Vancouver International Flamenco Festival will offer two days of free performances this weekend at Granville Island

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      There's nothing in this world quite like flamenco dancing. It's an art form that brings together the cultures of Spain, the Roma people, the Arab and Jewish worlds, Persia, and northern India.

      Fans love how flamenco combines fancy footwork with memorable guitar sounds and the human voice, usually supplemented with the audience clapping.

      This weekend, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival kicks off with two days of free performances.

      These first events take place at Granville Island Picnic Pavilion (267 Old Bridge Walk), and you can see this weekend's lineup below.

      Jhoely Triana

      Saturday (September 3) 

      1 p.m. Mozaico Flamenco

      2 p.m. A J Simmons and company

      3 p.m. Bonnie Stewart

      4 p.m. Jhoely Triana

      5 p.m. Michelle Harding and Calle Verde

      Linda Hayes and Kemi Craig

      Sunday (September 4) 

      1 p.m. Mozaico Flamenco

      2 p.m. Kara Wiebe

      3 p.m. Michelle Harding and Calle Verde

      4 p.m. Linda Hayes 

      5 p.m. Bonnie Stewart

      AJ Simmons, Queer Flamenco
      Elvira Yebes/David Isaac

      Ticketed events come later in September

      The festival has been running for more than 30 years, making Vancouver a hotbed for this style of dancing.

      Later this month, there are four ticketed events as part of the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. They include:

      * Madrid-based Mucha Muchachas's seminal eponymous work combines flamenco influences with other contemporary forms of Spanish dance to celebrate women artists. This program arose out of a major research project about women artists known as Las Sinsombrero and takes place at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre on September 16:

      * Calgary-based Anastassiia Alexander's performance, The Machinations of Memories Suppressed, is based on her poem, "Maquina de Olvido", and combines dance with spoken-word. It is being offered at the Waterfront Theatre on September 22;

      * Montreal-based Kara Miranda's Sombras/Shadows emerged from her investigation of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung's concept of the shadow. This is the part of the Self that bubbles up into the view of others but remains within the person's unconscious until it's freed through the process of individuation. This show is at the Waterfront Theatre on September 23;

      * and Flamenco Rosario's Nuevo III, which is at the Waterfront Theatre on September 24. It features the work of three choreographers: Ballet Nacional de España's Alberto Hernandez, Granada's Sara Jiménez, and Rosario Ancer of Flamenco Rosario.

      Click the links above for tickets.

      Mozaico Flamenco
      Elvira Yebes