Alice Blumenfeld

Performer / Educator / Author / Choreographer

Alice Blumenfeld is a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a YoungArts Silver Award winner, a Fulbright recipient in Dance, and an Individual Excellence Awardee in Choreography from the Ohio Arts Council (FY 20). She fell in love with flamenco at age 12, and since then it has been the driving force in her life, founding the non-profit music and dance company ABREPASO Flamenco in 2016 and currently on dance faculty at Oberlin College and Cuyahoga Community College. Previously, she toured nationally with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana for five seasons and performed as a soloist in their New York-based company for several years. She has performed as a guest artist with many of the preeminent flamenco companies in the U.S., including with Grammy Award winner Hernán Romero, Nélida Tirado, Forever Flamenco, EntreFlamenco, Jácome Flamenco, the American Bolero Dance Co., among others. Blumenfeld has also performed internationally in Germany and Spain. Spending countless hours woodshedding, she has developed her own style in flamenco, which can only be done when one deeply understands the form and its culture. Contemporary dance teacher and choreographer Laurie DeVito’s sequential movement and spirals has greatly influenced Blumenfeld’s aesthetic.

Blumenfeld has choreographed in many genres, from ballet and contemporary to flamenco, and her creative process draws from her interests in translation theory, photography, memory, and our interconnectedness to nature. Her choreography has been commissioned by the National YoungArts Foundation, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The National Hispanic Cultural Center, and several universities.

As instructor, Blumenfeld has developed a somatically aware approach to flamenco, using her anatomic knowledge and drawing from teaching methods such as Simonson and Yoga to develop her approach which gives students a strong foundation in flamenco. Blumenfeld holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University in conjunction with the Master of Contemporary Dance Education program at Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt, Germany and a BA in comparative literature from New York University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

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ABREPASO

Flamenco Music & Dance Company

In 2016, Blumenfeld founded ABREPASO Flamenco, a Northeast Ohio and Cleveland area based flamenco music and dance performing arts and educational non-profit. ABREPASO creates honest flamenco dance that provokes the audience to think, feel, question, and remember our shared humanity. The name ABREPASO comes from the Spanish phrase “abrir paso,” which can signify making or paving the way and breaking open space. The company, currently based in Ohio, aims to establish a contemporary approach to flamenco in the United States, breaking down boundaries and stereotypes through professional, quality performances and education.

Artist Statement

My creative and research process is often like jumping down a rabbit hole—the search leading to unexpected places and ideas, previously unseen connections. Chance encounters become the crux of my choreographic process. Music, literature, visual arts, science, math, memory, and nature blend in new ways drawing the audience into these reimagined connections.  My performances make visible the transformative process I surrender to in exploring visceral memories and/or questions about the individual’s relationship to the world and others.

I am interested in the imagined worlds we create internally as performers and the ways choreographers use language and imagery to translate these worlds, how dancers use emotion and memory to bring movement to life, and how this in turn affects the audience. These interests have led me to studies in Japanese butoh and beyond.

Working from flamenco, a politically and culturally charged art form, I look both to the past and the future. I constantly renew and deepen my understanding of the form’s musical structures and cultural history. I create within flamenco, pushing the boundaries of the form by using contemporary performance frameworks while deconstructing the art form’s essence. My personal style has developed from the flamenco teachers with whom I’ve studied, including Rosario Toledo, Andrés Marín, Cristina Hall, the Encinias family, Nélida Tirado, among others, and is augmented by my studies with Laurie DeVito (Simonson Technique) and countless hours of solo study and experimentation, i.e. woodshedding.

I stop being an artist the moment this statement ceases to evolve and the moment I cease to take risks…