a man raises his arm in the air to dance Flamenco

Celebrate and Recalibrate Flamenco Project

Project team

Rosa Cisneros (PI)


Russell Patrick Brown (Independent Scholar and Artist, USA)

Meira Goldberg (Fashion Institute of Technology, and is Scholar-in-Residence at the Foundation for Iberian Music at the CUNY Graduate Center, USA)

Duration of project

6 months


Coventry University

Value of project


Project overview

On November 16, the International Flamenco Day is commemorated throughout the world. UNESCO declared this dance to be Spanish Intangible Heritage of Humanity on November 16, 2010, and since then, this day has been celebrated in a number of ways. Flamenco singing, guitar playing and dancing are the three main pillars of  the artform.  Yet, its history has a complex and often debated past.   To explore this entangled past, C-DaRE’s artist and researcher Rosa Cisneros with the support of US, Romani technowizard and stepdancer, Russell Brown,  and flamenco scholar and dancer Meira Goldberg, have organised a three-day  event on Nov 14th-16th to honour Flamenco. 

Over the three days, Roma and non-Roma authors will expand on their latest chapter in Celebrating Flamenco’s Tangled Roots The Body Questions, Edited by K. Meira Goldberg and Antoni Pizà. The book is a collection of essays that poses a series of questions revolving around nonsense, cacophony, queerness, race, and the dancing body. The book asks how can flamenco, as a diasporic complex of performance and communities of practice frictionally and critically bound to the complexities of Spanish history, illuminate theories of race and identity in performance? 

Project objectives

  • Introduce Flamenco History and current debates to broader audience
  • Roma History Awareness
  • Explore how can we posit, and argue for, genealogical relationships within and between genres across the vast expanses of the African—and Roma—diaspora? Neither are the essays presented here limited to flamenco, nor, consequently, are the responses to these questions reduced to this topic. What all the contributions here do share is the wish to come together, across disciplines and subject areas, within the academy and without, in the whirling, raucous, and messy spaces where the body is free—to celebrate its questioning, as well as the depths of the wisdom and knowledge it holds and sometimes reveals.

Impact statement

The project allows for the artists and researchers to dialogue and to explore how practice can inform research and vice-versa. Flamenco has a contested past and is always evolving. The debates centered on historical realities can be limiting and therefore, Celebrate and Recalibrate Flamenco opens up online dialogical spaces for the general public, artists, academics and anyone with an interest in Flamenco to come together, learn, share, question, react and gather different perspectives on current research streams in the field of flamenco performance.


Specifically the three days looked at:

Day 1 - 14 November (4.00-5.30PM GMT/ 17.00-18.30 CET)

- Chapter One ‘This Little Wooden World’: Choreo-navigating Maritime Dance, by Russell Patrick Brown (Roma People’s Project) 

- Chapter Four La Muñeca Subersiva (The Subversive Doll), by Belén Maya (Independent Artist and Scholar), translated by K. Meira Goldberg

Day 2 - 15 November (4.00-5.30PM GMT/ 17.00-18.30 CET)

- Chapter Fifteen, Flamenco is Gitano: Reflections on the Expression of Gitano Identity in the Flamenco Fiesta, by Clara Chinoy (Universidad de Sevilla)

- Chapter Fourteen, Urban Memories and Rural Mirrors: Toward a History of Romani Performing Arts by Miguel Ángel Vargas (Independent Artist and Scholar)

Day 3 - 16th November (4.00-5.30PM GMT/ 17.00-18.30 CET)

Lecture-Demonstration with Russell Brown discussing his latest dance work looking at space, place and protocols. Rosa Cisneros will also discuss her latest commission for the Gypsy Maker 5 Programme-LifeStrings is a screendance film that investigates climate justice, violins and motherhood using a contemporary flamenco dance vocabulary.

Recordings for each of the sessions below. 

Day 1: Celebrate and Recalibrate Flamenco: Day 1 with Russell Patrick Brown and Belen Maya -VIEW HERE

Day 2: Celebrate and Recalibrate Flamenco: Day 2 with Miguel Ángel Vargas- VIEW HERE

Day 3: Celebrate and Recalibrate Flamenco: Day 3 Performance paper with Russell Brown & LIFESTRINGS Screendance work with Rosa Cisneros- VIEW HERE

Image credit: Russell Patrick Brown

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