American Bolero Dance Company (ABDC) is a nonprofit arts organization devoted to the performance, teaching and preservation of traditional Spanish dance styles. The Company’s repertory encompasses classical and folkloric Spanish dances, 18th-century Escuela Bolera, Zarzuela and Flamenco. ABDC’s productions foster collaborations among dancers, singers, musicians, and choreographers of diverse training and backgrounds, and are noted for their integration of theatricality, imaginative choreography and authentic costuming.
American Bolero Dance Company’s primary goal is to present performances in the United States that accurately represent the music, history and the traditional dances of Spain and its Latin American influences. Its secondary goal is to educate aspiring dancers and musicians in the United States by providing workshops and lecture/demonstrations, and a complete curriculum within its affiliated Spanish Dance School to pass on the rich traditions of Spanish dance and music.
Founded in 1996 by dancer/choreographer Gabriela Granados, American Bolero Dance Company had its debut showcase in Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in 1998. Since then, the Company, with Ms. Granados as producer and artistic director, has presented signature productions in New York City, the Mid-Atlantic States and Europe, including Olé Olé (INTAR Hispanic-American Arts Center, 1998), Olé Olé Fin de Siglo (Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, 1999), Spanish Gems (Flushing Town Hall, 2005), Tablao Flamenco (Centro Español and The Chian Federation, 2008-2015), Retrospectiva (Tony Bennett Concert Hall at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, 2014) and FlamencoLIC (The Secret Theatre, 2016).
In addition to creating its own productions, ABDC is continually sought after and presented by well-known opera companies (Baltimore, Orlando, DiCapo, and Mannes), orchestras (Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Queens and Bronx Symphonies, The Sherman Ensemble and The Cassatt String Quartet) and universities (Wesleyan University, Long Island University, and Maryland University). In 2008, Ms. Granados and company members performed at a fundraising gala honoring tenor Plácido Domingo at Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center.
As founder, artistic director, and principal choreographer of ABDC, Ms. Granados is responsible for the wide range of activities encompassed by the company. In 2002, an educational outreach program was created after the company received a Heritage and Preservation grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for an apprenticeship program. Apprentices were provided with scholarships to study the company’s style and repertory and performances took place throughout New York City schools. Since 2009, ABDC has been the recipient of re-grants from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and J.P. Morgan Chase through the Queens Art Fund, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts. It has also been awarded program funding directly from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
In 2002, the Company’s affiliated Spanish Dance School was established in the borough of Queens. The School provides age-based, syllabus driven instruction in the various Spanish dance styles, mentioned above, as well as ballet and character dance. Its students range from ages four through adult. Presenting yearly recitals, ABDC’s Spanish Dance School also offers performing opportunities for its serious and dedicated students.
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