We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the Lola Award is renowned flamenco dancer, choreographer and director Rosario Ancer. The $10,000 award was founded in memory of the much-loved choreographer Lola MacLaughlin, and is presented to a senior-level choreographer every two years.
Ancer has been referred to as ‘The Mother of Flamenco in Vancouver,’ founding her school Centro Flamenco in 1989, and establishing the Flamenco Rosario Company and the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre, said: “This Award acknowledges a body of outstanding work which spans more than 25 years, and in particular, Rosario’s risk-taking artistic spirit and unflagging dedication to flamenco innovation, pursued through multidisciplinary collaborations and a progressive exploration and deconstruction of the form, which challenges conventional stereotypes. She has been instrumental in building the art of flamenco in our community and I am thrilled that her unique contribution has been recognized.”
Rosario Ancer said: “I'm honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the 2016 Lola Award and also that the committee thought of me worthy of such an honour and distinction. I knew Lola as a kind, welcoming and profoundly humanistic person and a thoughtful and smart artist. She was an inspiration to me, as a person and artist. This award fuels me with the desire to continue exploring free, new and daring ways of expressing myself. Gracias Lola!”
The Lola Award is designed to encourage and facilitate the work of senior choreographers, and is presented every two years. It is supported by the Lola McLaughlin Endowment Fund with the Vancouver Foundation and administered by The Dance Centre. Tony Giacinti, Lola’s husband and a major contributor to the establishment of the award, says: “We hope this Award will reflect and nurture some of the essence of Lola’s spirit, artistic approach and vision, and contribute to the growth of a Vancouver aesthetic that reaches beyond our shores.” Since its initiation the Award has been presented to Crystal Pite (2012) and Lee Su-Feh (2014).
You can make a contribution to support the Fund here.
Mexican-born, Spanish-trained Rosario Ancer launched her professional career in Spain in 1980, when she joined Ballet Español Antonio del Castillo with whom she toured Portugal, Italy and Northern Spain. In 1981 she was invited to perform in the prestigious Tablao Flamenco Arco de Cuchilleros in Madrid and later toured Mallorca and South East Asia with the Paco Mundo and Maria Velasquez Dance Company. In 1989, after moving to Vancouver, she co-founded - with her guitarist husband Victor Kolstee - their school Centro Flamenco, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, and Flamenco Rosario. Among the works she has created for the company are: RAICES: An Exploration to the Tangled Roots of Flamenco, Flamenco Ayer y Hoy, Fantasía Flamenca, Danzas de España, Ritmo y Pasión, Guadalquivir, Los Cuatro Vientos and more recently, Mis Hermanas; Thicker Than Water My Sisters and I, La Monarca: The Monarch & The Butterfly Effect and Quadrilogue Affective a work that was created in a residency at the Banff Centre and presented by The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Her work Mis Hermanas: Thicker Than Water My Sisters & I toured in Mexico in 2010 and provincially in 2013, and her work La Monarca: The Monarch & The Butterfly Effect has been selected by Made In BC: Dance on Tour for their 2017/2018 touring season. As an interpreter of flamenco dance, Rosario Ancer is more interested in the continuing growth and evolution of the art form, than in simply reiterating its past. In this fashion, she explores new possibilities by crossing boundaries both of history and culture, experimenting and intercrossing non-traditional choreographic work with visual arts, computer programming, storytelling, music composition, lighting and stage design, as well as incorporating dancers from other dance traditions, international dance artists, musicians and vocalists into the development of new work.
In addition to creating and performing for her company, Rosario has appeared as guest artist with organizations such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Opera and has been the focus of documentaries and television specials. In 2000 she received a YWCA nomination for the Women of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture and in 2012 a nomination for the Latino Inspirational Awards for Arts & Culture. Called by the press “The Mother of Flamenco in Vancouver” she heads up Centro Flamenco and Flamenco Rosario Professional Training Program, and leads workshops across Canada and in Mexico. For her contributions in bringing excellence in dance to British Columbia and the creation of Mis Hermanas, Rosario was awarded the Isadora Award for Excellence in Choreography in 2009, given by The Dance Centre on behalf of the BC Dance Community. As one who captures Vancouver’s rich history and culture, Rosario was honored with the Mayor’s Arts Award 2012 for making a significant contribution to the creative life of the city. Through her work she has created a platform where flamenco and a new generation of flamenco artists flourish in Vancouver, and an eastbound bridge that connects the wider national flamenco community.
Photo: VNB Photography