SPEAK: Dance Artists on Dance

By Carolina Lugo

October 1, 2007, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

The last time I danced at the Cowell Theater was 1994 as a member of Bailes Flamenco. On closing night, I promised myself that someday I would bring my own company to perform there. Out of frustration and anger from a less-than-nurturing dance environment came determination, confidence and self-realization that I could succeed on my own, build a company and a name for myself, and develop dancers along the way by nurturing and encouraging creativity.

I will see that dream realized on October 6th, when my company, Carolina Lugo’s Brisas de España Flamenco, celebrates its 10th Anniversary with “Herencia~Tradiciones~Evolucion.” One of the images on our poster this year is the “spiral of life,” which symbolizes the evolution of the company. Brisas de España was born in 1995 and the thread of the spiral leads to my daughter and principal dancer, Carolé Acuña, who is preserving her Spanish heritage and carrying on the traditions of the company, and who will bring evolution to the repertoire in the 21st Century with her creativity.

Working with my daughter is a constant excavation of creative discoveries. There is an inexplicable energy—an unspoken dialogue that can only be understood by a blood relation. It can be edgy in the rehearsal studio but explosive on stage. I am a fourth-generation dancer in my family and Carolé is a fifth-generation dancer. In the world of Flamenco-Spanish dance, there are many families in Spain that carry on the traditions of the family in dance, song or music. It is because of this rite of passage that this beautiful Spanish cultural art form is able to keep the artistic threads bound together, and to preserve the heritage and traditions of each family dynasty. Dancing with my daughter fills me with joy, euphoria and pride beyond verbal expression. It is difficult to hold back the tears when I see her dance and when she dances with me. It takes me back to the feelings of love, pride, and excitement that I felt when I first held her in my arms. Olé! Carolé!

This article appeared in the October 2007 issue of In Dance.