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Flamenco Inesita

Inesita

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Update

A New Performance is scheduled Saturday, March 19th 2022 which is dedicated to the memory of Stamen Dexter Wetzel who died of cancer last October 29th 2021,

This will commemorate his wonderful music and commitment to the art off traditional Flamenco.

Stamen

A photo of Stamen in 2005 from a Gallery of images.

The Performances

In the last period dating from 2009 up to this year on August 14th, Stamen accompanied me along with his friend, Benjamin Shearer, a fine flamenco exponent in a series of performances presented by APAC Alhambra Performing Arts Center under the Artistic direction of Bill Yee.

A photo of Stamen and me in a moment of the dance is included int this story.

Many happy hours in weekly practice and rehearsals were the highlights of our years together. These memories are a treasure for all time.

In Memorium

Stamen Dexter Wetzel 1943-2021

This article is written in loving memory of my dear friend, guitarist, and colleague, Stamen Dexter Wetzel.

Stamen and I met in 1970 shortly after a concert I did in May in Los Angeles at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre of that year. It was attended then by his late wife, Esther and by a twist of fate a contact was made. It was revealed that Stamen was studying flamenco guitar with Jeronimo Villarino who was my guitarist in the past and with whom I had performed on a number of occasions.

Stamen sat at the feet of the master for seven years and was Villarino’s student until Villarino’s death.

Because of this connection Stamen was special in so many ways. He was a natural musician, with an instinctive musicality, He became a wonderful accompanist and knowledgeable exponent of traditional flamenco. And I believe he developed his artistry to the highest category.

He had absolute pitch and an unerring rhythmic sense. Esther, Stamen’s late wife began her studies with me and soon after that I began teaching privately in my home studio. My enrollment of students grew large and I continued for the next 23 years In the early years of this period, Stamen became accompanist for these classes and perfected his skill in following the dance.

Eventually, I employed him as my guitarist in various performances and as time went on, we became close friends and fellow artists in the finest sense.

In my very long career spanning some eighty odd years I have worked with fifty guitarists in some capacity and with almost 20 flamenco singers, Stamen was unsurpassed in so many aspects in his artistry and dedication to this powerful form. He also was a generous and kind human being.

His passing on October 29th is shattering to me as a dancer and friend and he will never be forgotten.

A photo of Stamen and Patrick Lindley (Harpsichordist) and myself accompanies this tribute.

This was taken in February of 2005 after a performance we did at Brentwood Concert Hall presented by SCBA (Southern California Baroque Association) .Stamen accompanied me in two flamenco dances, Solea and Zapateado del Estampio. for this program.

Looking Back at the Years

It never ceases to surprise and astonish me how such obscure and rare images out of the distant past come to light on the Internet!

Not an item is lost, This photo of my young self at nineteen years of age brings memories to the surface, The excitement of a blossoming career. I think it worth while to share this. Life is a journey and an adventure!

A moment of Inesita in Alegrias May 25, 2019

Another aspect of the dance with Stamen Wetzel and Benjamin in the background.

A Portrait from the past

This image was taken in photo shoot in New York City when I was in my early thirties. This was during my second season in New York and had concertized as a solo artist and was about to begin a tour across the United States.

I did not form a company ensemble until 2012 and this extended period was my signature approach to the great scope of the dance art of Spain.

Only later did I concentrate exclusively on Flamenco which has many facets of the genre.

On a century of Living

Havng now completed 100 years of life and surviving the vicissitudes of existence in so many facets, I can contemplate over this experience of the unbelievable time with greater insight.

Just having done the tremendous task of the performance of August 14th 2021, I have a perspective of my own to share. It is both an existential and philosophical dilemma to ponder over.

The “show” was in actuality a dance concert in format meant to convey the vast variety and scope of Spanish dance in all its forms It achieved that goal despite some misgivings on my part over details that might not have been apparent to the public.

Flamenco has many faces and runs the gamut of emotional content from tragic to gaiety and profound feelings.

The public response was enormous and was vocal and generous with applause and excited response. My fellow performers gave me firm support and I could not ask for more.

Overriding the obvious fact of my age and long running career it is a truth that a program of such depth and length would tax a person half my age.

The public gave us a standing ovation at the end and filled us with joy.

The result is a booking for a return engagement in March of 2022.

Apart from this a new enterprise of a documentary has begun and a great deal of film footage was made throughout the performance.

To say that I am gratified is an understatement and I look forward to the completion of this new endeavor with renewed confidence.

An image of myself waiting to enter into one of my dances is included in this blog and a Deja vu of a portrait from the the past.

One of the outstanding tasks that I have been able to accomplish concerns the compiling of my archive and papers which I gathered over a period of five months and presented to the Performing Arts special collections at the Charles E, Young Research Library of UCLA. I am proud and honored to be represented in such an illustrious Location. Furthermore, . that it was possible for me to do all the work required for a project of this importance is something which gives me great satisfaction.

The link to the collection is indicated elsewhere in this Website under the heading INESITA PAPERS. There is a finding aid online consisting of 14 pages describing the contents of the Collection.

Genie Guerard, Manuscript Librarian UCLA is the Curator and the material was processed by Carolina Meneses, A young archivist.

A recent photo of Inesita November 2021

The Entire Cast with Inesita

After the performance the whole company gathered for the final tribute and the standing ovation we received,

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