In 2008, Hevia y Vaca also launched the PyA Conservatory to provide a disciplined environment for preserving and teaching the formal structures of flamenco in an emotionally supportive environment. Hevia y Vaca is senior adjunct at Franklin & Marshall and at Temple University. She continuously teaches courses at local schools, colleges and universities and is often students’ first encounter with this dance form.
Fall Classes will run September 6-December 23. There will be no classes during Belen Maya’s workshops on October 7 & 8 and October 28 & 29 and Thanksgiving break November 22-25th. There will be technique classes for all levels: Basic Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. We are also introducing a Sevillanas class that is open to all levels. Classes will all be taught by Elba Hevia y Vaca at the Overbrook Garage Studio in Philadelphia.
Cost is $15 for drop in or $78 for a 6 class card. Sevillanas are $12 or $60 for a 6 class card. Discounts for students and dance professionals are available upon request.
All the levels will involve the study of:
- Colocacion (The Flamenco Posture): body work, placement and understanding center, arm and hand exercises
- Footwork: exercises and drills in relations to the compas (rhythm) and palos (rhythm family)
- Music: The compas or rhythm of flamenco is the key musical element that unites the three fundamental forms of expression that make up flamenco: toque (guitar) cante and baile and is essential in learning and creating this art form. Flamenco consists of various palos, the difference between them lies predominantly in the rhythm structure and melody. We will study the structure through phrase work and rhythm training with palmas.
Learn the basic posture, and use of the arms, hands and body through various exercises.
Footwork: learn the basic elements of footwork through repetitions and various exercises that involve; 1) golpe – a stamp with the whole of the foot striking the floor, 2) planta – the ball of the foot striking the floor, and 3) tacón – the heel of the foot which can strike the floor from the whole foot being lifted up first or dropping when the planta (ball of the foot) is already on the floor.
Musical training: learn how to listen flamenco rhythms and learn various patterns of palmas (hand clapping) to these various flamenco rhythms.
Students at the end of the class will learn short segments of variations and phrase work including Sevillanas Level 1
Wednesday 8-9:30pm & Saturday 1-2:30pm
For students who have completed at least six to eight months of Beginner and Advanced Beginner classes, and feel relatively comfortable with all the material covered in those classes. Intermediate students will have multiple opportunities to perform complete choreographies throughout the year.
Our concentration in this level will be to increase strength, speed and musicality in footwork. We will explore more complex advance footwork technique, arm work and incorporate them into our bodies as well as find expression and embodiment of the movement. This class will concentrate on rhythms of Tangos, Alegrias and Solea por Buleria and further investigate the ways of clapping, the accents and common variations for these different flamenco families.
Students at this level should have a background of at least three years of flamenco dance instruction, and have solid knowledge of a wide range of flamenco technique. Classes will focus on improving musicality and speed of footwork, body coordination in more complex combinations, turns, and learning to identify and work with a range of musical palos (styles). In addition, advanced dancers will study improvisation for Bulerias, listening and responding to live music, and will learn phrase work and choreographies for performance opportunities throughout the year.
Wednesdays 7-8:00pm & Saturdays 12-1:00pm
Sevillanas are a type of folk music and dance of Seville and its region. They were derived from the Seguidilla, an old Castilian folk music and dance genre. In the nineteenth century they were influenced by Flamenco. They have a relatively limited musical pattern but are rich in lyrics based on country life, virgins, country towns, neighborhoods, pilgrimage, and love themes.
Sevillanas are danced by couples of all ages and sexes during celebrations (fiestas or ferias), often by whole families and towns. Sevillana choreography is very stable and knowing it is very useful, since it is a festival dance. This is why those intending to dance flamenco usually start by learning sevillanas; they are easier to master and there are more occasions for practice and training.
The rhythm of Sevillanas can be interpreted as 3/4, although it is generally 6/8. Each sevillana is composed of 4 or sometimes 7 parts, with each part divided into 3 coplas and with each copla made up of 6 movements.