Inspiración Flamenca closes Scottsdale’s Live & Local series


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts broke tradition last August by presenting Inspiración Flamenca, the first local dance company on their programming in over a decade.

The change paid off when scores of people were turned away at the sold-out show, where folding chairs were added to accommodate patrons, according to a press release.

The company returns to Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts at 8 p.m. on Aug. 26, as the closing act of 2016’s Live & Local series. Now in it’s third year, Live & Local was a significant move for SCPA, opening opportunity to local artists.

The series focuses on music, which opened the door to flamenco.

“Live music is integral to what we do,” said Julia Chacón, director of Inspiración Flamenca, in the release. “The energy is impossible to achieve with recorded music.”

Three guitarists, two vocalists, piano, flute, percussion, and five dancers will be in the show on Aug. 26.

Ms. Chacon toured as a soloist with international dance companies based in New York, Madrid, and Santa Fe for 10 years. She lived and danced in Madrid and Seville, Spain as well as Santa Fe and Boston before returning to her hometown of Phoenix.

Flamenco is the vibrant music and dance of southern Spain. Its expressive grace, power and passion communicated through percussive beats, sensual movement and driving guitar has influenced music worldwide.

Flamenco feels at-home in Arizona, which was part of New Spain for over 280 years, the release stated.

“Flamenco has been part of the Phoenix dance scene since the 50s.” said Ms. Chacon in the release.

Inspiracion Flamenca Dancer Julia Chacon (by Mary Nelle Brown)

Inspiracion Flamenca Dancer Julia Chacon (by Mary Nelle Brown)

The earliest known flamenco teacher in the Valley was Spaniard Eduardo Fernandez, who began teaching in Phoenix in 1950. His star student was Lydia Torea, who went on to grace international headlines as Jose Greco’s dance partner in the 1960s. Ms. Torea was Ms. Chacón’s first teacher.

“Flamenco truly embraces the Valley’s history and diversity,” said Ms. Chacón in the release.

The Scottsdale concert is about the diversity of human emotion, expressed through traditional and theatrical flamenco. It will highlight the mantón de Manila, a large fringed shawl manipulated around the body as an extension of the physical and emotional self; a flirtatious love duet; and “Tangos de Titi,” a playful rhythm from Triana, a traditionally Gypsy neighborhood of Seville, Spain.

Since returning to Phoenix in 2013 Ms. Chacón has served on the advisory committee for Scottsdale Center for the Arts 2014-15 Discovery Series; produced three sold-out concerts at Peoria Center for Performing Arts; collaborated with Scorpius Dance Theater; and given demonstrations at schools throughout the Valley.

She currently volunteers on a working group of the Scottsdale’s Tourism Advisory Task Force.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 480-499-8587.

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