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Published November 11th 2016
Flamenco Sin Fronteras (FSF) is a unique establishment in Singapore led by internationally renowned Flamenco maestro, Antonio Vargas, and a senior company dancer cum choreographer Daphne Huang.
Flamenco is a dance originated from the gypsy culture in Andalusia. The dance form has cante (singing), toque (guitar), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping). It's now associated with Spanish culture. The dance is now increasingly popular all over the world and officially declared as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.
Antonio was trained in Flamenco under Spain's renowned Flamenco teacher, Antonio Marin. He was the lead dancer with the Pilar Lopez Spanish Dance Company and the Rafael de Cordova Dance Company. He started his own company, The Antonio Vargas Flamenco Dance Theatre, in 1962. He has worked with famous film directors like John Woo and Baz Luhrmann.
He is now actively involved in introducing and developing Flamenco in South East Asia. As the artistic director of FSF, he brought in acclaimed guest artists to perform alongside local dancers and enriching the local art scenes.
Daphne Huang, the managing director and main company dancer of Flamenco Sin Fronteras
Daphne was trained extensively by Antonio, and learnt from many other flamenco teachers. In 2009, she established FSF with Tilly Wong, Gan Hui Hui, Chang Hsiao Min and Chen Kunyi as an informal group. This group formally registered as a non-profit company in 2011 and attained Institute of Public Character (IPC) status in 2013.
She is now a senior company dancer and a part-time Flamenco teacher. Other instructors are Tilly, Toshi, Dulce, Nobu, Yuri, and Renyi. They have performed with their students and special guests at various venues in Singapore over the years.
Through FSF, they want to introduce and develop the art of flamenco and bring people together as there's still a stigma that flamenco could only be performed by a Spanish dancer. Together they explore the new aesthetics, crossing boundaries of flamenco and Asian dances while keep to the Flamenco roots where the music, hand clapping, and story are interconnected.
Excerpt of Video of Daphne and Antonio performed "Chi Flamenco" at UCC Theatre, University Cultural Center, on 23 January 2013:
The school has several performances annually. Its events are listed on its event page. FSF also forges long-term partnerships with various social causes in community outreach projects like Club Rainbow, M.I.L.K fund, and the Singapore Association of Mental Health (SAMH). In this way, Flamenco acts as a therapeutic form of emotional release and expression while improving co-ordination, movement and musicality in disadvantaged communities.
If you are interested to sign up as a student, please check the schedule of classes here. The dance studios are located at Flamenco Sin Fronteras Studio, 1 Lorong 24A Geylang, Singapore 398525, and Dance On Us Studios, 8 on Claymore # 01-03/04, Claymore Hill.