The Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company in collaboration with jazz musicians Neil Gonsalves (piano), Demi Fernandez (jazz/flamenco guitar) once again take to the intimate venue of UKZN’s Jazz Centre to present Juego Flamenco, the latest instalment  in what is now an annual treat for Durban audiences from these well-respected performers.

Having previously explored the fusion between flamenco and Jazz, Arabic, Indian Kathak, Celtic, and South American styles; Juego Flamenco, meaning ‘flamenco game,’ is a playful blend of these musical and movement styles whilst still embracing the flamenco essence.  Featuring pulsating rhythms and exhilarating music and dance, Juega Flamenco will provide audiences with yet another feast for the senses. There are only 4 performances once again, which usually sell out very quickly, so book early to avoid this treat not to be missed!

Backed by Demi Fernandez and Neil Gonsalves, these world renowned musicians in their own right present new compositions alongside the dance. Their unique style and talent continue to leave audiences spellbound. They are joined by Bryan Stone on percussion who will also add live singing, alongside Gemma Schumann – who made her singing debut as a highlight in last year’s show.

Linda Vargas is the founder and director of the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company. She has choreographed numerous flamenco dance productions as well as the opera productions La Traviata, Amal, Faust, Salome and Carmen. Linda co-founded the international organization Alianza Flamenca and is a member of its Board of Directors, as well as its panel of international examiners. She currently lectures at UKZN and performs, examines and conducts educational and corporate workshops both nationally and internationally. Her educational dance workshops in schools and for NAPTOSA assist teachers to incorporate dance in the formal school curriculum. Linda holds a Masters Degree in Education as well as B.A. Honours in Drama, LISTD and Final Diploma (ISTD, London).

Neil Gonsalves holds a Masters degree in Music and currently lectures at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has performed in various national music festivals with numerous South Africa jazz and Afro-beat luminaries as well as his own band, Tonk. He has also toured internationally, including a 4 year stint as part of Johnny Clegg’s band. He has released a solo album “North Facing” which represents a blend of modern South African and Nordic Jazz.

Demi Fernandez was born in Brazil of Spanish Parents and spent many years living and performing in Flamenco Tablaos in Spain. Demi has also appeared as leading flamenco guitarist with numerous South African and international Spanish Dance Companies.  He is resident guitarist for the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company and AlianzaFlamenca. He has composed musical scores for several SABC TV productions and also appeared in numerous productions including “Guitars for Africa” in Durban and at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. He currently lectures in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Jazz programme.

Juego Flamenco runs at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the UKZN’s Howard College campus from 8-11 December. Performances are nightly at 7pm and on Sunday the 11 December at 3pm. Entrance Fee is R130 (R100 students / pensioners). Bookings through Linda on: lindavargasflamenco@gmail.com (please note new email address) or 031-201 0750 (mornings only). Tickets are limited for each performance so advanced booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

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