Flamenco originated in Andalusia, Southern Spain. It is a gypsy art form made up of three parts;  Song “Cante” , Guitar  “Guitarra” and Dance “Baile”. It’s influenced by many world cultures, including Gypsy, Indian, Moorish, Jewish, Celtic, Arabic, African, Latin American and traditional Spanish folkloric dance and music. It has also received modern influences from all styles of dance and music including contemporary, jazz and classical.

Flamenco is a very emotive and rhythmical style of dance where dancers interpret the live music using body movements, combining fluid hand movements, rhythmical footwork and hand claps to form part of a musical ensemble. Today, Flamenco is embraced all over the world and in 2010 was listed under UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Based in Melbourne Australia, SENES Flamenco Ensemble brings exhilarating live flamenco dance & music performances to diverse audiences since 2011. Its central ideas are motivated by the freedom for artists to express themselves through dance and music in an authentic, truthful manner in order to engage with audiences through the art of Flamenco.

The ensemble aims to inspire cross-cultural understanding through sharing the art of flamenco music and dance. Working in conjunction with talented artists across diverse genres, it is dedicated to the development of multicultural performing arts and arts education in Australia.

Aya Kitaoji, chief dancer, instructor and Musician, commenced flamenco dance at a young age in Triana, the heart of Seville, Spain and is one of Australia’s small handful of active Flamenco artists today. She is an accomplished dancer as well as a versatile percussionist and singer, dedicating her life to dance, music, performance and teaching.

With a formal background in classical ballet, folkloric & contemporary dance since age 5 and with over 20 years’ experience in Flamenco, Aya is a captivating dancer with a distinctly traditional yet unique style which breaks all cultural boundaries.

As a result of her continuing passion for flamenco dance and a demand for live performance, Aya created Melbourne-based ensemble “SENES Flamenco” in 2011, featuring lead guitarist Alejandro Florez. In the same year, “Centro de Flamenco Melbourne” was established to share her knowledge of flamenco through regular dance classes and workshops and promote wellbeing in the local community through dance and music.

As a soloist dancer, Aya regularly travels to Spain each year to perform and collaborate with local Spanish artists, consistently training and developing new creative works. Aya presented her solo dance show “Son de La Calle” in Seville in 2019.

Over the past 10 years, Aya presents her shows regularly as part of major multicultural events and national arts festivals. Festival highlights include Parliament of Victoria Cultural Diversity Week Performance, Federation Square – World Rice Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020 Fringe View, National Gallery Victoria, National Multicultural Festival, Spanish Film Festival, La Ventana Festival, Queen Victoria Night Market and Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

Aya is also a versatile percussionist and vocalist, featuring in Spanish guitar band Solquemia’s second album, “Limonera”. She tours each year as a musician and guest dancer for bands such as Sergio Ercole, Solquemia and Lewis Florez, performing locally and in regional Victoria.

Currently based in Melbourne, Aya continues promoting flamenco through live performances, classes, cultural workshops, school incursions and realising independent projects such as “Flamenco for Health & Wellbeing”.

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