Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Tuesday 15 September 2015

Ole - a celebration of 25 years of Flamenco in south west regional Western Australia

In 2012  I started lessons in Flamenco encouraged by my daughter-in-law who had been a member of Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company and School of Dance for over 10 years. 

On Saturday night, 12 September, I was privileged to be a part - both as dancer and photographer - of "Ole" a celebration of 25 years of Flamenco dancing in regional south west Western Australia.

The Eliot Street Bar in Bunbury was transformed into a Spanish Taverna when Bunbury’s Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company celebrated 25 years of local South West flamenco dancing bringing the heat and passion of Spain alive to a packed and very appreciative audience.

This show had been a long time in the making and a lot of hard work was dedicated by dancers, choreographers, producers, and and host of people behind the scenes, all working to make the show the success it was.

Backstage, preparing and waiting to go on stage.
All photos shown here were taken hand held, no tripod and no flash. You really need to know manual settings in these situations. ie up  the ISO to let more light in, though this adds grain as well.

Sol y Sombra treated the audience to a vibrant programme of dances which told the story of their history which started in 1990 with Espana choreographed by Sol y Sombra's creator, Margarita Rothery, and concluding with a modern Spanish interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero, choreographed by Sol y Sombra's teacher and Artistic Director since 2000, Nicole Kostezky. 

Over the past 25 years Sol y Sombra has been influenced by several teachers  - Margarita Rothery (1990-1995), Rodney Harvison (1996) , Michelle Jarrott (1996), Farida Rabih (1997-1999) and Nicole Kostezky 2000-2015) - who have brought their own style and influences to the group. 

Our internationally trained special guest, soloist Farida Rabih, who owns Casa del Compass School of Spanish Dance in Perth, performed Martinete a traditional flamenco style with a stick as well as Guajiras, a flamboyant dance with Cuban origins characterised by a fan and long flowing skirt.

Below you can see Farida Rabih, in the long blue skirt, and Liz Hanich at rehearsal. Also below is our male soloist Senor Pedro, performing Farruca choreographed by Rodney Harvison 1995, and accompanied by Margarita Rothery with "palmas". 

"Palmas is a style of hand clapping used in Flamenco music as an essential form of percussion to help punctuate and accentuate the song and dance".

Liz Hanich, also an internationally trained special guest performer from Perth, treated the audience to a mesmerizing contemporary interpretation, the hauntingly moving piece, a story telling and flamenco fusion, The Birth of Death, choreographed by Liz. Sol y Sombra enjoyed a workshop with Liz earlier this year.

Our beautiful and graceful teacher and Artistic Director, Nicole Kostezky, who is a graduate of the WA Academy of Performing Arts, and has danced throughout Australia and Europe,  brought a different style of flamenco to the night, with her beautiful expression of flamenco arm movement in her performance of Isabella. 

These four dancers expressed the range of emotion and contrast that is the heart of Flamenco…happiness, sadness, passion, sensuality and rhythm. The “Sun and Shade”. The “highs and lows” of emotion. The “Sol y Sombra”.

 Here are some more images I took on Saturday night.
Sol y Sombra performing Toreador from Bizet's Carmen, choreographed by Michelle Jarrott in 1996.

 and Amistad, a piece of vibrant clapping and stamping, with no music accompaniment, so timing is essential. 

I was in my mid 50s when, with no other dance training background, I started to learn Flamenco. You are never too old to learn something new or start a new interest. Dancing is great for balance, memory, fitness, timing - and it is so healthy and important for mental well being to be involved in a group of like-minded people. 

Here's a little video from our class - the Chorus of Bamboleo - our end of show party dance. Videoing steps and then uploading them to my computer at home so I can practise has been a great way for me to practise and learn steps. It's been useful to others this year in the group too.

Sol y Sombra have been fantastic to me over the last three years.  I thank them all for their support and encouragement during my many moments of self doubt over the last 3 years, and their extreme patience going over and over steps with me. Their friendship has helped keep me going. I had to learn 4 dances this year for the show and actually seeing their vulnerabilities in learning a dance new to them this year (ie Bolero) has really helped me a lot! What a wonderful group of people the Sol y Sombra family are. I feel so lucky to be associated with them. And I sincerely thank my daughter-in-law Jen for encouraging her mother-in-law to come and join something that was "her thing". xx

And finally - here is me dancing! A huge thank you to Mike McIntyre for these fabulous images. 
Clockwise from top left - I am in the black dress with pink spots on the left at the conclusion of Espana, second from the left at the conclusion of Tangos, second from left during acknowledgments (in our new Bolero costumes), and centre stage kicking up my feet and flinging my skirt during my solo bit in Bamboleo. Ole!

Sol y Sombra will again take to the stage on 25 October at 2pm at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery at the conclusion of their Flamenco Art Exhibition which opens on 9 October.

To see more pics and find out more about Flamenco please visit their Facebook page -  Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard 

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  1. What a wonderful celebration of flamenco.

  2. A wonderful colourful post. The costumes andelegrance of the dancers are fabulous.

  3. Great shots - I'd love to try photography at a similar venue. You did a nice job!
    Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/nighttime-paddle-on-jordan-lake.html

  4. Hello Jill, the Ole celebration sounds like a wonderful event. I am glad you were able to be a part of it as a dancer and the photographer. Wonderful series of images and a great post. Thanks for sharing, have a happy new week!

  5. So admire you getting involved and trying something new and enjoying it too. Loved your photos and wish I'd been in Bunbury to see it. Next year, maybe they'll bring the show up to Perth too :)

  6. What a terrific night. I was overcome with feelings of joy at the end of the evening. And, those costumes were just so stunning. Bravo to Jill and to everyone else who made this possible.

  7. What fun flamenco dancing would be. I loved seeing a flamenco show in Spain a few years ago - such intensity of emotion expressed in dance. Way to go, Jill!

  8. I am so happy to finally see some photos of you dancing Jill! I didn't know that the clapping was called Palmas. We saw and heard the clapping and males vocalising to accompany a solo girl dancing in Seville Spain. I like the modern Liz Hanich dance too. It is lovely that your daughter-in-law encouraged you to join her.

  9. Looks like you all had fun and delivered a fine performance.

  10. Wooow, great dansers, great pictures.
    Visiting from Through my lens, Hilde

  11. How wonderful that you got this opportunity in Bunbury recently. We saw flamenco in Barcelona few years and saw the intense emotion expressed int his dance style. I enjoyed your post and lovely photos, thank you for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

  12. Brava!! Thanks for sharing your story, photos, and joy. Whoo-hooo!
    Take 25 to Hollister

  13. Such fun, I love when you share Flamenco dancing photos and nice to see you in action too Jill. The only thing I wish is that a short video could have been part of this post.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  14. Oh Jill you are a star! Flamenco dancing as well as your photography and writing? You are one very talented lady! I love the colours and the vibrancy of the Spanish dancers. You are to be applauded for taking up dancing later in life. It is something I always wanted to do as well. Maybe I should!!

  15. Jill you are one very talented woman, congratulations on the success of the show. So dynamic and such fun x

  16. Wow this was amazing to see Jill! Congrats on the show....

  17. Oh this is so interesting and you are such a talent. Enjoyed your story and good for you! The colors are fabulous in the costumes and this must have been so much fun. Great post!

  18. Love the video and candid shots Jill! I admire your courage (and determination) to learn flamenco (and have your own solo too!)... it's such a beautiful moving traditional dance. I only got to see it live once in Puerto Rico many years ago and would love to find a way to see another performance again, perhaps in Spain. You and your DIL look lovely in your beautiful gowns and beam with joy, deservedly so! Thank you for sharing the history of the dance and your experience :)

  19. Ole - that looks fantastic and like a lot of fun ... you look lovely Jill
    I would love to come along one day

  20. I hadn't been able to comment on your blog previously Jill but I've had another go and it seems I have to sign in to comment, so seems to be working now ...


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.