2017 Flamenco at MacEwan – Performer Bios

Tracy Cumberbatch – dancer – Calgary
From performing with local Flamenco artists at various events and festivals in Calgary, to studying and performing in Spain, South America and Canada, Tracy has become an ardent advocate for the Flamenco form wherever her travels take her. When not travelling Tracy is passionate about producing Flamenco concerts within the Calgary community with friends and colleagues as well as co-producing Calgary’s annual Fiesta Flamenca Student Community Concert.

Tracy has been honoured to study with many respected Flamenco artists including Canadians: Joselina de Leon, Oscar Nieto, Claudia Carolina, Kari Alba; and International artists: Milagros Menjibar, Javier Barón, Luisa Palicio, Tamara Lucio, and Antonio Molina ‘El Choro’ to name a few. From 2012 – 2014 she had the privilege of attending the Fundación Cristina Heeren in their intensive Flamenco Dance Training Program in Seville Spain. Her hard work and determination were rewarded when she became the recipient of a school’s scholarship for her second year of studies. Tracy has also received funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Tracy is currently planning and rehearsing for upcoming projects in 2018.

David Matyas – guitarist – Calgary
David has been studying Flamenco guitar, traveling regularly to Spain to further his talents. He has frequently accompanied Flamenco dance classes at the School of Alberta Ballet for Claudia Carolina, a leading Canadian Flamenco dance teacher. In the summer of 2009 supported by a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, David traveled to Montreal and studied extensively with Myriam Allard’s Flamenco Company La Otra Orilla. He has also studied Flamenco guitar with renowned Calgary-based Flamenco guitarist Peter Knight.

David had the humbling honor to have an original score that was created and recorded for work by Rosanna Terracciano that was presented in Sevilla, Spain during the La Bienal Flamenco Festival (Sep 2014).

Marni Benavides – singer – Edmonton
Marni Benavides is a multi-disciplinary performing artist who’s been immersed in various forms of dance and music from a young age. She began studying classical Spanish dance with local teacher Conchita de Pechtel, and then naturally discovered, and immediately fell in love with, the authentic Art of Flamenco. Marni has been fortunate to learn from many amazing Flamenco artists, including Canadian Oscar Nieto, as well as Paco Peña’s dance & cante troupe. Most recently Marni had the privilege to study with cante maestro Ismael Fernandez during his visit to Edmonton. Marni was awarded a grant from the Edmonton Arts Council in 2008 to further study Flamenco Cante.

Marni has been honored to share the stage with many talented Alberta Flamencos, providing Flamenco vocals for dancers Fiona Malena & Rosanna Terracciano, as well as guitarist Tosh Hayashi. She’s had the immense pleasure of performing with Jane Ogilvie, Irena Dumicz & David Maytas in previous productions. Marni is thrilled to once again be part of this Alberta Flamenco collective, as she continues to explore the world of Flamenco cante.

Irena Dumicz – singer/dancer – Edmonton
Irena has been studying flamenco with local and international artists across Canada and prominent flamenco teachers in Spain ( Jerez de la Frontera and Seville). She has been and active member of flamenco Communities in Halifax, NS; Kelowna BC; and Edmonton AB. Recipient of The Canada Council for The Art Grant Irena regularly returns to Spain to study flamenco art. She integrates dance (baile) and song (cante) in her artistic endeavours collaborating with flamencos in Halifax (Flamenco en Rouge), Calgary and Edmonton. Irena has also been involved in creation and functions of the Flamenco Society of Edmonton serving on its Board since 2015.

Jane Ogilvie – dancer – Edmonton
Jane was first bitten by the flamenco bug on a trip to Seville in 1996. She has trained extensively with prominent teachers in Spain and South America and with visiting international teachers in Canada. She has been a teacher, performer, and leader in the flamenco community in Alberta since 2001, regularly hosting guitarists and student singers for class accompaniment as well as guest teachers for workshops in song, rhythm and dance. As a dancer, she is known for her rhythmic experimentation and precision. She was recently awarded funding from the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton for a month of study in Seville, Spain in July 2016. Jane is the Edmonton Flamenco Festival’s Artistic Director and is a founding member of the Flamenco Society of Edmonton.