It had to be quick because the celebratory performance, An Iconic Journey, is coming up so soon, but I am thrilled to share a brief, but no-less love-filled interview with one of my favourite ladies in Toronto dance, and someone who got balls rolling in new ways in Toronto when she founded her company 35 years ago.
LR: You are celebrating such a big anniversary for the company! What are a few of your proudest achievements with Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company?
EE: I am very proud that we have been able to achieve a high calibre of artistry with our individual dancers, as well as recognition from our peers in Spain, an affirmation of the many years of excellent, well-rounded training and integration of guest artists into our company productions. My core dancers have been with me for over twenty years.
EESDC in Letters to Spain
LR: What made you want to have your own company? What fuelled that first spark to form your company?
EE: It was truly out of necessity at the beginning. As a flamenco artist I needed the support of live music and other dancers to be able to perform and even for teaching. But as time went on, the ideas for choreographies, explorations and collaborations seemed to be multiplying year by year and so a more focused effort became possible.
LR: How do you take care of yourself as a performer, how do you train, keep in shape, keep creative as a mature artist, but also one who is the head of a company and a school as well?
EE: I pay attention to my body, rest as much as possible, sleep and eat healthy. I teach over 16 hours per week, in addition to rehearsals of anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a week, plus all the separate administrative work for both the school and the company. I try to be concise and not waste precious time. I take Pilates classes which help me focus on other areas of weakness and it helps me relax. I read a lot and try to be aware of all my surroundings because I can find inspiration from all that is around me. I take one day at a time and enjoy my time at home with my husband.
LR: How does this upcoming show reflect your 35 years of history as a company?
EE: We will be presenting a lovely range of flamenco and classical Spanish dance, a panorama of the individual and group qualities of our artists. In our production of Queen of the Gypsies of 2004, for example, I developed some unusual techniques for playing the cajón (box drum) which have been further developed in a new piece called Latidos. We have selected past works that have resonated with the dancers and have given them new life and a different context. We are also very excited to be dancing a gorgeous new work by Ana Morales from Spain. And all this with the uplifting, tremendous energy - delicate and powerful at the same time - of our very talented musicians. In An Iconic Journey we remember our trajectory and look to the future and all its possibilities.
EESDC in Epocas
LR: What's next for EESDC? For you? What is your dream project? Or what is the next dream project?
EE: The company has various concerts and festivals this summer and the fall brings us together for planning sessions for the development of next year’s program. My dream project is a small tour within Canada and, why not, even in other parts of the world. An upcoming project for myself is a film and stage production with Kaeja d’Dance in June; and at DanceWorks 40th Anniversary presentation in the fall, a collaboration with Joanna de Souza combining flamenco and Kathak dance.
Celebrate with Esmeralda and her amazing company!!
May 5 & 6, 2017 at 8pm, May 7 at 3pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
Box office 416 973 4000
or follow the link below
Please check road and public transit closures or detours to make sure you can join us at Harbourfront!
all photos courtesy of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company