That was our year 2020 – review
The year started with the exciting dance project at the Winterthur Theatre “In the footsteps of Don Quixote” together with Sabine Schindler and Luca Häseli. Contemporary dance met flamenco.
The training stay at the Conservatorio Superior de Danza Maria de Avila CSDMA in Madrid was wonderful. It was a unique opportunity for our students to get a taste of the professional world of dancers and to measure themselves against the level of dance in Madrid. Since 2006, the CSDMA has been the address par excellence for courses in choreography, interpretation and pedagogy in Danza Española and Flamenco. With a Matura as a basic requirement for admission, a four-year course of study can be completed at university level.
An enormously intensive and demanding time was demanded of the participants. Our students completed up to 8 hours of daily training in flamenco, escuela bolera, methodology, danza estilizada, folklore, classical ballet and contemporary. During our stay in Madrid we had the opportunity to visit the “Ballet Nacional de España” and to meet the director Ruben Olmo personally.
There was no end to the highlights: a visit to the Tablao Flamenco “Cardamomo” and a performance at the Colegio Suizo in Madrid with the opportunity to talk to the students afterwards rounded off the programme. This month was hard to beat in terms of positive experiences… because no one dared to imagine what awaited us just two weeks later.
The worldwide rampant pandemic also reached Switzerland and the lockdown was thus also ordered in our country. A rethinking for this extraordinary situation took place and solutions for a continuation of the training had to be found. We quickly recorded training videos for our students so that they could continue to practise from home. Digitalisation quickly took hold and the classes were now held online via Zoom.
For us as passionate dance teachers and in exchange with the students, this was an incisive experience. Somehow we functioned – but the life, the sweat, the exchange, the clatter of shoes on the wooden floor, the sounds of the castanets, the back and forth of the students, the linguistic and personal exchange were missing. None of that. It all remained silent and dreary.
But it has to go on and so we used the time to break this silence and also to see the positive in it. We renovated our premises after more than 20 years and filled this emptiness with hammering, drilling and also quiet brushstrokes. Time for something new!
At the same time, we took the opportunity to build up our YouTube channel and regularly upload videos of rehearsals, performances and from the time when my sister and I were little. In the meantime, there are already over 80 videos on the channel.
May – June – July
The 11th of May 2020 was a big day – we are back live. One by one we moved the online lessons back into the dance hall and of course with all the safety measures that were decreed by BASPO. It was nice to feel this spirit from the students again – very essential for us as dance teachers.
After a few days of holiday, we were back with full vigour at the beginning of August. The summer workshop and the last rehearsals for our dance show “Danza Española” were in full swing. This performance was announced for September at the Kammerspiele Seeb.
ATTENTION – READY – DANCE! This month was packed with projects and performances. The feeling of being live on stage again was indescribable and overwhelming. All three planned evenings and performances took place in the sold-out Kammerspiele Seeb, where we presented our dance show
“Danza Española”. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all sponsors, representatives of the Kammerspiele Seeb, dancers and our audience. We were deeply touched by this support!
Unfortunately, the requirements of the BASPO were still strict and therefore it was unthinkable due to quarantine regulations to have the jury and musicians fly in from Madrid for the dance examinations. So they took place digitally under different circumstances. The nervousness of the students was more noticeable despite, or perhaps because of, the camera and this extraordinary situation.
We are honoured and infinitely grateful to the “Pink Ribbon Event” at the Grand Hotel Dolder on 26 September. Together with Suly Reyes we were allowed to perform as Hermanos López Dance School. Her story touched the audience present and we are proud to have accompanied Suly in these difficult moments of her life.
At the Hibi project days “xund&zwäg” we were allowed to introduce the Flamenco dance to the pupils of the 3rd secondary school in Bülach for 2 days.
The great news that Natalia passed the entrance exam and thus got a place in the CSDMA reached us this month and filled us with great joy. Congratulations once again and good luck in her new “stage of life”.
Digital is not so bad, because we realised that online also conveys a lot and we also achieve much more with our students than we thought. So the online “Olefit Masterclasses” with Cristian Lozano from Sevilla took place. He is a former dancer of the Ballet Nacional de España and Olefit World Master Instructor, and a top motivator for people who may not yet have any contact with dancing.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. We are infinitely grateful that we were able to continue to live out our passion during this time and support the students in various ways. They have also participated in the classes with great motivation and despite the restrictive measures such as wearing the mask.
We learn again and again that changes also hold many opportunities. This year we really felt this for the first time. We have grown and learned from it. Motivated and with great confidence, we are now looking around the corner to 2021. There is a fire in us, we have many ideas and we already have some projects lined up. We look forward to sharing a little more in the next newsletters.
For the upcoming special festive season, we wish you and your loved ones only the best: good health, joy and a few moments of silence, as well as a positive mindset that we will come out of this situation reasonably well.
The new year will certainly bring many opportunities; therefore we wish you a great start into a fulfilled, positive and happy 2021!