Megan ‘La Azulita’ Matheson Hamilton is flamenco festival’s first national performer

The third year of the Calgary International Flamenco Festival is ongoing from Sept. 21 – Sept. 28 and celebrates the traditional Spanish art form of flamenco through music, dance and expressive performances.

This year will be the first time the festival has been able to host other Canadian flamenco performers.

Every year the festival attracts flamenco performers from Calgary and surrounding areas and provides an opportunity to collaborate with international flamenco performers.

“It’s really great to bring in artists who are so dedicated to their art form, and other Canadians who are sharing flamenco with their communities,” says Fiona Malena, artistic director of the festival.

Megan “La Azulita” Matheson Hamilton is an accomplished flamenco dancer who is visiting Calgary for the first time to perform in the festival.Megan “La Azulita”, rehearses with international musicians for her upcoming opening performance for world famous dancer Olga Pericet. The performance is Sept. 27.
Photo by Veronica Pocza

Hamilton was born and raised in Lunenburg, N.S., a rural fishing community with few varieties of dance. As a child, she says she had to commute for 45-minutes to the nearest ballet class.

She credits the strong musical talent available on the East Coast towards the growth of the flamenco community in Nova Scotia.

“We’ve had some amazingly talented musicians master flamenco, which is a challenging and demanding type of music,”

The group of seven in her company, Compania Azul, have been performing together across Canada for three years. However, the festival in Calgary provides a new experience for her.

“This will be the first time I’ll be performing with flamenco artists that are not with my group, which is an amazing opportunity that allows me to improve in what I do,” she says.

Hamilton describes flamenco as “a very emotional and contextual form of performing.”

Rehearsals are underway for the festival, and Hamilton highly anticipates the performance experience she will gain here in Calgary. Hamilton will be opening for the festival’s main act with internationally recognized dancer Olga Pericet.

“I’m just so happy, honored and excited to be a part of it, I’m curious to see what we will create,” she says.

vpocza@cjournal.ca