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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


(Linda Vargas. Pic by Val Adamson)

The Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company, in collaboration with jazz musicians Neil Gonsalves (piano), Demi Fernandez (jazz/flamenco guitar) and Bryan Stone (percussion), will present their exciting new production More Flamenco, More Jazz to Durban audiences.

More Flamenco, More Jazz presents new fusion choreographies and compositions which will provide an even more exhilarating experience for Durban audiences in the intimacy of the UKZN Jazz Centre. Spectacular new costumes together with pulsating rhythms and exhilarating music and dance, will provide audiences with a feast for the senses! Gonsalves and Fernandez will also present a limited edition of their first collaborative CD due to be launched in 2014.

Linda Vargas is the founder and director of the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company. She has choreographed numerous flamenco dance productions as well as the opera productions La Traviata, Amal, Faust, Salome and Carmen. She co-founded the international organization Alianza Flamenca and is a member of its Board of Directors, as well as its panel of international examiners. She currently lectures at UKZN and performs, examines and conducts educational and corporate workshops both nationally and internationally. Her educational dance workshops in schools and for NAPTOSA assist teachers to incorporate dance in the formal school curriculum. Vargas holds a Masters Degree in Education as well as B.A. Honours in Drama, LISTD and Final Diploma (ISTD, London) and PDB. 

Neil Gonsalves holds a Masters degree in Music and currently lectures at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has performed in various national music festivals with numerous South Africa jazz and Afro-beat luminaries as well as his own band, Tonk. He has also toured internationally, including a four year stint as part of Johnny Clegg’s band. He has released a solo album North Facing which represents a blend of modern South African and Nordic jazz.

Demi Fernandez was born in Brazil of Spanish parents and spent many years living and performing in Flamenco Tablaos in Spain. He has also appeared as leading flamenco guitarist with numerous South African and international Spanish Dance Companies. He is resident guitarist for the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company  and has composed musical scores for several SABC TV productions and also appeared in numerous productions including Guitars for Africa in Durban and at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. He also currently lectures in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Jazz programme.

More Flamenco, More Jazz runs at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the UKZNs Howard College campus from November 27 to December 1. Performances nightly at 19h00 and on December 1 at 15h00. Entrance fee is R100 (R80 students/pensioners). Bookings through Linda on or 031 201 0750 (mornings only). Tickets are limited for each performance so advanced booking is advised to avoid disappointment.