The Central Lakes College (CLC) Theatre’s Cultural Arts Series will present the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater of Minneapolis that will perform one show at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 7, in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.
Founded in 1982, Zorongo is one of the few American Spanish dance companies that present both traditional flamenco programs as well as original theater flamenco works. The company is comprised of an ensemble of international artists, dancers and musicians who are renowned for bringing the power, passion and virtuosity of the art of flamenco to American audiences.
Series Producer Patrick Spradlin presented Zorongo two years ago and was impressed by their artistry.
“I’ve been trying to bring more dance to Brainerd as part of the Cultural Arts Series,” Spradlin said. “I was very fortunate in attracting a company as incredibly gifted as Zorongo.”
Zorongo founder Susana di Palma created in the company a vehicle for balancing her passionate love for Spain and flamenco with her urgent need to create theatrically compelling works that would address social/political concerns and tantalize the imagination. Her works have included “La Virtud Negra,” a flamenco murder mystery commissioned by the Walker Arts Center; “Encuentros” (1993), a gospel/flamenco collaboration with J.D. Steele of The Steele Family; and “Locas Mujeres y Mas/Madwomen and More,” a piece inspired by the poetry of Chilean educator, diplomat, and Nobel Laureate Gabriela Mistral (2013).
Praise for the work of Zorongo comes from many sources. Reviewer Doris Deither of The Villager, New York City, wrote, “It was great to see a flamenco company dancing this well which also had a sense of humor and such a clear idea of theater.” The Orlando Sentinel applauded Zorongo for their ‘dramatically different flamenco.” The Seattle Times said “Susana di Palma’s sense of defiance is ferocious, enigmatic, poignant.”
Di Palma was selected by the Bush Foundation to receive two separate fellowships for choreography. She has received numerous grants for her choreography from the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2012, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant to attend la Bienal de Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain. A teacher of flamenco for over 30 years, di Palma has been an adjunct instructor of dance at the University of Minnesota for 14 years.
Tickets for the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 855-8199 or online at clcmn.edu/arts.