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Flamenco dance troupe performing twice in Park Rapids

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre introduces youngsters to the basic elements of flamenco dance, rhythm and song while gaining an appreciation of what it means to immigrate to a new country. Their children's show is slated for after school on Nov. 9. (Submitted photo)

The Park Rapids Area Library is, once again, bringing Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre to town.

The Minneapolis-based dance company will perform two different shows at the Century School on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalucia in southern Spain.

Artistic director Susana di Palma founded Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in 1982. They last performed in Park Rapids three years ago.

On Nov. 9, they will present "Tra Ti Ti Tran Tran Toro," a children's show, in the Century School cafetorium from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

"Tra Ti Ti Tran Tran Toro" is a multimedia, flamenco puppet theater treat for the whole family. Through traditional flamenco song and dance, the audience is introduced to three loveable puppets: A bull, Torito, whose owner, Carmencita, is a famous flamenco dancer. She meets a Minnesota tourist, Olie Olson Ole, at the Feria (a fair) in Sevilla. They fall in love, marry and move to Olie's farm in Minnesota.

Toro comes from Spain and must live on a Minnesota farm. The farm animals bully him for being "different" and he yearns to go home. He teaches them about the his life in Spain, the art of flamenco that he loves, and all that he misses.

As the audiences learn his song, story and rhythm, Toro feels welcomed and a part of the Minnesota farm community.

Children will be introduced to the basic elements of flamenco dance, rhythm and song while gaining an appreciation of what it means to immigrate to a new country and accept cultural differences. Toro teaches us that each immigrant has a story and that when we share in that story we can understand and welcome others, says di Palma.

Running time is approximately one hour.

Their 7 p.m. performance of "Café Flamenco" will be held in the Century Middle School gym.

Celebrate the exotic and sultry ambiance of the early 1900s in Spain, known as "Café Cantante," when flamenco dancers, singers and musicians performed for glamorous patrons in cabarets. The evening of traditional Spanish flamenco dance and music includes three to four dancers, a guitarist and singer, and runs approximately 70 minutes.

Tickets for the evening performance are free at the Park Rapids Area Library. For information, call the library at 732-4966.

This activity is made possible, in part, by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nove. 4, 2008.