Renowned Flamenco Group Visits – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Renowned Flamenco Group Visits

The HWS Dance Department is pleased to announce the upcoming teaching and performing residency of A Palo Seco, a New York City-based Flamenco music and dance company. The residency will take place from Wednesday, April 15 to Friday, April 17.

“A Palo Seco” is a phrase that refers to a bare-bones style of flamenco music, often consisting of singing or percussion alone; this stripped-down aesthetic has become a central theme in artistic director Rebecca Tomas’ choreography, and has won her praise as “both a devoted traditionalist and a restless experimenter.” Tomas began her formal dance training in Granada, Spain, at Maite Galan’s Escuela de Danza Espanola. She later moved to Madrid, where she studied at the internationally-renowned Flamenco Academy Amor de Dios.

While in Geneva, the company will offer two master classes in Flamenco, visit West Street School and St. Francis-St. Stephen School, and perform on April 17 in Winn-Seeley Gym Theatre. The Friday, April 17 performance begins at 7:30 p.m. with general admission tickets available for $5 at the box office in the lobby beginning at 6:45 p.m.

HWS Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams was drawn to A Palo Seco at first sight, appreciating the feminist spirit of the choreography, the technical prowess of the musicians and dancers, and the fierce beauty of their performance. The Dance Department is thrilled to introduce A Palo Seco to the Geneva community and are pleased to open the master classes to interested participants by advance registration.

Details of the A Palo Seco’s schedule are as follows.

Master classes: On Wednesday, April 15, from 11:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Winn-Seeley Dance Studio, Tomas will teach a master class with Pedro Cortes, musical director and guitarist. Cortes is a third generation Spanish Gypsy guitarist who began touring professionally at age 17. He has toured with renowned artists Jose Greco and Maria Benitez, has two books on Flamenco, and is musical director of three Flamenco dance companies. On Thursday, April 16, the pair will offer a second master class from 10:20 to 11:45 a.m. in the Bristol Field House dance studio. HWS students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to participate. Advance registration is required for the classes. To join, please email Williams at

Lecture demonstrations: A Palo Seco will perform a lecture demonstration at West Street School on Thursday, April 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. as part of school’s PAWS Night. West Street School students and their families are encouraged to attend the event which will include demonstrations of music, dancing, and informative descriptions on the history and development of Flamenco. Company members Tomas, Cortes, and a dancer/vocalist will visit St. Francis-St. Stephen School on the afternoon of Friday, April 17, to perform a lecture demonstration.

A Palo Seco will be traveling with three dancers, a percussionist and vocalist, a vocalist/dancer, and two guitarists. The company’s visit is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit Additionally, this project is supported by the New York State DanceForce, with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts Dance Program.

For more information, please contact Williams at or by calling (315) 781-3495.