The Elements of Surprise by Victoria Lenihan

If anything, a new year brings surprise. Not programmable resolutions, means to becoming someone we want to be but are not. Surprise! The key element, never on the periodic chart, but as we all know, the essence of every discovery. Let surprise bring me into this year.  I've already been very surprised!  I'm already on the right track. Join me. Interesting things are in our future.

 

The Search for the Next Toehold by Victoria Lenihan

Like the many Facebook posts of mountain goats scaling vertical cliffs and strong people enriched by the thrills of rock climbing, sharing and presenting the art of Spanish dance and flamenco here in Montana is an ascent worth every slip, grip and slide.  It's exciting to reach for the next toehold as opportunities unfold to host great artists such as Solero Flamenco and Ricardo Diaz, along with our Flamenco Montana Festival September artists Antonio Hidalgo Paz, Carlos Lomas, and Vicente Griego.  I'm ever grateful for the essential spirit and natural beauty which draw flamenco artists to our mountain town, for the diversity of Missoula which supports the arts in so many forms, and for the venue managers who are open to providing space, even at short notice, when the wave of flamenco washes over our cliffs. 

The Many Means of Communicating by Victoria Lenihan

Publicizing an event is no more difficult than breaking free of the Kraken or conquering the Lernaean Hydra.  Everyone who might want to know needs to know when Solero Flamenco performs for the first time in Montana!  Reaching out to not only dancers, but guitarists, percussionists, singers, aficionados, new enthusiasts: print ad in Lively Times (they create the best ads), the Flamenco Montana email list, Eventful, MissoulaEvents, online Indy and Missoulian ads, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter? hand deliveries of information packets to the University of Montana departments, other studios and teachers.  When at last all are covered, everything good is ready to happen.  I've often said it's tricky to figure out an advertising strategy that would reach the other five people interested in flamenco in the state of Montana, but as each year progresses, I'm finding there are way more than five.  And I'm so grateful to do my part creating ways for all of us to share this ancient and venerable art. Sometimes people even learn about an event by just talking to other people! 

The Joy of Anticipation by Victoria Lenihan

Now, miraculously, all venues are set, schedule arranged, for an amazing three days with Solero Flamenco in Missoula.  From our first engagements with Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre and the Top Hat to our most recent connection with Missoula International School and Flathead Lake Brewing Company's Galaxy Room, the planning has been rewarding.  As a wise friend said to me today regarding the requests and refusals for the Saturday night venue, "With every no, I'm one no closer to a yes."  Thank you, Missoula, for opening your doors to an art form you aren't quite sure about....is it in partners? is it salsa? what are those clappers?  For everyone with questions about flamenco, this is your dream weekend.  Arte, Salud, Amor y Amistad....as Teo would say.  Thank you for allowing this ancient art into your lives. I give you my word you will not be disappointed. 

The Beauty of Synchronicity by Victoria Lenihan

Our precious days with SOLERO FLAMENCO of Houston are falling into place. Solero Flamenco will perform at Family Friendly Friday at the Top Hat, March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.  FFF is free and open to all ages, and will involve the families of RMBT and Missoula International School.  For Montana, an unprecedented conjunction of artists who look forward to sharing this art with families and the rambunctious energy of the children, the indescribable synergy of flamenco with our hearts, young or old.  Saturday March 14 and Sunday March 15 are workshop days at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre. I feel so happy with everything set so far, but I still hope to secure a venue for performance Saturday night.  Solero Flamenco has proposed a classical/flamenco concert and I am going to find a way to share that with everyone!  Stay tuned... what a beautiful spring! 

 

The moment is precious by Victoria Lenihan

I began this new year with a retreat at Lochsa Lodge, in Idaho, just an hour from my home in Missoula, Montana.  "To Live Deliberately," the retreat offered the perspective of Thoreau's Walden in examining our lives...for me, examining my life in the context of Flamenco Montana. In the past weeks, connections have developed which seem miraculous.  I marvel at the requests from Helena to Havre, and from our local schools, the connection of our festival with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the amazing opportunity to have Solero Flamenco here in Missoula with us for three days in March, and then to follow their work in the community of Great Falls! Everyone involved with Flamenco Montana brings selfless love of the art, desire to share creatively, willingness to be fully in the flamenco moment. This precious time we have together is the heart of all of my days.