BROOKSVILLE — In the world of dance, there are few genres as expressive as flamenco. The form, which evolved in the 1800s from the mixing of Spanish court dances with the folk music of eastern European Gypsies, is both evocative and entertaining.
Back in 1991, Canadian dancer Veronica Maguire and her guitarist husband, Harry Owen, formed Alma de Espana (Spanish for "The Soul Of Spain"), a dance and music company that they hoped would gain the art form more recognition in North America.
Nearly two decades later, the troupe has become one of the most successful flamenco acts in the Western Hemisphere. The group has been lauded by fans and critics alike and is known for delivering outstanding performances that integrate dancers, musicians and singers.
The group is making its first tour foray into Florida this week and will be on hand to kick off the Hernando Performing Arts Guild's 2008-09 season Saturday evening.
For Maguire, a graduate of the Canadian College of Dance at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, the journey has brought her closer to the music she first discovered in 1972.
When asked by an interviewer earlier this year about where her affinity for the dance originated, she deadpanned, "I'm sure it was in some movie with Jose Greco."
Nonetheless, with Owen serving as musical director, arranger and teacher to the couple's 20-year-old guitarist son Gareth, the ensemble has been lauded by flamenco fans around the world as a purveyor of authentic flamenco artistry.
Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.