One of the great things I love about Dallas and living in Texas is the fusion of so many cultures. So when I learned about this special collaboration between Julia Alcántara of Ida y Vuelta Flamenco and Dallas Legend Jamal Mohamed I got pretty excited.
Both musical stalwarts are bringing together the passionate and high energy of Flamenco with Middle Eastern Dance. “El Encuentro Andalous” is a Flamenco and Middle Eastern dance and music concert exploring the roots of the Spanish art form in Arabic and Middle Eastern cultures. A visual art display exploring the root of Spanish dance.
“We will be exploring flamenco’s mysterious past in Morocco. The Moors ruled Spain for hundreds of years, and their influence still shows in the music and architecture of Spain today,” says Ms. Alcántara. “The concert will feature authentic flamenco dance by Ida y Vuelta, cante by singer-guitarist Carlos Garcia, Middle Eastern musical arrangements by Jamal’s “World Ensemble” and dancing by the Middle Eastern dance troupe, Na’Di el Raks.”
The show is on Friday August 10 at 7:30 PM at the Latino Cultural Center.
The Love Story between a Spanish Princess and a Moroccan Prince
Ida y Vuelta Flamenco and the World Ensemble will create a synopsis of the of the album’s tale of the love story between the Spanish princess, danced by Julia Alcántara, and the Moroccan prince, danced by Zyriab Alshefei. The setting is the famous Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Digital visual artist VJ Seye will incorporate images of the palace into his show design.
The grand finale will showcase 3 songs from one of flamenco’s most famous LP’s. Released in 1979, singer El Lebrijano created “Encuentro” with the Orchestra of Tangier. The results of their collaboration stunned the world with its intense sensuality and mesmerizing cante of both styles.
Middle Eastern refugees served by the DFW International Community Alliance will get to see the dress rehearsal on Thursday, August 8. Of the families that arrived in 2015, about 5 percent are from Iraq, 20 percent are from Syria, and 75 percent are from Afghanistan. This concert’s music and dance will put these families, struggling to belong in this country, in direct contact with something that reminds them of home.
Friday, August 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak Street, Dallas, Texas 75204
Get your tickets now! Tickets on sale here!
Tickets: General Admission $20
Map to the Latino Cultural Center
About Julia Alcántara
Julia Alcántara has been bringing the best of flamenco music and dance to North Texas since 1998. She is a native Texan who began studying the art of flamenco after graduating from high school with Dallas Flamenco Matriarch, Conte De Loyo. She then moved to New York to study with Antonio Del Castillo and Raquel Heredia.
Ms. Alcántara finished her education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the heart of flamenco in the U.S., where her curriculum included classes in flamenco history, choreography, improvisation, singing, and classical Spanish dance with Eva Encinias and Pablo Rodarte. There she was able to perfect her technique and study with some of the greatest dancers in the world including: Eva ‘La Yerba Buena’, Antonio Canales, Juana Amaya, Alejandro Granados, Carmela Greco, Omayra Amaya, Belen Maya, and Florencio Campos among others. Her abilities immediately landed her a 90-city tour of the USA with NYC based company Romeria Flamenca and after she formed Ida y Vuelta flamenco to raise the bar on the art form locally. She has recently completed and residency at UTD in Richardson and been invited to perform with the Irving Symphony next year.
About Zyriab Alshefei
Zyriab Alshefei was born in Dubai and at eight years old was recommended for the after-school ballet program. As a teenager, he attended guitar classes at the Spanish Cultural Center and saw Flamenco for the first time, inspiring him to start Spanish dance classes. At the age of 18 he went to Spain and studied at Amor de Dios with Israel Galvan and expanded his repertoire with workshops with artists like Eva la Yerba Buena and the Farruco Family. He then found himself in Paris, where he began studying international ballroom. Soon after, his love for Tango took him to Argentina. He came to the United States for the first time in 2002 to dance salsa at the Mango Social Club in Miami. There he also became an instructor and performer for the Arthur Murray dance studio. Then he moved to Beruit, Lebanon and opened a dance school teaching Ballroom, Latin and Flamenco classes. In 2010 he moved to New York City and began teaching again at Arthur Murray dance studio and did numerous performances, including a Broadway musical called “In Your Arms” where he played the main character: a Flamenco dancer who immigrated from Spain to Argentina to study Tango. In Los Angeles, he spent some time in the TV and movie production business creating videos for dance and has just moved to Dallas.
About Carlos Garcia
Carlos Garcia was born in Sevilla, Spain. He began singing in the Cathedral at just 9 years old. As a teenager he began playing the guitar and mandolin. He performed on the streets and got to know Jose Reyes and Manitos de Plata, the fathers of the Gypsy Kings. He later moved to Barcelona where he graduated with a degree in Fashion Design, specializing in fine furs. He continued to play music all his life, and in 1978 moved to the United States. He also spent time in Caracas, Venezuela in the 1990s where flamenco is very popular and the Macarena was written
About Jamal Mohamed
Jamal Mohamed is a percussionist and composer for nationally recognized world music ensembles, such as D’ Drum, that was featured in an Emmy award winning PBS short film. He was a featured performer with Sting at Jones Beach in New York, with members of the Beijing Opera for a production of ‘The Magic Flute’, The Berklee World Percussion festival in Boston, and the world premiere of Stewart Copeland’s Gamelan D’Drum, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His credits include composing original music for Allen Mondell’s documentary film “Waging Peace” which chronicles experiences of Peace Corps volunteers around the world, as well as international music theater and dance concerts. In addition to being a percussion instructor and musical instrument maker and designer, he has taught numerous workshops in schools and community centers.
About Na’D el Raks
Na’Di el Raks is a collective of professional Middle Eastern Dance performers based in the Dallas, Texas area. Each dancer is an accomplished solo artist in her own right, and together they develop and present colorful and authentic choreographies showcasing various regional dances of the Middle East, as well as the rich, beautiful, and evocative dance born in the Middle East and called “Raqs Sharqi” (literal translation, “Dance of the East/Orient”), and better known throughout the world as Belly Dance.