Flamenco En Beirut
Who We Are  
Being an “aficionada” of flamenco even before I was born (I’ve said this before!), I have always wanted Lebanon to have an association entirely devoted to flamenco that would bring together all the lovers of flamenco, and would help disseminate and teach this art form.

The project was not easy: the current political situation, the lack of competent teachers, the enormous means one must have to organize activities, and most importantly the lack of a locale to use – all contributed to make it a difficult, complicated, almost impossible undertaking.

For a few years, we "improvised" with whatever means were available, by organizing workshops, more or less regular classes, by meeting with memorable fiestas where we shared laughters, improvised dances, and encounters with the various teachers who, in time, became more than collaborators: sincere friends and mostly undefectible moral supporters, with a tenacious faith and unrelenting optimism regarding the success of our project.

The community of “aficionados” having become quite large, the classes having become more serious, and the skill level of the students having become increasingly advanced, it became necessary and urgent to organize more effectively, and of course the first step was to become a legitimate organization.

Therefore a committee of "founding members" was created with me, Fadia Yared as a president, and four unrelenting supporters who are (in alphabetical order): Marina Chamma, Clara Hatem, Marie-Claire Mrad and Randa Takieddine.

Thus the cultural non-profit organization "FLAMENCO IN BEIRUT" was born by filing a duly registered application at the Ministry of Interior on August 16, 2012 uner the Number 13 805, and on Thursday January 3rd, 2013 we legally existed under N°2317 (elm w khabar).

For the time being, we are located at  Beirut - Ain el Mraisseh, Machkhas Building, -2 floor, kindly hosted by "La Nova" academy who provides us with a nice purple studio for our flamenco dancing classes.

       
            Fadia Yared                 Marina Chamma                             Clara  Hatem                      Marie-Claire Mrad      Randa Takieddine

FLAMENCO EN BEIRUT:

"Flamenco in Beirut" is known to function as a "peña".

What is a Peña? In the language of flamenco, a peña is a cultural association created and managed by « aficionados » for the purpose of spreading knowledge about flamenco. It also means the site itself, the locale where these same aficionados meet to live together their passion for this art form, share their knowledge, and encourage performances by students and artists. This is exactly the goal I want to reach: create a privileged site where flamenco lovers meet, improve their knowledge of flamenco, practice the dance, play the music, in one word LIVE flamenco.

I also choose to name this organization “Peña Nila Amparo” and this name was not chosen haphazardly. It is traditional in Spain and elsewhere to give a Peña the name of a flamenco artist to whom one wants to pay homage, or advertise a preference or admiration for a specific performer. There exist for example the Peña Sabicas, Carmen Amaya, or Enrique Morente…. I chose Nila Amparo simply because she is a performer of Lebanese origin and probably the only one in her time who had an international career. It is only fair to pay homage to an artist who is little known in her country of origin when she is famous in the USA, her adoptive country.

The Peña offers dance lessons, and we also offer an exhaustive documentation on flamenco, the most complete in Lebanon. In the future, and if this project is allowed to grow, we will offer guitar classes, shows and various flamenco activities.

This website gives an overview of flamenco: its history, evolution, music, famous interpreters… as well as a description of the “content” of the locale: library, boutique, available classes…

I hope, through this project, that I will be able to share my passion with neophytes, and give knowledgeable flamenco lovers something to sustain their interest and their passion.

I would like to thank the people who have contributed to creating the website, and furnishing the Peña:

Aida Yared (my sister) who translated the texts into English

Dean Leroy and Mikey Badr who proofread the English version

BornInteractive who created this beautiful website

Julien Feytit who explained the design of an ideal flamenco dance floor




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