On Stage

Colored Diamonds

An evening of flamenco

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Savannah Fuentes’ pathway to becoming a sought-after Flamenco dancer reads somewhat like a Lifetime movie of the week.

While Fuentes doesn’t quite fit the “women in jeopardy” stereotype these female-focused flicks are known for, her story does check the box when it comes to going through a life-changing struggle before finally finding empowerment.

In Fuentes’ case, she was a teenager and pregnant with her first child when she began studying the Spanish dance and music form she’d eventually master. At the time, the Seattle-based performer knew she was going to be a single mother, but the stress of the impending birth was lessened by the studies she was undertaking with a woman named Sara de Luis—one of the first Americans to break into the highest levels of Spanish dance and flamenco in Spain.

It would be years before the dance classes begun on Capitol Hill would morph into Fuentes performing before a live audience—something that eventually came about thanks to the urging of dancer and teacher Veronica Barrera—but she says she loved the art form enough to use that time to study and perfect it.

“Both these women were fundamental and crucial to my formation as an artist,” Fuentes says of the attention she received from her mentors.

When the latest touring production from Fuentes and company comes to Bellingham’s Firefly Lounge and Whidbey Island’s Bayview Community Hall this week, those in the audience for “Diamantes de Color (Colored Diamonds): An Evening of Flamenco” will learn more about the Spanish art form focused not only on dance, but also on guitar playing and song.

Acclaimed Spanish-Romani guitarist Pedro Cortes and singer, percussionist and dancer Jose Moreno will help bring the cultural collaboration to life.

“Colored Diamonds represents a new artistic phase for the touring Flamenco dancer,” a recent press release reads. “The emotional spectrum of Flamenco music as well as the complex rhythms and otherworldly energy unique to the art form are represented by the ever-changing colors and light transmitted by powerful stones.”

While you’re watching, remember that although she’s far removed from the pregnant teenager who eventually decided to devote her life to studying and performing Flamenco, Fuentes has never forgotten how passion for dancing changed her life, and continues to evolve as both an innovater and performance artist. Colored Diamonds may sound like a good title for the next Lifetime movie of the week, but it’s also part of the story of her life.

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