A CHANCE encounter in search of a cup of coffee inspired Karen Henderson’s latest production.
Midland’s Crooked Spire Café provided not only a great brew and a perfect vibe, but an entire auditorium space in the attached G-Centre. Henderson was blown away and immediately began plans on a project combining live music, dance, tapas, and visual art; Blanca Y Negra.
A seasoned soloist and choreographer for Danza Viva Spanish Dance Company (under the Direction of Deanna Blacher and more recently, Sofia Pratt), this is Henderson’s second independent show, one she says provides great inspiration and challenge artistically.
“This will be the first time I am performing choreography that has been done with Nicola specifically for Blanca Y Negra,” she said.
“It is important to me that the dance, music, costuming, production design, are all seamlessly integrated and that it is not in the typical ‘tablao-style’ of flamenco puro (pure flamenco).”
Dancing with her close friend and long-time dance colleague Nicola De La Rosa (Nicola Levy), the themes complimentary and contrasting, and the title, “Blanca Y Negra” (white and black) became an obvious choice.
“I’m excited to be able to work so closely with Levy. We are both very strong dancers having worked together at Danza Viva for almost two decades. But we are poles apart stylistically. We have individual strengths that are very different, but complimentary. We are seeking to create something dynamic and explosive.”
Continuing on the theme of breaking traditions, the show will feature a violinist, instead of the typical cantaor (flamenco singer) and guest guitarist, Kieran Ray, who is returning to Perth especially for the show. Rather than make her the central focus, Henderson is adamant that each artist will have an equal presence and importance on stage.
The ticket price includes the option of pre-show tapas and exhibition of works by Spanish visual artist, Nuria Larrumbides.
Once the show wraps up in Midland, Blanca Y Negra will tour to Busselton, with support from Dunsborough-based Naturaliste Spanish Dance School, whose director Danielle Phipps is a former Danza Viva company member.
Blanca Y Negra will be performed over two nights, November 24 and 25 at the Crooked Spire Café and G-Centre Auditorium, 71 Victoria Street, Midland.
Prices start from $35 for the 8pm show only or $65 for show plus pre-show exhibition and tapas (doors open from 6pm).
You can also catch the show on November 27 at Weld Theatre in Busselton. Tickets available from www.trybooking.com or at the door.