Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Elba Hevia y Vaca, Pasión y Arte Flamenco Company (PyA) has achieved a reputation for creating groundbreaking contemporary feminist flamenco that is also deeply steeped in the centuries old traditions of the southern Spanish masters. Their critically acclaimed works are noted for their innovative choreography and technical precision. Ms. Hevia y Vaca’s commitment to expand the boundaries of the form is evidenced in the seven original, full-length, flamenco-based dance pieces she has created for the company. Drawing upon a mastery of flamenco integrated with other dance forms, mixed media and experimentation in narrative and symbolic storytelling, PyA embraces the tensions between modern and traditional approaches. Through its work and the diversity of its company members, PyA expands the knowledge of the art form beyond its strict conventions of dance, production styles, and gender stereotyping. As part of their educational and community-oriented mission, Pasión y Arte presents flamenco lecture-demonstrations at schools, universities, and community centers.
In 2011, PyA received its second highly coveted grant from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance that resulted in the company’s first outside commission, an intensive collaboration with feminist flamenco artist and internationally renowned Spanish dancer and choreographer, Rosario Toledo, leading to the 2012 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival. PyA was again awarded a grant from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and the Knight Foundation for the funding of the 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, which took place over two weeks in March 2014. The company has also received awards from the Barra Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Independence Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, and the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation.
Pasión y Arte has performed at the Annenberg Performing Arts Center, the Kimmel Center, Jacobs Pillow, New York’s Summer-Stages, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Wilma Theater, Painted Bride Arts Center, the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Princeton University, and New York’s Public Theater. Pasión y Arte offers performances and workshops for community arts centers and has performed for students at Penn State University, Middlebury College, Dickinson University, Franklin & Marshall University, Muhlenberg College, Temple University, the Latin American Guild for Arts, and Bryn Mawr College.