Rebeca Tomás

category: Dance,

Contact & Info

Website: http://www.apalosecoflamenco.com

Phone: (585) 802-8998

  • rebeccatheradiant@gmail.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.thomas.9028
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/APaloSecoFlamenco

Artist Statement

ARTIST STATEMENT: As a bi-cultural Flamenco artist, I strive to find a balance between tradition and innovation.  My goal is to remain faithful to the essence of Flamenco while asserting my creative voice and incorporating contemporary perspectives.  After years of performing and touring with numerous companies, including Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, I found that many Flamenco companies in New York and in the U.S. are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the Spanish art and staying true to its conventions.  While recognizing the importance of upholding Flamenco’s traditions, my personal artistic vision pushes those boundaries by developing work that keeps one eye on the purity of this art form while allowing for an approach that truly feels my own. Over the years, I have adopted “A Palo Seco” as a personal motif and as the title of my company, a phrase that refers to a bare bones style of flamenco music, often consisting of singing or percussion alone.  This stripped down aesthetic has become a central theme in my work, characterizing my biggest departures from tradition, while also rooting my work in the emotional rawness that lies at the heart of this Spanish art form.  Choreographies employ traditional props in unconventional ways and use musical accompaniment not normally associated with Flamenco.  Many pieces feature an all-female dance cast, taking on the strength and poise of the male persona, and challenging gender-specific stereotypes within the art form.  Other compositions are inspired by New York City, with all of its artistic edginess and structured chaos.  Embodying the gritty essence of “A Palo Seco,” my work challenges the status quo within Flamenco, giving it a distinctive metropolitan touch, and bridging this cultural genre with a more contemporary vision of dance and choreography. ARTS EDUCATION STATEMENT: Combining my love of Flamenco with my love of teaching feels natural and fulfilling, both as an artist and as an educator.  Seeing students’ faces light up, hearing them clap intricate rhythms, watching them move their bodies in ways they would not normally move in front of their peers, is a gift.  I believe that exposing students to the Spanish art of Flamenco opens a window into another world for them, one that they might not otherwise experience. My goal with my work is to open this window to as many students as possible, helping to expand their interests and knowledge through learning about a different culture and art form. I aim to instill confidence in the students I work with, as they become more comfortable in their own body through movement and rhythm.  I also work to show students how to be more open and less judgmental towards those who are different from them.

Educational Background

ARTISTIC TRAINING FLAMENCO DANCE (including work with BATA DE COLA, ABANICO, MANTON, CASTAÑUELAS), ESCUELA BOLERA, BALLET
  • Centro de Flamenco y Danza Española Amor de Dios, Madrid, Spain (Fall 2002- Summer 2016)
  • Centro de Arte Flamenco del Sur & Yolanda Heredia, Sevilla, Spain (Spring 2008)
  • Carmen de las Cuevas Escuela Flamenca, Granada, Spain (Fall 1999- Summer 2002)
  • Maite Galan Escuela de Danza Española. Granada, Spain (Fall 1999-Summer 2002)
MODERN, BALLET, and MUSICAL INSTRUCTION
  • Dance New Amsterdam (Fall 2006-Spring 2010)
  • Alvin Ailey Dance School, NYC (Winter 2006-2008)
  • Garth Fagan Dance, Rochester, NY.  Modern Dance Classes (Fall 2001, January 2003-2004)
  • Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY.  Primary Piano Lessons with V. Lenti (Fall 1994-Spring 1999)
GENERAL EDUCATION & ETHNOMUSICOLOGY WORK
  • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  BA, magna cum laude.  Double Major in Psychology & Comparative Religion; minor in Spanish. “Take Five” Scholarship to study a tuition-free fifth year on “Hispanic Cultures and Politics”  (Fall 1994- Spring 1999)
  • Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  New York State Teaching Certificate in Spanish for Secondary Education (Spring 1996-Spring 1999)
  • Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.  Ethnomusicology Coursework & Thesis work on “Música y Cultura Flamenca” with Dr. M.A. Berlanga (Spring 2000- 2002)
  • Book Translation: “LAS BASES HARMONICAS DEL FLAMENCO,” Madrid, Spain (Spring 2005)

Teaching Artist Experience

ARTS EDUCATION WORK
  • Performer and Workshop/Residency Facilitator on Flamenco and Spanish Folklore to students of all ages, Connecticut and the Tri-State Region (2001-Present).
  • Arts for Learning Connecticut.  Performer and Workshop/Residency Facilitator on Flamenco and Spanish Folklore to students of all ages (2006-Present).
  • Young Audiences of Connecticut, New York City, and Rochester.  Performer and Workshop/Residency Facilitator on Flamenco and Spanish Folklore to students of all ages (2001-Present).
  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Tri-State Region.  Curriculum Developer, Arts Education Liaison and Teaching Artist with company for schools throughout the Tri-State region (February 2006 –Present).
GUEST ARTIST AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.  Guest Artist with A Palo Seco Flamenco Company; Performance & Discussion (Feb 2013 & Oct 2015).
  • Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY.  Artist-in-Residence with A Palo Seco Flamenco Company; Workshops & Performances (March 2014). 
  • University of Rochester. Rochester, NY.  Guest Artist leading Workshops, Lecture Demonstrations, and Company Performances (Spring 2006-Present).
  • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.  Guest Instructor; Master Classes (May 2013).
  • NYU Gallatin School, NYC.  Guest Artist; Performance and in-class-discussion (December 2012).
  • School for International Training, Granada, Spain.  Guest Lecturer on Flamenco and Spanish Folklore for University Study Abroad Students (Spring 2000-Fall 2002).
FLAMENCO INSTRUCTION
  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (Fall 2010-Present)
  • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  Adjunct Faculty: Flamenco Dance (January 2002- 2005)
  • “Festival Danzas sin Fronteras,” Segovia, Madrid- Spain (Summer 2004/05)
  • Hochstein School of Music, Rochester, NY. (Fall 2003)