Council on the Arts. “I am very proud to be a supporter of her American Bolero.”
On Saturday, March 5, the series featured live performances from dance soloist, Granados and Antonio Granjero, flamenco singers Alfonso Cid and Aurora Reyes, guitarists Roberto Castellón and Basilio Georges and percussionist José Moreno.
The show commenced with a guitar performance by Castellón in accompaniment with Monero, beating a “cajon,” (wooden box). Georges and Cid illustrated two styles of music, “Malageña Granaína” and “Malageña de Enrique el Mellizo.” Granados performed the dance of the zarzuela, Spain and Latin America’s version of operetta, which incorporated an operatic and flamenco dance.
“I feel really proud as an Andalusian to get to meet people who are not even of Spanish descent and they embrace this art form that comes from my country, it is really amazing,” said Cid. “I try to give my heart and soul on the stage and I hope people get to feel that love and that passion about flamenco.”
The performance continued with flamenco dance students from the Spanish Dance School, the passionate singing of Reyes, and climactic dance finale by male flamenco dancer, Granjero.
“The last dancer was spectacular, one of those that you would see on some major stage,” noted Flamenco aficionado and architect, Ricardo Saez of Forest Hills. “Gabriela always puts on a very good show, always brings good performers from other places or just from New York.”
Audience attendees came far and wide to view the event.
“The passion, the unbelievable performance of the dance for the Spanish culture has just been so amplified,” said Kamillah Hanks, executive director of the Downtown Staten Island Council. “You can feel their whole history in their fingers – it was just so amazing.”
“I was blown away!” exclaimed Krakauer. “I expected no less, so enchanting.”
For more information on ABDC, visit www.ambolero.com or call 718-392-8888.