This weekend at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, the Flamenco Festival - presented by World Music/CRASHarts - celebrates its 10th year. First up, tonight: Dancer Isabel Bayon brings her passion to the stage with the premiere of "La Puerta Abierta (The Open Door)." From Seville, Bayon will perform with five musicians, including the singer Terremoto. She answered questions by e-mail:
Q. Do you think of yourself as an actress as much as a dancer?
A. Of course yes, I think all dancers, when we go onstage, we have something of actors and actresses. We try to transmit feelings through the music, the song, or the silence. The difference is that we only have our body to express the words, our happiness, or our sorrow.
Q. Do American audiences react differently to you than other audiences?
A. Yes, American audiences react differently, as every audience is different. They do not react the same as the Japanese audience or the French one - all are different cultures, different lifestyles. . . . The American audience is really spontaneous and thankful for the flamenco dance, and that is always something I appreciate.
Q. When did you first know that flamenco would be your life?
A. I think I have always known it. I've danced since I can remember. For me, dance was something like play when I was a child, so that is why I do not know if I chose flamenco or flamenco chose me.
Q. How would you describe flamenco dancing at this moment versus 50 years ago?
A. Flamenco has developed a lot since then, mostly technically. Now we dance better, we know much more, but maybe the intuition has been lost a little bit. Maybe to know a lot makes us lose the spontaneity and the natural way that was there before. But there are a lot of people that come nowadays, which is very good, and we are taking flamenco around the world.
Q. Can you say what you bring to flamenco that is distinctively yours?
A. My goal when I get on a stage is to try to demonstrate what I feel - that is what makes me feel really free. I do not know if I put something important in flamenco or not, but I believe in bringing honesty and respect to the work. I think it is essential to make flamenco an art in development, an art with life.
Q. Is it possible to describe the theme of "La Puerta Abierta (The Open Door)"?
A. The open door refers to various doors. An open door to imagination, to magic, to the "duende," to what you can express with words. Another open door to the feelings of the artist, to what you have learnt. And a last door to the place where I feel so free - the scenery.