Flamenco artist accompanists open 35-city tour in Sequim on Wednesday

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — Stepping — no, stamping — into the unknown excites this dancer.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s “Oh, my God. What have I done?”

What Seattle flamenco artist Savannah Fuentes has done is map out her biggest sojourn by far. Alongside singer Curro Cueto and guitarist Bobby de Sofia of Spain, she’ll dance in 35 cities and nine Western states on her “La Luna Nueva” (“The New Moon”) tour.

The tour will run through July — and its first date is this Wednesday night at the Gathering Hall, an intimate space at Olympic Theatre Arts in Sequim, of all places.

Fuentes, Cueto and de Sofia will bring flamenco, the art form born of southern Spain’s Romany-Moorish-Indian cultural simmer, to the stage at 7:30 p.m., with tickets at $23 for adults, $15 for students, $12 for children and $35 for premium reserved seats.

Advance purchase awaits at brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006, and remaining tickets will be sold at the door of Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

A flamenco performer for seven years now, Fuentes named her tour La Luna Nueva because, like a waxing moon, she is entering a new phase. Inviting Cueto and de Sofia, artists for whom she has great admiration, she proceeded to book the tour herself: through all corners of Washington and on to Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

Reached in Missoula, Mont., last week, Fuentes was visiting the Crystal Theater, where the trio will bring the flamenco July 21. She was also putting up posters, chatting with a reporter on her cellphone and wondering aloud if her news releases, emailed out to these dozens of cities, were done right.

There comes a time, though, when such things must be set aside, so Fuentes can home in on the dance.

And once she is on stage, the artist is a fierce presence, as those who have seen her perform in Port Angeles and Port Townsend can attest. Now, she feels fitter than ever.

“I feel more connected, like my body is more aligned, stronger,” she said. “My body has changed.”

When asked her age, Fuentes laughed.

“Am I supposed to lie?”

No, her questioner replied.

“I’m 36,” the dancer said with gusto.

Fuentes “barely” lives in Seattle, what with her touring schedule. She finished a series of performances in March and then traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver, B.C., where she found fresh inspiration at performances by the guitarist Tomatito, and dancers Eva Yerbabuena, Estrella Morente and Israel Galvan, whom she calls “one of the greatest male dancers to walk the planet.”

She also reconnected with Cueto. The Spaniard has lately been working in Miami, so it is utterly amazing, Fuentes said, to have him on her tour.

He “is the soul of flamenco,” she added. “The dancer and the guitarist, we revolve around the singer, who is the sun.”

Last modified: June 12. 2014 6:57PM
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