Attending Cultural Stage of Art to see flamenco dancer Claudia de la Cruz and her dance troupe, Tierra Flamenca, is an exhilarating experience. It not only combines the fun of stomping feet, but swishing skirts and passionate flare that the dancers bring to their art form. The style of dance is strong. Even the delicate maneuvers of fans in hand and flowers in the hair cannot disguise the power of the dance. Always changing their routines and costumes, performances often tap into the spiritual side of life, which moved me, the most as a spectator and fan.
Tierra Flamenca’s recent performance Inksurgent V.2 “Beautifully Rebellious” demonstrated the versatility of flamenco in its interpretation through time and unique creativity, starting in the Dark Ages and moving up through contemporary times, a chilling and vibrant performance to stir the soul and thoughts brought out in the form of flamenco. If you haven’t been to Cultural Stage of Art, the time is now. You won’t regret such a special and unique evening of entertainment.
The Spirit of Flamenco
When I saw Claudia de la Cruz walk on the stage to perform in her jet-black dress, large rosary cross about her neck and the look of flamenco angst upon her face, I knew I had to photograph her. Whenever I embark on a photography project, it is always something that moves me inwardly, then the idea of what to do forms in my mind. I saw her in the black dress in a location that would look like old Spain; also the idea for passion and purity was in my head. When I started looking for exterior locations, a Catholic church that I particularly liked on 4th Street in Santa Ana had what I needed; stone columns, stained glass windows and the look of an old church in Europe. While visiting multiple churches, I came across the white rose bush, the perfect contrast to the black dress. In black and white photography, normally you are looking for tones, pure white and pure black are the most difficult to combine and develop, but this was exactly what I wanted to project purity contrasting white with the black dress. How appropriate that white roses suggest purity and beauty in a church location. This mixed with Ms. Cruz poses and movement as a flamenco dancer brought the elements of passion, purity and angst all together. Flamenco, originating with the gypsies of Southern Spain is a story of joy, the struggle of life, passion, deep spirituality and great beauty.
Ms. Bowers is a local Santa Ana artist often participating in Artist’s Village events. Her projects usually combine her skills in film, video, theatre production and performance. She attended the Universities of Colorado and Arkansas, interned at CBS in Hollywood and acquired a second degree in Professional Acting. Ms. Bowers works as a television consultant and assists cities with the development of their television channels, graphic arts and photography. This is her third year to exhibit with the Art of the Staff from the Bowers Kidseum where she and her husband Higgy Vasquez volunteer as well as teach hand drumming in the After School Program.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Estimada Claudia de la Cruz,
Es un inmenso placer escribir estas lineas de felicitacion a quien con mucho amor, dedicacion y gran pasion ha dedicado gran parte de su vida al desarrollo y enriquecimiento de una de las culturas y artes mas genuinos como lo son el Flamenco del Sureste Adaluz.
Despues de haber observado el desenvolvimiento de Claudia de la Cruz con sus estudiantes durante una sesion regular de enseñanza y prensenciar la dinamica que empleaba con cada una de sus estudiantes tanto individual como en conjunto, no pudeÃ menos que sentir un gran orgullo y satisfaccio³n de saber que mi hija Angela estaba en muy buenas manos y que sus inicios en este fino arte tambien estarÂan bien encausados.
El estilo de Claudia de la Cruz es unico y muy especial, ya que Claudia es en si es la esencia viva del Flamenco. Sus movimientos fuertes pero precisos reflejan el dominio en este dificil pero apasionante arte, de cadencia suave que evoca la profundidad de su espiritu. Claudia vive el arte que enseña a sus pupilos, y el publico asi lo persive.
Como residente y vecino de esta gran comunidad de Santa Ana, me resulta muy grato y es para mi un gran honor reconocer, enaltecer y promover las multiple cualidades que Claudia de la Cruz como persona e instructora posee en el arte Flamenco, y que de una forma gentil y dedicada, a puesto a la disposicion de nosotros y nuestro hijos. Que dicha tan grande contar entre nosotros con personas como Claudia de la Cruz que ha encontrado en el desempeño de su trabajo el proposito y realizacion de su vida.
Claudia, en nombre de nuestra comunidad y el mio propio, te damos las gracias, la bienvenidad y la bendicion para que continues con tu excelente labor de promotora para preservar y cultivar el arte Flamenco. Que todo lo que tu buen espiritu samaritano y sueños te permitan lograr y realizar por esta TU comunidad sean siempre bien realizados. Claudia de la Cruz continua iluminando el presente y el futuro como siempre lo has hecho. EXCELENTE !!!
Padre y Vecino de Santa Ana.
Dear Claudia de la Cruz,
It is a great pleasure to write these lines of congratulations to you, a person whom has lovely, passionately and devotedly dedicated great part of your life to the development and enrichment of one of the most genuine cultures and arts such as the southwestern Andalusian Flamenco.
After observing Claudia working during a class session, and learned her involvement and dynamic applied to each student and to the whole group, I became quite delighted and greatly satisfied to know that my daughter Angela’s steps to this fine art would be in fact well taken care of.
Claudia’s stile is very unique and special, because Claudia is herself the essence frame of the Flamenco. Her strong but yet precise movements reflect her domain of this difficult but also passionate art; her smooth cadence evokes the depth of her spirit. Claudia lives the art of teaching to her pupils, and the public can certainly perceive it.
As residence and neighbor of this great community of Santa Ana, it is a great honor to recognize, to embrace, and to promote Claudia de La Cruz multiple qualities as a person and as a instructor of the art of Flamenco which very gently and delicately has put to the disposition of us the parents as well as our children. How wonderful it is to know that we can count among us with one person whom found through the performance of her work the purpose and realization of her life!!!.
On behalf on this community and mine, I hereby give you thanks, welcome you and bless you to continue your excellent labor and keep promoting and cultivating the art of Flamenco and all that your Samaritan Spirit and Dreams would allow to do for this YOUR Community.
Father and Neighbor of Santa Ana.