Flamenco Festival, March 2014, Philadelphia

This was posted this morning on the PhiladelphiaFlamencoFestival website. Adelante!

By Way of Introduction. By Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Ph.D.

February 3, 2014

 I am honored to be working with Pasion y Arte as a consultant, blog writer, and post-performance moderator for the Flamenco Festival.  You will hear from me on these pages soon after Rosario Toledo‘s rehearsals begin in February. I’m savoring this and looking forward to it more as a treat than a task!I see my role as the proverbial, anthropological “fly on the wall;” sitting unobtrusively in the corner of the dance studio, taking notes, and registering my reflections/insights during Toledo’s collaborative ventures with three Philadelphia-based dance artists.
This is an assignment that’s almost as fulfilling for me as performance itself; and this is how I am working with artists these days. To witness the process is as nurturing an experience as to witness the final product. It excites and stimulates me to watch work take shape, perhaps because I remember my years (decades ago, but still vivid) as a performance artist in New York City and in Europe–dancing with others, making dances, and as an actor in a collaborative and experimental theater group (the legendary Open Theater, directed by Joseph Chaikin).
The fact that Pasion y Arte commissioned me to write on the Festival says a mouthful about the expanding reach and scope of Flamenco culture. It is wonderful to know that my insights are valued, albeit I am most frequently recognized as a writer on postmodern and Africanist (that is, African and African American) dance cultures. Likewise, the fact that the three collaborators with Rosario Toledo are Korean-American (Eun Jung Choi), African-American (Germaine Ingram), and European-American (Meg Foley) speaks volumes about Pasion y Arte’s commitment to Flamenco as a millennial performance genre, inclusive and progressive.
You’ll hear from me again the week of February 10!  Abrazos, Brenda


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