Kathy Switzer of Pasion Flamenca performs during the 2016 Victoria Flamenco Festival. This year’s fifth annual festival takes place July 24 to 30. Amity Skala photo

Kathy Switzer of Pasion Flamenca performs during the 2016 Victoria Flamenco Festival. This year’s fifth annual festival takes place July 24 to 30. Amity Skala photo

Flamenco festival to heat up city

The fifth annual festival runs July 24 to 30.

Centennial Square will be exploding with the music and rhythm of Spain this week as the annual Victoria Flamenco Festival kicks off.

As part of the fifth annual festival, put on by the Flamenco de la Isla Society, dozens of local and regional dancers, singers and guitarists will be collaborating to bring their love of flamenco dancing to the stage.

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There will be a number of free high-energy shows all week in Centennial Square, including performances by Victoria dance schools Alma de Espana and Raino Dance, as well as two new schools from Tacoma, WA and Winnipeg on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30.

In addition, there will be a Flamenco Guitar Night, where audiences can listen to the sounds from four local flamenco guitarists at Hermann’s Jazz Club on Friday, July 28. The following night, Toronto’s Carmen Romero will be showcasing her unique improvisational dance, accompanied by jazz pianist Scott Metcalfe, singers Stephanie Pedraza and Juan de Marias and flamenco guitarist Gareth Owen, beginning at 8 p.m.

The Victoria Flamenco Festival runs July 24 to 30. For more information visit victoriaflamencofestival.com.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com