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Noche Flamenca will usher in the Sound Alternatives performance series with Spanish music and flamenco dancing 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets cost $20 and may be ordered by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

Founded in Madrid in 1993 by Martin Santangelo and his wife, Barrio, Noche Flamenca has developed into one of Spain’s most successful flamenco companies. Since its beginning, the group’s goal has been to maintain the essence, purity, and integrity of one of the world’s most complex and mysterious art forms without the use of tricks or gimmicks. All aspects of flamenco — dance, song, and music — are interrelated and given equal weight.

Noche Flamenca is comprised of director Martin Santangelo; dancers Soledad Barrio, Ana Romero, Bruno Argenta, and Alejandra Ramirez; guitarists Jesus Torres and Andres Heredia; and singers Antonio Vizarraga and Silverio Heredia. “They’re brilliant,” said George C. Wolfe, artistic director of the Joseph Papp Public Theater, in a New York Times article. “Soledad is a once-in-a lifetime performer who combines overwhelming physicality and spirituality.” The newspaper added in a later review this year: “Noche Flamenca can be counted on to put on a nicely sizzling, teasing show.”

“Although the technical level displayed by all the Noche Flamenca performers was remarkable, what stays in one’s memory was their camaraderie — their genuine engagement in each other’s art,” reported Flemenca International Magazine of a New York City performance.

In 2000, the company performed in Boston, Miami, Cleveland, and Montreal, as well as at the Hollywood Bowl, The Ravinia Festival, Wolf Trap, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. It also returned to New York City for a sold-out five-week appearance. Locations of past performances include Egypt, Japan, Canada, Portugal, and Spain. The current season features performances throughout New England, including a return visit to Joe’s Pub at New York’s Public Theatre, Boston’s Emerson Majestic Theater, Toronto, Montreal, debuts in Vancouver and Hawaii, and a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand. In the spring of 2002, Noche Flamenca returns to New York for a three-week run at the New Victory Theater on the new 42nd Street.

Some of Spain’s most valuable artists have worked, and continue to work, with the company, such as Soledad Barrio, Belen Maya, Alejandro Granados, Antonio Vizarraga, Rafael Jimenez Falo, and David Serva.

The Sound Alternatives series continues with Wadaiko Yamato, which will unleash authentic Japanese taiko drumming on Friday, Nov. 9. Kandia Kouyate will interpret the mythic sounds of the Mandinka people of West Africa on Friday, Feb. 8. Shafaatullah Khan, master of sitar and tabla, will come for a return engagement of Indian music on Saturday, April 20. The cost of a Sound Alternatives subscription is $59, a savings of $14 compared to the total cost of the individual performances.

The 2001-02 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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