Journal of the San Juan Islands


Inspiration on fire

Journal of the San Juans Editor
July 16, 2013 · Updated 10:47 AM

Flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes and friends will light up Friday Harbor with a fiery performance, Friday. / Contributed photo

Sixteen shows in 20 days, and with first-ever performances in far-flung venues of northern California, too.

Chico, Mendocino, Redding, Sacramento, and coming off her biggest tour ever this past spring as well; 24 shows in 30 days. So what keeps Seattle’s “First Lady” of Flamenco in the groove and on the move?

“Sometimes I do get a little worried whether people will show up,” Flamenco ambassador Savannah Fuentes said. “But then when you do it, perform, and you have these wonderful moments with people you don’t know while you’re sharing the art form that you love, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Jesus MontoyaFollowing on high-stepping heels of last spring’s performance in Friday Harbor, in April, Fuentes and fellow Flamenco performers — singer Jesus Montoya and guitarist Bobby de Sofia — are back to light up the Grange Hall with another sure-fire soul-snatching show.

The curtain goes up Friday, at 8 p.m. Cautionary note; seating is limited with room capacity of 100. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com, or at the door, if any are left.

Fuentes and company embarked on the summer tour, entitled “Girsoles” (sunflowers), earlier in the month. Along with Friday Harbor, the troupe has performances slated on Lopez and on Orcas as well, before heading south to the northern reaches of the Golden State.

Inspired not only by a recent trip to Vancouver, B.C., to study the art of Flamenco with Joaquin Grilo, “my favorite dancer in the whole world”, Fuentes also looks forward to the cozy confines of Grange. There’s something exhilarating about being up close and personal with an audience.

“The smaller intimate venues are really nice,” she said. “There’s a Grange on Vashon where they have something like 70-100 seats.”

Although the most familiar qualities of Flamenco for many may be in the dances and in the guitar, Fuentes maintains that the heart and soul of Flamenco has always been, and remains, in the song, and in the singer. It’s what gives any performance its character and its personality.Bobby de Sofia

“It’s is like the fuel we run on,” she said. “The singing really is the soul of the art form. It’s what expresses the emotion.”

Fuentes, who also works the promotional and booking end of group’s tours, said she feels revived, re-energized and relaxed for this summer’s tour.

“I just studied and I feel inspired,” she said. “I feel like it’s going to be a really good show.”


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