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August 2011 - Nr. 8

TORONTO - Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company (EESDC) dancer Juan Ogalla received the 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance in the Dance Division for his stellar performance in last season's Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold. Artistic Director Esmeralda Enrique is pleased to announce that Ogalla returns to perform with the company for the fourth time April 19-22, 2012 in Celebrating 30 Years, the highlight of the company's 2011-2012 season celebrations.

Thirty years ago, a young woman from Texas came to Canada after spending 13 years in Spain perfecting her artistry as a flamenco dancer. She had trained, performed and toured with many of the best flamenco companies in great demand at the time (Paco Ruíz, Miguel Sandoval, Antonio del Castillo, Sara Lezana and Cristóbal Reyes).

Toronto offered opportunities to aspiring flamenco artists with popular venues like Don Quixote. At the insistence of a very persuasive friend, Esmeralda Enrique came to Canada - a move that would profoundly change her life, make a huge impact on the Canadian dance scene and develop a generation of Canadian flamenco dancers that are unsurpassed.

Performing for the first time in Toronto, she saw her future husband in the audience. He returned every night and finally they met. The rest as they say is history. Esmeralda stayed in Canada, married and in less than a year started both the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company and Academy of Spanish Dance.

The stars that aligned to bring Esmeralda to Toronto changed the legacy of flamenco in this city and in Canada.

Esmeralda has always kept her connections with Spain alive and over the years has brought more than 50 teachers and performers to join her company for EESDC's Toronto Seasons and to teach at the Academy. These vital links with flamenco artists from Spain sets Esmeralda and her company apart from other Canadian flamenco dance companies. Her dancers have benefited from the cultural cross-pollination, remained current in their art and have been challenged to reach beyond their own expectations.

Esmeralda's love of flamenco and her desire to share that with others has enriched many lives through the presentation of EESDC's annual Toronto Season (part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps Series), its performances on main stages and at community festivals (Hispanic Fiesta since 1981, among others) and through classes at the Academy of Spanish Dance.

The Academy of Spanish Dance is recognized both in Canada and aboard as a centre for superior training in flamenco. The Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company is broadly hailed for its innovation, versatility and artistic excellence. The company has achieved support from municipal, provincial and federal arts councils. Esmeralda and the members of the company have received over 11 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations and Esmeralda herself is the recipient of numerous awards including Guía Hispana's Raices Hispanas Award 2003; and she was named one of 2008's 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians by the Canadian Hispanic Business Association.

To sustain this dedication for 30 years is an accomplishment to celebrate and EESDC wants to share this legacy during its 2011-2012 season with its audiences, dancers, musicians and everyone one who has been part of the journey.

The 2011-2012 30th Anniversary celebratory year has just begun and already there is much to celebrate:

Symposium on the Art of Flamenco
On June 11 & 12 of 2011, the company hosted The Art of Flamenco: Symposium Toronto 2011. The two day event, the first of its kind in Canada, featured presentations, talks, workshops, panel discussions and films that explored the history of flamenco after the Spanish Civil War, the importance of flamenco cante (songs), the legacy of great flamenco artists and challenges faced by flamenco artists practising and disseminating their art in Canada. Special guest from Spain, Estela Zatania, shared her knowledge and wisdom with Rosario Ancer from Vancouver and Myriam Allard from Montreal, presenting their expertise and perspectives from different Canadian cities.

Dora Mavor Moore Awards
On June 7, 2011 the Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominees were announced. Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company artists were nominated in two dance categories. Nicolás Hernández and José Valle were nominated for the fourth time for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition and dancer Juan Ogalla received a nod for Outstanding Performance. On June 27, the 2011 Outstanding Performance Award went to Ogalla for his stellar performance in the recent production Espejo de Oro/Mirror of Gold. Juan will return to perform with the company for the fourth time in April 2012.

30th Anniversary Events and Activities 2011-2012

July 17, 2011
International Festival du Percussion de Longueuil, QC

July 24 – 29
Summer Intensive with Belén Maya- Academy of Spanish Dance

September 3-4
Hispanic Fiesta, Mel Lastman Square, Toronto

Sept. 26-Oct. 2
Vancouver International Flamenco Festival
Performance and workshops with Esmeralda

January 22, 2012
Dance Ontario - Dance Weekend

February 11
Esmeralda & Friends, fundraising special event

April 19-22EESDC Annual Toronto Season - Celebrating 30 Years
Harbourfront's NextSteps Dance Series, Fleck Dance Theatre
Full company and guest singers, guitarist and dancer from Spain

April 27
River Run Centre, Guelph, ON
Main Stage - Full Company Performance

May 11
Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, ON
RBC Theatre - Full Company Performance - EESDC

and much, much more to come

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