November 18 & 19, 2022

After 25 years living with a passion for flamenco, I still feel about my art the way Sufi poet Jalaludin Rumi felt about love:

Although I may try to describe love, when I experience it, I am speechless. Although I may try to write about love, I am rendered helpless. My pen breaks, and the paper slips away at the ineffable place where lover loving and loved are one.

How is it possible that so many emotions can be conveyed through a simple series of notes, a single chord on the guitar, or one graceful movement of a wrist?

Within flamenco there are as many different interpretations of life as there are ways of loving in the world. We can sing and dance passionately, with great suffering, or quietly, with longing and nostalgia. We can play the guitar slowly, savoring every note, or thump it mercilessly in a rhythmic explosion. We can hear the beat of the hands and feet as an unrelenting, headlong sprint in pursuit of….what? Life? Death? Or get lost in the exquisite silences between notes that seem to expand to encompass a whole landscape: the place where, as Rumi says, “lover, loving, and beloved are one.”

“Love Letters from a Flamenco Heart” is not only a love letter to flamenco, but also an exploration of the different ways of loving…

Olivia Chacon