Peña Flamenca El Indalo is a Dublin-based non-profit organisation with a reputation for bringing the finest flamenco professionals to Ireland to teach and perform. It was named after el indalo and the village of Mojácar where Nathalie's family comes from.
Founded in 2009, its mission is to promote and enrich the culture of flamenco through a programme of education and entertainment. By working closely with artists and institutions in Spain and Ireland, the organisation aims to raise awareness of this passionate, multi-disciplinary art form, and to encourage and support the development of a community of flamenco aficionados.
Peña Flamenca El Indalo runs Dublin Flamenco School, led by Spanish professional dancer & choreographer Felipe de Algeciras. The school offers a wide range of weekly classes and monthly master classes for adults and children, and has a dual focus on flamenco dance technique and choreography. Continuous mentoring from Spanish professional dancers is a key requirement for Dublin Flamenco School and students are trained to acquire a strong foundation in flamenco. The school also organises flamenco guitar classes and rhythm & clapping workshops with visiting Spanish artists.
Peña Flamenca El Indalo is also the organiser of Dublin Flamenco Festival. The first edition of the festival took place in the summer of 2011 and featured some of today's most influential flamenco artists and a programme exploring dance, song and music. From modern and edgy to traditional, critics and audiences were able to discover a diversity of styles and interpretations of the art of flamenco, recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Mankind.
“Peña Flamenca El Indalo is a guardian of flamenco in the heart of Dublin...”
Journalist Antonio Alcántara for “La voz de Almería”
“Dublin Flamenco Festival is an exquisite balance between the pure, gypsy tradition and the new trends in dance and music.”
Journalist Manuel Moraga for "El Callejón del Cante"
Born in Southern France to Andalusian parents, Nathalie is a translator & interpreter by profession and a flamenco aficionado by heritage. She moved to Dublin for work in 2002 and Ireland soon became her home away from home.
Nathalie's involvement in the Irish flamenco scene started in 2007 when, as an aficionado flamenco dancer, she started bringing Spanish artists to teach and perform in Dublin. From the very start she saw her most valuable role to be that of liaison and facilitator and this attitude of bringing professional flamenco to a wider audience in Ireland would define her involvement in the years to come.
In July 2009, she formalised the initiative by co-founding Peña Flamenca El Indalo, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of flamenco in Ireland through a programme of entertainment and education. Artists and audiences are continuously brought together to share in their passion for flamenco and the organisation has received strong support from Spain and Ireland.
Nathalie has been keen to involve both Spanish and Irish institutions in the organisation's activities and she has made a number of key contacts with artists and professionals in both countries. She has also given interviews to various newspapers and radios both in Spain and Ireland. Her work also gained her the trust of Spanish flamenco guitarist Juan Antonio Suárez CANO who asked her to represent him internationally.
"In promoting flamenco in Ireland, I am not just bringing Spanish culture to Ireland, I am also sharing my appreciation of Ireland and its culture with the Spanish professionals I work with on a daily basis. And this is really what prompted me to give Molly a flamenco pose. I think our logo perfectly embodies the festival's theme of building bridges between Spain and Ireland".
Damian was first introduced to flamenco in the late 90s, when his love of guitar led him to a show in Vicar St by a group of visiting Spanish artists. Although it was the guitar that originally drew his interest, it was the emotion and intensity of the singing and the passion and energy of the dancing that left the greatest impression. He was able to draw many parallels between the cante of flamenco and the sean nós singing of Irish tradition, but for the dance he had no comparison; it was unlike anything he had ever seen.
Many years later he was re-introduced to flamenco and began to take a more active interest, taking classes in cajón, guitar and ultimately dance. What began as a hobby has since become so much more. In 2007 he co-founded Dublin-based flamenco group Sólo Flamenco, who taught and performed in Dublin and at various festivals across Ireland in their two years of existence. The following year he travelled to Jerez de la Frontera for the city's annual flamenco festival, something which has now become a staple of his annual calendar.
In July of 2009, Damian and co-director Nathalie Moyano founded Peña Flamenca El Indalo, a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing flamenco in Ireland. In the intervening years he and Nathalie have worked tirelessly to raise flamenco's profile in Ireland through a concerted programme of education and entertainment.
"With a complex artform like flamenco, so steeped in its own tradition and history" says Damian, "the more an audience understands, the more enjoyment they will take from a show. One of the peña's main objectives is helping people to appreciate the beauty of flamenco."
In July 2009, Peña Flamenca El Indalo presented its inaugural production of Concha Jareño & Ensemble in "Simplemente Flamenco" at The Button Factory, in Dublin's Temple Bar.
In the short time since then, our organisation has grown and developed at a rate that has surprised even us. This growth is due in no small part to the constant support and encouragement we have received from so many along the way; from institutions to individuals, from artists to aficionados. Without your help, none of this would have been possible.
The theme for Dublin Flamenco Festival - and indeed for everything that the peña has undertaken - is the building of bridges. It is a theme you will see echoed in many guises throughout the festival.
The most obvious bridge is that between Spain and Ireland, whose own traditions of song, dance and music share much in common with the cante, baile and toque of flamenco.But the festival is also about bridging the old and the new, the modern and the traditional. As with any art form as layered and complex as flamenco, evolution is inevitable perhaps even essential if the art is to endure and survive. But such evolution cannot happen in isolation. For it to succeed it must draw upon the roots of established tradition. The programmes for Dublin Flamenco Festival are very carefully chosen to celebrate both aspects of the art, and to bring the audience on a journey that connects them.
Flamenco is a rich, expressive medium that embraces song, dance and music and infuses them with depth and emotion. Unfortunately, like many lesser known art forms, it is very often misunderstood and misrepresented. This gap of understanding often results in many people missing an event that they would have enjoyed, if only they could have been persuaded to attend. In the arts, this problem is not unique to flamenco.
It is our hope that Dublin Flamenco Festival will help to bridge this gap also. Never before has such a diverse group of flamenco artists performed together in Ireland. Audiences will now have an opportunity to discover for themselves how much this artform has to offer. We truly believe there is something here for everyone, whether you are a true aficionado or someone coming to flamenco for the first time.
Dublin Flamenco Festival is both the culmination of all our work to date, and the beginning of the next phase of our organisation's development. We sincerely hope that you will join on the next leg of our journey and perhaps we can cross a few bridges together.