On Stage

Dance Dates

A world of talent at the Firehouse

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WHAT: Rachel Belly Dances to Live Music by Sean Daly
WHEN: 6:30pm Fri., June 11
COST: $20 per person, or $50 per table (up to four people)
WHERE: Firehouse
INFO: http://www.rachelbellydances.com

WHAT: “Flores de Verano: Flamenco en Vivo” with Savannah Fuentes and Diego Amador Jr.
WHEN: 7:30pm Sat., June 12
WHERE: Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
COST: $15 for kids, $30 general admission, $42 in the first two rows, and $60 benefactor front-row seating
INFO: http://www.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Against the backdrop of a hot-pink Pacific Northwest sunset, a woman in profile can be seen dancing on the beach. As the breeze rustles her dress and small waves lap at the shore, she appears to be drawing inspiration from the natural world around her—and from passionate music playing softly in the background. Her intricate arm and body movements, hand-clapping and percussive footwork seems improvised, but their execution is way too controlled to be a mistake.

Even if you weren’t aware the woman in the short video was flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes—and that flamenco singer and guitarist Diego Amador Jr. was providing the scenic soundtrack—it would still be possible to glean something special and pretty magical was going on. But knowing the duo are longtime purveyors of the Spanish dance form changes everything.

If Fuentes and Amador can wow even when under cover of a drawing dusk, imagine how impressive it would be to seen them in person, beneath spotlights that would allow the audience to see and hear their every expression and emotion. If you find that scenario to be a compelling one, be aware that Fuentes will be bringing her fundraising and recovery tour to Bellingham for a Sat., June 12 performance at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center.

The Seattle-based Fuentes says her new program, “Flores de Verano, Flamenco en Vivo,” celebrates rebirth and new beginnings. It was created after a year of pandemic-related confinement and self-reflection, and features both traditional musical forms and contemporary themes.

A couple of days before the Bellingham show, Fuentes and Samador will kick off their extensive West Coast tour in Las Vegas, so they should be in top form by the time they arrive at the Firehouse—one of the venues in Bellingham where Fuentes has performed to sold-out audiences over the years.

The night before “Flores de Verano, Flamenco en Vivo” transforms the Firehouse into a Spanish dance hall, another dynamic duo will be setting the stage for transformation. “Rachel Belly Dances to Live Music By Sean Daly” will see the performing arts venue bring beautiful, masterful dance that is indigenous to areas in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Greece to the forefront.

Those who purchase either an individual ticket or a table with friends or family won’t be sorry. Local performer and instructor Rachel Carter will be dancing raqs sharqi—commonly known as belly dance—and the Portland-based Daly will play along on the string bass to classic and traditional music of Egypt and the Middle East. He’ll also present an original composition he created during lockdown.

After more than a year of watching performers share their talents on Zoom or Facebook Live, you may be yearning to see what’s on the other side of the creative curtain. Safety protocols and distancing measures will be followed during these two very special shows—each of which will feature dancers and musicians at the top of their game—so now may be the time to reenter the theater scene. A world of talent awaits you.

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