Anastassiia ‘La Musa’ Alexander is a Russian-born, Mexican flamenco dancer trained in Canada, Mexico, and Madrid, Spain. While her artistic practice is deeply rooted in tradition, she also explores the boundaries and the intersection of flamenco with contemporary dance forms. Anastassiia’s creative process is based on free and structured improvisations, while also building spatial and rhythmic patterns in response to music and other visual or audio inputs. In 2016, driven by the desire to create greater connection between music and dance, Anastassiia Alexander and violinist Jonathan Lewis formed a contemporary flamenco ensemble known as 12 Musas.

Her range of expression and improvisation is further demonstrated through a variety of other productions, from opera to traditional flamenco tablaos in Calgary; including performances in Mexico City at Flamenco Tablao with the contemporary flamenco company INTERflamenca, under the direction of Ricardo Rubio. Anastassiia was also a guest dancer for the production of La Traviata by Calgary Concert Opera, as well as a lead dancer and choreographer for the production Carmen at the Badlands by Mercury Opera (Edmonton). Other highlights include performances with the Calgary International Flamenco Festival, Flamenco Nights with Salero Calo, guest artist with Notas de 4 and Fiona Malena Flamenco Ensemble.

Pushing the boundaries of flamenco, Anastassiia has integrated her work in a variety of genres, including opera, spoken word, and media art. Currently, she focuses on deconstructing and weaving together the structures of flamenco performance, which led to her recent creation De(RE)-construct: Dance (Re)-Born, presented at the Calgary Fluid Fest, 2019. As part of the Virtual Victoria Flamenco Festival, Anastassiia captivated audiences with her presentation of Interoception, a contemporary flamenco dance film that incorporates elements of digital painting, video art, dance, and music to create an immersive audio-visual experience. Anastassiia is also a recipient of Flamenco Rosario’s 2019 Creative Residency.

Good Women Dance Collective is excited to welcome Anastassiia as our Artist-in-Residence, from September 28 to October 9! Keep reading to learn more about what she’ll be working on during her time with us.

What are you most excited to explore and learn during your residency with Good Women?

I’m excited to immerse myself in the development of a solo piece, The Machinations of Memories Suppressed, where I create all the parts of the flamenco ensemble including elements of spoken word. There are many fascinating creative and technical challenges that I can grow from. As a flamenco dancer, this is a major shift as I typically work with other musicians who co-create an improvised experience. There is also personal relevance to this exploration, as I am venturing into my own memory and expressing it through poetry, something that is new to me. I am fascinated by how memory shapes us in our everyday actions and relationships, and that without realizing we also rewrite our own past as we walk into the future. I’m also excited to be in a new city and getting to know some of the contemporary dancers involved in the Good Women Dance Collective. I hope my time there can help us exchange ideas and influence each other.

Anastassiia will also be hosting three virtual dance lessons during her residency. Join her on October 6, 8, and 9, from 10 – 11:30 am (MT) for Flamenco Fundamentals via Zoom! Click here for the access link.

Flamenco Fundamentals:
Flamenco is an art form steeped in tradition and culture of Southern Spain. It is characterized for its improvisational take, its precision in posture, and the involvement of the dance in shaping the rhythmic pattern of the performance together with the musicians.
In this class, Anastassiia will provide an introduction to the traditional structure of the dance and its different elements, as well as various flamenco forms and rhythms. Not only will we cover fundamental techniques and styling, such as upper body and arm movements, but also enjoy rhythmic exercises that will allow you to find your inner groove. Through these exercises and guided improvisations, you will be introduced to how to think not only as a dancer but also a percussionist.
Flamenco and character shoes are not required to participate.
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All Photo credits: Tyler Baker Photography