After having attended to twelve classes in the school of Sevilla, students continue, by means of the distance learning, the subject “Understanding Flamenco through Dance”, since they had to return to their country because of the preventive measures against Coronavirus

For foreign university students in Sevilla, Flamenco is a way to get to the heart of the Andalusian culture. And working with this motivation, The Cristina Heeren Foundation offers “Understanding Flamenco through Dance”, inside the course index of “Concerted courses with Foreigner Universities” of the Faculty of Philology, of the University of Sevilla. The theoretical and practical training drew the attention of twenty students of “study abroad” programs, coming from twelve US universities. For the second semester of the Flamenco Annual Course 2019/2020, classes were expected from February 4th until May 7th, with a total of 45 contact hours. We could teach 12 two-hour classes until March 12th. Just then, Spanish and US governments enacted preventive measures against Coronavirus and students returned to their country. So the course continues with distance learning. The Academis Management has readapted contents and, using virtual classes, offers different resources to students, for them to continue at home going deeper into the learning of this artistic expression which also goes beyond frontiers from university.

The focus of the theoretical-practical subject “Understanding Flamenco through Dance” of The Cristina Heeren Foundation, is, according to the program, “the introduction to Flamenco through the learning of basic Flamenco dancing techniques”, including body techniques, footwork (”zapateado”), space and rhythm (“compás”), “the historic contextualization of Flamenco Dancing” and “understanding of the esthetic standards and structural and expressive resources”.And teachers of this course are Pepa Sánchez, PHD in Flamenco by the University of Sevilla and academic manager of the Flamenco school, the dancer and guitar player Patricia Lozano, the dancer and teacher Elisa Vélez and the dancer Coral Moreno, all of them, part of the teaching stall of the school in Sevilla.   

The 19 students enrolled in the Course 2019/2020 come from different US universities: Denison University (Ohio), Purdue University (Indiana), University of South Carolina, Clark University (Massachusetts), Springfield College (Massachusetts), Franklin & Marshall College (Pensilvania), Barnard College (New York), Wisconsin University, University of Colorado Boulder, Miami University (Ohio), Adelphi University (New York), Penn State University (Pennsylvania) and Elon University (North Carolina). And they came to the University of Sevilla thanks to the educational agreements: “Study Abroad” of The Council International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Academic Program International (API), CEA Study Abroad and Spanish Institute for Global Education (SIGE Miami). Apart from Flamenco, students of the concerted courses of the Faculty of Philology can study, while they are in Sevilla, subjects related to language and literature, cinema, photography, psychology, painting, politics and society, among others.

Flamenco and University
From 2018, Concerted Courses for foreigners students of the University of Sevilla mean for The Cristina Heeren Foundation, a step forward on the struggle for incorporating Flamenco into official and higher studies. And for that purpose, The Diploma of Specialization in Flamenco Dancing has been set in motion during this course, together with The Loyola University. Working for more than 20 years, the Flamenco school has developed several lines of action in order to approach Flamenco not only to official study programs, but also to the higher education in universities. The Foundation, awarded with the Flamenco Prize by the Department of Education and Science of the Andalusian Government, has promoted with the High School Carmen Laffon in La Rinconada (Sevilla), five editions of the “Flamenco High School Diploma”, also awarded by the Andalusian Government. In addition, the School usually enrolls postgraduate students with scholarships of international research programs, such as the European Erasmus Plus and the American Fullbright. It has also cooperated with university cultural programs, such as; “Trastablaos”, that is a series of illustrated  interviews to veteran artists; “Flamenco 21 degrees”, organized hand in hand with the CICUS of the University of Sevilla; the Summer Course of the University Pablo de Olavide in Carmona (Sevilla) or the Chair Leonard Cohen of the University of Oviedo, among others. Likewise, it supports the Spanish Association of Interpreters and Performers (AIE) to bring the cycle “AIEnruta Flamenco” to university centers in Madrid and Castilla León, which are Flamenco recitals by young artists.

Translation: Isabel Castaño