Arte Flamenco de San José
From the start, Arte Flamenco de San José has been committed to Flamenco education for both the individual and the community.
Diana Alejandre, the first artistic director of Arte Flamenco de San José, began teaching adult classes in 1986. The first student show presented by AFSJ was in 1992, under Diana’s direction. Since then the classes have continued, encompassing the beginner to the adult, and in 2008 officially became integrated with Arte Flamenco. Each year has been highlighted by the ongoing tradition of an annual student show. Adult classes are now taught by Flavia Geist, the current artistic director of Arte Flamenco de San José, Cyndie Zikmund, and guest instructor Carola Zertuche.
In September 2000 Arte Flamenco de San José started a Children’s Flamenco Class taught by Diana Alejandre with the assistance of Concha Garcia, and their first recital was in June 2001. This program continues to evolve and now includes three levels of children’s classes. Since 2008 these classes have been taught by Cyndie Zikmund, and in May 2011 they are celebrating with their eleventh recital. The children have performed at the San José Museum of Art, and have participated in the Arts Express Lecture/Demonstration program, as well as the Family Lunadas at the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Committed to in-school programs on flamenco dance and Andalusian culture, Arte Flamenco de San José has participated in the after school programs at McKinley Elementary School, Sherman Oaks Elementary School, and Hellyer Elementary School under the CORAL project. Instructor and board members Diana Alejandre and Concha Garcia incorporated educational state standards in the teaching of the art form, and after their sessions the students performed for their parents, teachers and peers. Lecture/demonstrations have been presented at Washington Open Elementary and Discovery Charter School.
Over the years Arte Flamenco has sponsored flamenco work shops for the community with renowned maestros José Galván and Concha Vargas. Both the adults and the children have performed at the annual Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival in the fall.
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