Linda’s fiery flamenco fare

Linda Vargas and her flamenco guitarist husband, Demi Fernandez. Picture by Val Adamson.

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BY BILLY SUTER

NOW celebrating its 35th anniversary, Durban’s Linda Vargas Spanish Dance Company, which has built a loyal and extensive following of Spanish dance in South Africa, presents a new show from today until Sunday (December 14 to 17).

Performances of Memorias Flamenca, offering a walk down memory lane for the company, will be held at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the second level of the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Shows are scheduled for 7pm nightly, but 3pm on Sunday.

Dancers will be backed by flamenco guitarist Demi Fernandez and Neil Gonsalves, joined by Bryan Stone on percussion and Gemma Schumann on vocals.

“It will be a joyous exploration of the past and the future which remains grounded in the company’s rich legacy to dance in South Africa,” says a spokesman.

The Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company began celebrating its 35th anniversary with a guest appearance in the 25th anniversary production of the popular Shall We Dance, held at Durban’s Playhouse.

The celebrations will culminate in the 35th Anniversary Gala production at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in July 2018.

Memorias Flamenca will include fresh interpretations of previous highlights, some old favourites, as well as new contemporary choreography. It also sees the launch of Vargas’s new young dancers project, Siyanda (Zulu for “we are expanding”).

The show will also include guest appearances by members of the Flamenco Del Sur Company from Cape Town – headed by Linda’s sister, Juana Vargas.

In the early years, the Linda Vargas Company included a variety of styles of Spanish dance in their productions, including classical, neo classical, regional and flamenco. Subsequently the company became more specialised in flamenco.

They began their journey in opera productions at The Playhousein Durban and the State Theatre in Pretoria.

Admission is R130 (R100 for students and pensioners). To book, phone (031)201 0750, mornings only.


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