Five years ago Lia Grainger gave up her stable life in Toronto and moved to Spain to pursue her love of flamenco dancing.
“I had not intended to move there, it just sort of happened,” says Grainger. “I went there for a month and came back, went for four months, and then – I just lived there.”
Her hobby grew into a career and now she tours Europe and Canada with her group, Fin de Fiesta Flamenco.
Giving up a secure paycheck and moving to a country where you don’t speak the language isn’t for everyone.
“Sometimes I think what I’m doing is crazy,” she says in a phone interview from Bordeaux, France. But Grainger says it was just something she had to do.
“I started Flamenco dancing in my early 20s. Then I started a career in journalism but the desire to be part of that [flamenco] world never went away.”
She moved to Seville and got her own studio so she could spend as much time practising as she wanted. Soon she was living her dream, but it came with hard work.
“A sample day in Spain: the hours of the day are structured a little differently,” she explains. “I usually get up at 9, have a class from 10-12, then I have a little tapas, then I usually dance for two to three more hours in the early afternoon in my studio. Sometimes we have rehearsals together. In the afternoon I write, so my working day ends at 7 or 8.
The Fin de Fiesta Flamenco group will be touring Canada, starting in B.C.
Salmon Arm is on the list of their Canadian tour stops. Grainger’s dad, Bill Grainger, lives here. This will be her third time coming to Salmon Arm as a performer, but Grainger says this show, “Liandola,” is a lot different from the troupe’s other performances.
“There are different styles of Flamenco, many of them are intense, sad, and mournful with darker themes. This style is more like a celebration, cheeky, playful and energetic.
Fin de Fiesta Flamenco runs Aug. 10 at Shuswap Theatre. Show time is 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale online at www.findefiestaflamenco.com, or at Intertwined Fibre Arts on Hudson Avenue.