University of Rochester

EVENT: Alumna Brings Flamenco Troupe to the University Campus

September 22, 2004

The dance and artistry of flamenco will be spotlighted at the University of Rochester next month, presented on the River Campus by an alumna and her Madrid-based troupe.

Rebecca Thomas and “La Yedra” will give a lecture-demonstration at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, in the dance studio of Spurrier Gymnasium as part of a residency hosted by the Program of Movement and Dance. The program is free and open to the public.

Thomas moved abroad after her 1999 graduation to pursue her interest in flamenco. Living first in Granada, Thomas then settled in Madrid, where she studied at the renowned flamenco academy “Amor de Dois.” While at the academy, she co-founded “La Yedra” with other dancers and flamenco musicians performing together at local clubs and theatres. Currently the director of the troupe, Thomas has instructed flamenco for the University of Rochester’s dance program and has traveled to colleges and universities in upstate New York as a guest artist.

Drawing on the talents of its six members, “La Yedra” recreates an exciting foreign art form through singing, dancing, guitar playing, and percussion. Other members of the troupe include singers Raquel Villar and Uli Valle, guitarist José Deluna, percussionist Jimmy Aponte Martinez, and dancer Yumi Ohashi.

During the lecture-demonstration, the members will explore different styles of music and dance within the art of flamenco, describe cultural influences on the art, and teach some of the basic rhythms to audience members. “La Yedra” is also giving workshops for students and faculty during its residency and is presenting a sold-out performance of an original work titled “Soñando Flamenco” during Meliora Weekend, the University’s celebration of homecoming, alumni, reunions, and family weekend events Oct. 8 to 10.

“La Yedra’s” residency at the University is hosted by the Program of Movement and Dance and co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, Outside Speakers Committee, the College Diversity Roundtable, the Spanish section of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Meliora Weekend Events, and the Spanish and Latino Students Association. For more information, contact the Program of Movement and Dance, (585) 273-5150.

Note to Editors: A picture of Thomas in performance can be emailed to you by contacting or calling (585) 275-7800.