Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It all starts with a flamenco guitar

And then Savannah Fuentes brings the moves

Express Staff Writer

Photo by Tito Fuentes

f the sound of a Spanish guitar from an unseen outpost in the dark doesn’t stir some primal anticipation of being swept away by a mysterious lover, stop reading here.
But if your soul is stirred as the guitarist comes out from the shadows and a woman appears, her body controlled like a puppet from invisible strings from the guitar, then mark Por el Flamenco on the calendar for Friday, Oct. 26. That’s when flamenco dancer and Seattle native Savannah Fuentes presents her latest work in Ketchum at nexStage Theatre at 7:30 p.m.
Fuentes has produced more than 100 performances and workshops with internationally recognized flamenco artists. Her latest production is a presentation of traditional, pure flamenco. She will be joined by master Gypsy flamenco singer Jesus Montoya of Seville, Spain, as well as guitarist Bobby de Sofia and dancer Ricardo Chavez.
The performance is the seventh stop on what has been her most extensive tour to date; 18 performances in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
Tickets are $8 for kids and students, $10 for those with a limited income and general admission is $25.
Fuentes said she offers the moderately priced tickets because she has been a fan of an artistic performance that was often cost-prohibitive.
“I am an artist and a mother and I want to share this art form with everyone I can,” she said. “I don’t want anybody who wants to come not to be able to because of the money.”
Fuentes came from a musical family that held nary a gathering that someone wouldn’t pick up a guitar, though it was a class that she took in flamenco dance 17 years ago that told her heart which direction her life would be taking.
“It’s really a complex art form,” she said. “There a lot of different facets. There are a lot of ways to move your body to it, but it all begins with the music.”
Fuentes said her program is authentic and stays true to the traditions in which it is grounded.
She makes it her mission to take her performances to all the most unlikely places she can find, to expose communities to flamenco.
Still buzzing from a show on Orcas Island the night before her interview with the Idaho Mountain Express, Fuentes said, “When someone tells me they felt the emotion of the dance, that is the moment I live for.”
She said she feels blessed to be able to do what she loves.
“Once you’ve been bitten by the bug, you do what you do and you do it in these amazing places for beautiful people,” she said. “What could be better than that?”

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