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Flamenco in the Summer

Summer's heavy precipitation might have you thinking Fort Lauderdale's Flamenco in the Sun Festival is a misnomer. Then again, that brow-beating Andalusian sunlight is probably what got the Southern Spanish region's rhythm-makers crying long, mercy-begging ojalas in the first place. With all that stomping and pounding, it's hard for God not to hear them. In fact, for centuries, this Iberian song and dance has helped release heated inner turmoil with a sound and movement so vibrant that it takes people's minds off the summer swelter. This month, flamenqueros of the local and internationally acclaimed variety provide a shelter from the atmospheric elements during a two-part series featuring the movement's emotive vocals and powerful body language. At this week's Café Cantante, Florida flamenco artists warm the audience with an intimate, roots-based performance. The following week, with the traditional rhythm down pat and the crying on key, you'll be ready to take your newfound arts skills public by clapping and singing along to the eclectic Calle Flamenca concert featuring Broward County's own Bailes Ferrer Flamenco Dance Company with special guests straight from the genre's birthplace. Guitarist Jose Luis Rodriguez infuses the show with ancient Arabic influences he learned in his native Ceuta, a Spanish enclave located on the northern tip of Morocco, while trumpeter Carlos Puig-Hatem breathes all manner of Latin life sounds into the footwork of Nelida Tirado, who stomps through the Old and New World rhythms she learned on a Tito Puente Scholarship at New York's Ballet Hispano.


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