The Making of a Show: Behind the Scenes with Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre

Live performance is a gift.  It is a magical, fleeting experience that can never be duplicated or exceeded.  Not even by the most advanced digital wizardry or precise cinematography.

If performance is so momentary, so transient, so impossible to recapture, what on earth makes people want to work so hard to do it?  Why spend all that time and effort for something that will only ever happen once?  And why would people want to go see live shows when they could park themselves in front a screen at home and watch TV?

 Because it is magic.

I grew up in the world of creating shows and I have always been utterly fascinated by how it is so obviously about “making magic happen”; a kind of magic that can only happen when you are there.

I have the privilege of being close friends with many of Vancouver’s flamenco artists and in November 2007, I was asked to join the members of Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre as they took their show “Feria de la Costa” on the road.   We traveled to Sechelt, a community on B.C’s Sunshine Coast, to share the experience of live flamenco as part of Caravan World Rhythms’ new series of dance-related events.

The performers stand beneath their sign!

Click here to find out more about Al Mozaico Flamenco and the Edie Hats Scholarship program.

And so, combining three of my passions – blogging, flamenco and performance – I jumped ship at Edie Hats for a day and a night to hitch a ride with the group led by my friend Kasandra “La China” and to record some of what it takes to put up a flamenco show and create the magic of live performance.

Go here for pictures and videos and tag along backstage as group of Vancouver artists take a flamenco show on the road.

Any live show is built to support and present the performers who are what we might call the point of contact for the audience.

A show arises out of the confluence of skills, techniques, ideas and expectations.  All of the preparation – the years spent studying and practicing the art form, the science of lighting, stagecraft, costume, sound, even the organization of people, equipment and food – is a necessary part of the creation of a performance.  This immense effort is all aimed at coming together for a few brief moments of exchange between the presenters and the audience.

Backstage at Dress Rehearsal with Mozaico Flamenco 

Go here to meet the performers.

What results is a living, breathing, fluid thing that happens “Right Now”.  At its best it is a transcendent in-the-moment experience for both the performers and the audience.  Improvisation and spontaneity, all the so-called mistakes, are vital parts of the visceral magic of live shows and the reason people make them happen.

Mozaico taking a bow!


3 Responses to “The Making of a Show: Behind the Scenes with Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre”

  1. February 16, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Edie,

    I really enjoyed your post and how you feel about live performances and how difficult it is – if not impossible – to capture their essence. But believe it or not, I believe it is possible, if only for the benefit of those who couldn’t attend and experience the “real thing” and for the sake of attempting to immortalize a moment that will never again happen that particular way. This is what we have tried to succeed in by recording Petenera – a Flamenco Drama in Music and Dance that was just that kind of experience – not originally intended to be recorded at all, and such a powerfully emotional experience that what happened on the stage is really what told us what to do with our recording. Share this with others and let us know if we indeed succeeded in transmitting some of what we all believe is called “duende”. Online clips, reviews, pics and even how to order the DVD is at http://www.musicfilmfactor.com. Thanks for your feedback. Best regards, Michael Brown (director

  2. February 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I wish I could have been there, Flamenco is one of my favorite dance forms.

  3. February 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Looks like a great show, I am currently working on my own show and the article really helps. Thanks

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