Centurion hails from Argentina. Her career as a flamenco performer is exhaustive. Her career teaching and relating what is flamenco continues. Employed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School since 2001; in the RWB School Satellite program, Recreational Division, the Professional Division and the Aspirant program, is but a microcosm of her collaborative work: in relation to flamenco.
|José Luis Pérez|
“There will be always those who are adamant that flamenco remain within its boundaries. This ‘push-back’ if you will, is decreasing. Flamenco artists in Spain have garnered great international renown. It is thanks to them that the genre is so widely recognized today. Like it or not, it introduced flamenco to other forms of music. You can’t stop the evolution of an art form.”
Smiling, Pérez is of the opinion that the question of ‘authenticity’ resides with the artist himself.
“…structure, form, the basics (voice, dance, and sound) of flamenco is immutable. It will always be the quorum…the essence of the genre. No one who identifies themselves as a "bailaor" ever would deviate from this truth. However, its expression is left to interpretation. Will others judge you? Certainly. It is imperative that we allow those who have devoted their lives work…who have taken the time to learn what flamenco is…and made it unique, an equal opportunity to explore and take their talent onto the world stage.”
Lazos 2014 gave Romero, and Pérez a chance meeting…reuniting on the stage after a twelve year absence, “These types of venues are infrequent. Not everyone has the ability or the means to be ‘spontaneous’. Maritel is based out of Winnipeg, Carmen is based out of Toronto, and I’m based out of Montreal. When circumstances allow, performing with Carmen and Maritel is for me, a wonderful surprise.”
“The first time…I felt like a student in the class. It was scary (member of the audience laughing) we were enjoying it. I don’t know how much I was at the time, but I got used to it…I got better. Now it’s great and I love it. It’s a lot of fun.”
Metcalfe’s introduction to flamenco were based on Romero’s instincts. Her intuition predicated that a partnership with this jazz virtuoso would give an additional dimension to her craft.“Scott doesn’t know a lot about flamenco, but he knows a lot about music. He has a very keen awareness; a sensibility, a sensitivity to emotion musically, visually. He plays like he feels it," explained Romero.
"What he and I create is what I describe as structural improvisation. The steps are not identical, the rhythm transforms as the interactive relationship evolves during a sequence. For instance, Scott follows my movements. Depending on what I do, Scott provides the right amount of tone. When I go high, he follows. If it’s rolling…he rolls on the keyboard. And if it’s quick, Scott is sharp on the piano.”
As the lead guitarist, Philippe Meunier shares a unique position as the constant which gives everyone else; the means to stay in the moment. Romero described it in this fashion, “Flamenco can be very complicated, but in its primitive form when all else has failed... you have to go back to hear that heartbeat. The thing that keeps it alive.”
|(left from right) José-Luis Pérez, Carmen Romero, Scott Metcalfe, and Philippe Meunier.|