ABOUT NOCHE FLAMENCA

The Noche Flamenca Ensemble was formed in 2018 by flamenco dancers Karen Staples, Kiriam Thompson, Linda Palmer and Rachel James. Looking to expand their performance experience and creativity, the ensemble enjoys working together in collaborative creative projects and showcasing their work.

The ensemble first performed at the Flamenco Nights Performance Series (held at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax, Nova Scotia) in 2018 along with guitarists Christopher Robinson, Bob Sutherby and singer Lisa Myers. These talented dancers  met and studied at Maria Osende’s flamenco dance school. 

The pandemic put a dent in their plans in the last couple of years, but they continued to practice and train throughout the lockdowns and restrictions (in their homes and online) and are very happy to be back on the Seahorse stage this year!

These artists also work independently and have performed in various productions of the Maria Osende Flamenco Company.

 

Dancers:

  • Karen Staples
  • Kiriam Thompson
  • Rachel James
  • Linda Palmer

Musicians:

  • Joyce Saunders, vocals
  • Lisa Myers, vocals
  • Christopher Robinson, guitar

Noche Flamenca Artist Bios

Noche Flamenca Musicians

Joyce Saunders 

Joyce is a versatile singer of multiple genres. A chance meeting through mutual friends brought Joyce into our flamenco fold. Now over a decade later, Joyce is a mainstay of the Maria Osende Flamenco Company and has established herself as a talented flamenco singer (cantaora).

Her journey has taken her from Nova Scotia to Spain to study flamenco in-depth. Joyce has a wealth of experience performing different types of music, including original songs, music for family audiences, and church gatherings.

 

Lisa Myers 

Lisa  has been has been involved in the world of Flamenco through dance on and  off for 15 years, and started on her Flamenco singing journey in 2016.

Performing with Megan ‘La Azulita” Matheson Hamilton and Compana Azul, inspired Lisa to take on serious vocal study with Laura Roman in Seville, in the fall of 2016. Since then, Lisa has performed at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival with La Azulita, as well as for Maria Osende Flamenco Co. along with numerous shows at the Seahorse Tavern and other venues in Halifax.

Lisa draws on the traditional vocal style of Flamenco singers of old, particularly ‘cante jondo’ or ‘deep song’; The most serious and deeply moving variety of Flamenco.

 

Christopher Robinson

Chris pursued his musical studies at Acadia University in guitar performance and began his flamenco career in 2004, performing with local groups Alma Flamenca, and then Viva Flamenco. He became musical director of Flamenco en Rouge in 2011, performing, composing and arranging for the group. 

Chris has trained most notably with San Roque (Spain) guitarist  Antonio El Kuko and with Jesus Alvarez of Jerez de la Frontera, and in Canada with Garrett Owen. Chris joined the ensemble 2019. 

 

Noche Flamenca Dancers

Karen Staples 

Dance was a big part of Karen’s life growing up in Cape Breton and she has dabbled in most dance forms at some point.  Before starting to learn flamenco dance, Karen enjoyed belly dancing for many years. Eight years ago she tried flamenco and hasn’t looked back.

Karen has danced regularly at the Flamenco Nights shows for the past several years and more recently for the Maria Osende Flamenco Company.

 

Rachel James

Rachel moved to Nova Scotia in 2018 and has been a regular part of the Flamenco Nights Series and the Maria Osende Flamenco Company ever since. She has trained in flamenco dance for many years in both Canada and Spain.

Rachel is an experienced Flamenco dancer and has performed in a variety of venues across Canada.  She also teaches at Flamenco School Maria Osende.

 

Linda Palmer 

Linda began studying flamenco under Maria Osende in 2008.  She has also taken classes with many famous flamenco dancers such as Immaculada Ortega, Miguel Tellez, David Romero, Rafael Campello, Manuel Reyes. She has traveled to Seville, Spain a number of times to immerse herself in flamenco culture and to train with Felipe Mato and Lourdes Recio.

Over the years Linda has enjoyed teaching many workshops and classes in flamenco tangos, alegrias, and Sevillanas.

 

Kiriam Thompson

Kiriam began her flamenco studies at the age of 16 in Toronto, where she danced with the Arte Flamenco Spanish Dance Company.

She also studied with Maria Bermudez in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain. Since her arrival in Halifax in 2017, she regularly performs in the Flamenco nights events and the Maria Osende Flamenco Company.

 

Ellen Gibling

Ellen began dancing flamenco in K’jipuktuk/Halifax as a teenager with Eveline Benais, and continued her studies in Quebec with Sarah Vincent at the Académie Flamenca de Montréal. 

Since returning to the east coast, Ellen has been studying with Maria Osende, and she is delighted to be performing again after a long hiatus!