When a show works well, it’s only natural that you want to do it again.

For Flamenco dance artist Juliana Pulford, re-mounting the full-length music and dance program based on the tragic female characters of writer Federico Garcia Lorca at the National Arts Centre, following a successful run in Winnipeg last year, is an exciting opportunity.

“Good flamenco artists are not a dime-a-dozen in Canada, so when you find great people that work so well together, you want to keep doing it again and again,” says Pulford.


“It’s not very often that flamenco dance and music is presented in this more theatrical way, but I think there is a lot of really interesting and dynamic material in this show.”

Pulford has studied the art of flamenco dancing for more than a decade, and at nearly any event in Ottawa with a flamenco component, her name is sure to appear.

She is the local leader and instructor at Theatre Flamenco, a company that has branches in Toronto courtesy of artistic director/dancer Claudia Carolina, and in Winnipeg with producer/dancer Claire Marchand.

And it’s clear when she talks about Three Women, the production the three dancers will perform again this weekend, she is deeply passionate about the art form, and about the work of Lorca.

“There is a richness and complexity in these characters that is really interesting as far as building the choreography. It’s not superficial and there’s a real wealth of emotions the women go through.”

The three women presented are central characters from Yerma, Boda de Sangre and La Casa de Barnarda Alba — three plays Lorca wrote and set in his own time and place, early 1900s Southern Spain.

The stories of the women are unique, but what they share are similar repressive circumstances. Each of the characters is represented in a solo piece by one of the dancers, and then the three unite for a final piece which Pulford says is meant to be about redemption and to “show how the women can reclaim their dignity and carry on despite their circumstances.”

Adding to the story will be the musical contributions of flamenco guitarist Dominique Soulard, percussionist Eric Breton, flamenco singer Marie-Helen Raby and ChicGamine, an all-female a cappella group from Winnipeg.

The music will be traditional Spanish folk songs which were collected by Lorca himself as a means of preserving them.

But despite the deep references to Lorca’s writing, Pulford insists even those who know nothing of the writer, or of flamenco dance and music, can still be moved by the show.

“It’s absolutely accessible because so much of it is based on family drama and that’s universal. You don’t have to know (Lorca) or be versed in Spanish literature to be impacted by this production.”

  • Three Women by Theatre Flamenco runs tonight and Saturday at the National Arts Centre. Tickets are $43 or $35 for students and seniors and can be purchased at the NAC box office or through www.ticketmaster.ca.


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