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Oct 23, 2019

Carmen Romero joins me on today’s episode to discuss how dance saved her life; in fact, it saved both of our lives and her daughter’s as well. Carmen, not only is my friend, but also my Flamenco teacher, and so much more. She continues to work as a brain rehabilitation therapist along her dance career. Her story is full of perseverance and passion in the face of tragedy with all the elements to fuel an authentic flamenco story and actually does inspire her performances. But Flamenco is more than that to her – it is her life philosophy. Carmen shares her life story with us and we discuss the importance of celebrating moments, the future of dance as our worlds become more automated with technology and how cross-training with dance has enhanced our professional skill sets in other disciplines; as well as the need to recognize how dance is undervalued in our society and what we need to do about it.  I hope you feel the power of this episode and are just as inspired by it as I was, in your journey.

Here’s a little more about Carmen:

Carmen Romero is known for her powerful performances.  The Toronto Star says, “she delivers flamenco with a raw immediacy that is far closer to the source than a lot of the theatrical Spanish dance passed off as authentic."

Compañía Carmen Romero is a flamenco dance and music collective based out of Toronto, Canada. Originally founded in 1986 by Carmen Romero as artistic director to Candela Flamenca. 

Carmen Romero is of Spanish heritage and was raised in Canada. It is remarkable that she has developed a collective of dancers and musicians that went on to perform with the collective, in Europe the United States and Asia.  The collective was then an ad hoc group of musicians and dancers who performed primarily at municipal and multicultural events. The collective produced three full-length theatrical flamenco productions: El Embrujo (The Bewitched) (1993), Flamenco Ayer y Hoy (Flamenco Yesterday and Today) (1997) and Carmen Complex (2003). El Embrujo. Flamenco de Ayer y Hoy premiered through Dance Works at the DuMaurier Theatre Centre, Toronto, then toured Canada the United States parts of Europe and Asia until 2002. The collective also created many smaller works such as Luna Llena (Full Moon) (1998), presented at fFIDA: this work competed in the 9th annual Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco at the prestigious Teatro Albeniz in Madrid, Spain. During this event, Compañía Carmen Romero /CANADA was posted on their dressing room and since then the company was renamed Compañía Carmen Romero to reflect the milestone in the collective’s history as it was recognized as an international flamenco dance company representing Canada.

Dance International says, "The exclusive focus and depth of Romero’s commitment to the art of flamenco is not just understandable given her family heritage, but somehow fitting and more authentic.  She truly belongs to the history of flamenco in a way not easily achieved by non-Spanish dancers."

We Discuss:

  • How Carmen overcame her early life suffering as an immigrant in Canada.
  • Her artistic process.
  • Art as Therapy.
  • How creativity gives her an edge in her rehab practice.
  • Her perseverance through multiple tragedies in her family.
  • How she rebuilt her life after she lost everything.
  • How her career as a brain rehabilitation therapist merged with her dance career to help heal her daughters traumatic brain injury.
  • Flamenco as a Life Philosophy, the power of the arts and the understated value of dance.
  • The complex technicality of Flamenco.
  • What dance has given us in the merging of our professional disciplines with our careers in dance.
  • The Brain-body connection.
  • The importance of celebrating moments.
  • Advice Carmen gives on healing your brain and recognizing the power of art in our lives.
  • The future role of dance in a technologically automated world.
  • And so much more!