Originally Posted September 23, 2009
My name is Lionel Félix, and I am the executive producer of the Toronto International Flamenco Festivalhttp://www.torontoflamencofestival.com/
In thinking about the first subject for my blog, I decided to acknowledge the many (mainly Canadian) people/teachers that have affected my path as a previous flamenco dancer, as a flamenco product online sale person, and current producer of the festival.
I would also like to start with a slight warning because as soon as we start naming names, there is no doubt that I will omit, unintentionally, some names. If you are one of those that you think I omitted and you know that you affected my path, please accept my sincere apology, and understand that I will always be happy to hear from you, and will be happy to thank you in person.
Here we go
To my wife Alexandra Félix – Thank you for believing in me and sticking by me, and in joining me in this journey of the creation of the Toronto International Flamenco Festival. Thank you for our beautiful family and life together.
To my previous mentor Sue Lacher - http://www.thegeniusinside.com/ – Thank you Sue for teaching me this great art of goal setting and for having been a great personal mentor to me.
To my first ever Flamenco teacher – Elena La Comadre - http://www.arteflamenco.com/ – thank you for the two and a half year that I spent at your school and for helping me find the meaning of Flamenco, and it is in your school that the desire forhttp://www.theartofexpression.com/ was created
To Valeria Scannura – http://www.ritmoflamenco.ca/ – thank you for showing me proper footwork.
To Esmeralda Enrique – http://www.flamencos.net/ – thank you for all the classes that I have taken from you and this is where I learned the importance of Contra Tiempo. Thank you for bringing the many great artists to Toronto in the last several years. A special thanks for having accepted my invitation to perform at the 2008 Toronto International Flamenco Festival.
To Carmen Romero – http://www.carmenromero.ca/ – thank you for helping me understand the deeper meaning of Flamenco, and for encouraging me to go to Spain. Thank you also, for including me as a dancer in one of your own creations at the fringe festival in 1999, and for your amazing innovative mind in Canadian Flamenco. Thank you also for having accepted my invitation to perform at the 2008 Toronto International Flamenco festival.
To Miguel de La Bastide – http://www.carmenromero.ca/ – thank you for having accompanied me as a guitarist in my second soloist performance, even when I was still very new in this art, and thank you for being part of the 2008 festival.
To Hali Dale – thank you for having work with me as a dancer, and from you I learned, the importance of dancing like a man, with the proper sharpness, and speed. Thank you also for accepting our invitation to perform at the 2009 Toronto International Flamenco Festival.
To Rita Benz - http://www.ritabcostumes.com/ – thank you Rita for making flamenco clothing in the last several years and for also volunteering at the 2007 flamenco festival.
To Tanya Bakala – http://www.missiondancecentre.com/ – thank you for introducing me to the inclusion of Flamenco in the ballet world
To Teo Morca – http://www.morca.com/ – thank you for encouraging me to attend your workshop in Bellingham, Washington
To Michael Kozak and Raija – http://www.madfordance.ca/ – thank you so much for running an independent dance studio, it is through your studio that I grew in awareness, ability, and vision for the festival.
To Paula Moreno – thank you so much for taking a few minutes of your time to speak with me in 2008. We have not formally met, but I can tell you that from the many people that I spoke to, I discovered that many of our teachers came through you. It is said, from the book, Conversations with God, that a great teacher is one that produces many masters. Without your contribution, I would have not been able to take lessons from the above teachers.
To Susan Walker – thank you Susan for your open-mindedness and friendship. I am extremely happy that you have accepted to work with us for the 2009 festival.
To Lina Moros - http://www.flamencolinamoros.com/ – thank you for taking me to my first flamenco tablao at Casa Galícía and for allowing me to take your classes, whenever I was in Montreal.
To Oscar Nieto – http://www.oscarnieto.com/ – thank you Oscar – I first met you at my trip in Bellingham, Washington, and I had heard you sang Flamenco Cante in English. I felt that was very innovative. Thank you also for meeting me in 2008 and for giving me the opportunity to talk about the Flamenco festival. I have the utmost respect for you, and for your contribution to this art.
To Rosario Ancer – http://www.flamencorosario.org/ – thank you for our several e-mail and telephone exchanges. It is always a pleasure to speak with you, and I hope that we will be able to collaborate with our festivals in the near future.
To Veronica Maguire – http://www.almadeespena.com/ – thank you for being part of the 2008 Toronto International Flamenco Festival. I was happy to have had the opportunity to finally meet you, and it was great working with you. I wish you, Harry and Gareth, the utmost success.
To Pirouz – http://www.flamenco.ca/ – thank you for doing so much for spreading the word of Flamenco in Canada, and for the great online support
To Jill Turnbridge – http://www.flamencodelmar.com/ – thank you for our recent talk, your open-mindedness in the world of Flamenco is starting to expand for the better.
To Annette Morcos – http://www.flamencocalgary.com/ – thank you Annette for our several conversations. I hope to meet you in the near future.
To Fiona Malena – http://www.fionamalena.com/ – thank you for taking the time to meet me at your last visit in Toronto. I hope to see you again very soon.
To Kari Alba – http://www.albaflamenco.com/ – thank you for speaking with me in 2008. I hope to meet you in the near future.
To Maritel Centurion – thank you for keeping in touch, and I was so happy to see you dance last year in Toronto. I was very happy to see that you were able to attend the 2008 festival.
To Claire Marchand, Juliana Pulford, and Claudia Carolina – http://www.theatreflamenco.ca/ – thank you for being the first example, of having different Canadian Flamenco artists from different part of Canada, working together. I am sure that others will follow this example in the near future.
To Kim Greene – thank you Kim for teaching in Kitchener and spreading the word about Flamenco, I know it is not always easy to teach Flamenco in the smaller cities,
To Cinta Sebastia – http://www.flamencodancelondon.com/ – thank you Cinta for spreading the word about Flamenco. I know that you are changing Flamenco in London for the better. I have always enjoyed our telephone conversations
To Maria Osende – http://www.flamencofestival.ca/ – Thank you Maria for our many conversations. I have enjoyed all of them. The Flamenco Festival Atlantic definitely helps spread the word Flamenco all over the country.
To Evelyne Benais – http://www.elvientoflamenco.com/ – Thank you Evelyne, your contribution to Flamenco in Halifax has helped make Flamenco bigger in Canada. I was sorry to find out that you were away.
To Sonia Munoz & Mariella Hernandez - http://www.torontoflamencoworkshops.com/ – thank you Sonia and Mariella, because of you we have seen some great artists here in Toronto, like Juana Amaya, and Antonio el Pipa.
To Kasandra Lea – http://www.mozaicoflamenco.com/ – thank you Kasandra for communicating with me by e-mail. I have heard that you are doing great in Vancouver. I hope that I will get a chance to meet you one day.
To James Cosman – http://www.jamescosman.com/ – thank you for having accompanied me as a guitarist in one of my performances, and thank you so much for adding a new chapter to Canadian Flamenco, beyond, dance, singing, and music.
To Jorge Miguel – http://www.jorgemiguel.com/ –thank you for having worked with me in my beginning days as a dancer, and congratulations for pursuing your own dream
To Jose Salgado - http://www.embrujoflamenco.com/ – thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to speak to me prior to the 2007 flamenco festival. It is great to know that some of the flamenco artists that are here in Toronto are able to perform their flamenco art at your restaurant.
And for the many more that I may have forgotten or have never met nor even heard about. I just want to remind you that we are all part of this great flamenco family. I know we are all making great effort to grow ourselves, our schools, and some of us to grow flamenco in general. However, I can promise you that if we all thought of ways to work together, and helping one another, our Canadian Flamenco family would expand beyond our imagination. This last sentence brings me to our next blog subject: The Power of Unity – Until next time