Helen Mariche (left) and Julia Rieberger and Jill Tunbridge (right) are among the Flamenco del Mar 'family' to be featured in the March 12 Spanish Nights presentation at Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240.

Spanish Nights set for South Surrey

Flamenco-style show planned for March 12 at RCL Crescent Branch 240

Think of it as a glass of Sangria for the senses.

Flamenco del Mar’s ‘Spanish Nights’ experience is coming to the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 on Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m.

And, as artistic director/instructor Jill Tunbridge explains, the event is not so much a  Flamenco show as a Flamenco-atmosphere party.

While the first part of the evening will highlight performances by core Flamenco del Mar dancers, the mood is intentionally far less formal, more cozy and more intimate than an annual student recital could ever be, taking full advantage of the Legion’s spacious wooden dance floor.

The ticket price also includes a home-style dinner, followed by an informal dance to crowd-pleasing DJ music that spans all styles and eras from the `50s to the present., Tunbridge said – and absolutely no knowledge of Flamenco is required.

“It’s like a wedding where you can have a good time dancing to fun songs, where you don’t have to buy a $100 gift, and, if you cab it, you can have a drink or two,” she said.

Tunbridge said a trial run of the concept at the Legion last November was somewhat inhibited by a stormy night, but demonstrated that people were still responsive to a party-like atmosphere that’s much truer to the folk roots of Flamenco than a rigidly-structured theatre show.

“Dancers may come off stage at a theatre beaming with delight – but it’s not the same experience for the audience when they can’t hear, and feel, the footwork,” she said.

Instead she’s modelling Spanish Nights event on the kind of uninhibited, spontaneous celebrations that seem more common in Europe, and particularly in Spain’s Flamenco community, she said.

“The best show I ever saw in Spain was in Cadiz. It was an afternoon show and all  of the family members were there and took part – it was just so authentic. I feel like everyone in our Flamenco del Mar troupe is kind of like a family too.”

‘Family’ members performing at the upcoming Spanish Night include Tunbridge, Rhona Segarra, Emma Lee, Alessia Haney, Kawal Varpaul, Helen Mariche, Diana Parry, Julia Rieberger and special guest Katherine Siemens, who will add Modern Bohemian Tribal – a dance style that shares common roots with Flamenco – to the mix.

Tickets ($25, including dinner) are available at the door or at Christopher’s Chocolates & Gifts, Ocean Park. For more information email jilltunbridge@hotmail.com or call 604-542-2096.



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