For 51 years, Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco has been sharing the magical art of flamenco with San Francisco and the Bay Area. It is a beautiful, complex and intriguing art form. But at the end of the day, we do it because it makes the artists feel good and it makes the audience feel good!
This year, we have presented 8 live flamenco shows in our studio/performance space in the Mission District of San Francisco. These intimate shows, modeled on the “tablao” style of flamenco shows common in Spain, allow us to share the essence of flamenco with our audience.
And each of these shows has been different - some have even featured world famous guest artists from Spain who were passing through San Francisco! But what all of these shows have in common is a dedicated group of local and sometimes national and international artists who all share the love and language of flamenco, and who can come together to put on a show with little or no rehearsal time that takes the audience on a beautiful emotional journey. And at the end of every show, every person in the audience has had a smile on their face!
There was a family we met in June who came to see the show featuring dancer Manuela Rios from Spain. The family remembered seeing Manuela perform during a trip they had taken to Spain years before, and when they saw her picture on the ad for our show they knew they had to come! They had the chance to say hello to Manuela after the show, and they left with sheer happiness.
There was a group of ex-pat Spanish friends from Madrid who came to see the show with dancer Carmen Ledesma from Spain earlier this month. They were absolutely gushing after the show and they kept telling us how the whole experience made them feel like they were in Spain again, and how special that was for them. At this same show, a young couple from Pennsylvania were invited to join the friends they were visiting. They had never seen a flamenco show before and they were so moved that they drew this thank you note to us before they left!
There was a little girl, no more than 7 years old, who came to the first in this series of shows in February, and she was absolutely awed by our Artistic Director Carola Zertuche when she danced! After the show the little girl took a picture with Carola and told her that she wanted to be a dancer like her, and she has come to at least three other shows since then and she is always captivated by the dancers.
There are many, many more stories, as this series of shows has now reached 700 audience members. In a time when there is so much division and plain old bad energy in the world, we have been inspired by the incredible and kind mix of human beings from all neighborhoods and walks of life who have come to see our shows, shared in the magic of flamenco and left feeling good.
That is why we do what we do, because when our audience feels good, we feel good!
On this #GivingTuesday we would like to ask for your help so that we can keep doing it! We would like to raise at least $5,000 today and all donations of all amounts are meaningful to us! If we reach our goal for Giving Tuesday, that will help us continue to bring our monthly shows on the 3rd Saturday of each month, the flamenco feel good experience!
Please consider making a gift today, and come and see us again or for the first time on the 3rd Saturday of each month!
In closing, we want to leave you with a quote from Jamie Bernstein, the daughter of the great composer Leonard Bernstein, who was the composer of West Side Story and many other master works, and who also “believed in the power of the arts to solve the problems of the world.”
“My father clung hard to the belief that by creating beauty, and by sharing it with as many people as possible, artists had the power to tip the earthly balance in favor of brotherhood and peace. After all, my father reasoned, if humans could create and appreciate musical harmony, then perhaps they were capable of replicating that same harmony in the world they inhabited.”