Close X
Monday, July 22, 2019
ADVT 
Global Indians

Introducing Deborah Dawson

By Petrina D’Souza, 22 Sep, 2017
  • Introducing Deborah Dawson

Popularly known as Deborah “La Caramelita”, she has mesmerized people worldwide with her graceful and passionate flamenco performances.

 
 
 
 
For over 10 years, Deborah Dawson, popularly known as Deborah “La Caramelita”, has mesmerized people worldwide with her graceful and passionate performances. Based in France, Deborah is a professional flamenco dancer, an art form originating from Andalusia, Spain. 
 
As a child, Deborah was always interested in dance and music. At the age of 14, she was introduced to flamenco when she attended Byng Arts Mini School in Vancouver. “Flamenco Rosario was one of the groups that performed when I was a student there. I fell in love with the unique aesthetic of flamenco,” recalls Deborah who is still captivated by the sincerity found in the art form. 
 
She became the youngest dancer to be accepted into Rosario Ancer’s professional training program. Her growing interest in flamenco further led her to Andalucia where she studied with notable dancers such as Juana Amaya, Carmen Ledesma, and Juan Polvillo, among others.
 
Today, Deborah is an international artist who has performed in countries like Portugal, Malaysia, Russia, France and Switzerland alongside renowned artists and music groups. “After years of studying and living in Spain I have found more profound reasons to continue dancing but it was the beauty that first ensnared me,” states Deborah of the crucial factor that paved her path towards flamenco.
 
Past productions she has participated in include the opening ceremony of the Rolex Trophy in Geneva, the festival and social-cultural project Pacha Uchuk in Ecuador, and the Western Canadian tour of Mis Hermanas. 
 
Flamenco dancers express their emotions through fierce body movements and intense facial expressions. Deborah’s dance is inspired largely from her own personal struggle. “The cante (singing) is what guides the dancer, and many of the verses speak of loss and despair. I came to flamenco as an escape and it is still my escape from everyday life, as it was and still is for many gypsies in Spain.”
 
 
Deborah, who has roots in India and Malaysia, reveals that the Spanish gypsies are said to have come from Rajasthan. “You can see many aspects of Indian dance and music in flamenco today.” In fact, Deborah’s dance movements give glimpses of her Indian origin. “I have often been told that naturally, my hand movements resemble Indian classical dance movements,” she adds. 
 
Her next production focusses on her identity and how that influences her dance. “I will be in a creative residence in the fall in France to start putting the project together and in India in December to film parts of the show,” shares Deborah.
 
Talking about productions, this talented dancer is currently in the city to perform at the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the festival, run by Rosario Ancer who inspired me to go to Spain in the first place,” she says with excitement. Deborah will be performing with Fin de Fiesta, a multi-cultural flamenco group based in Toronto and Sevilla. “We will be showcasing a mix of traditional, contemporary and original pieces. Each artist has their moment to shine during the show and there is a great dynamic onstage,” she discloses about the act.
 
Flamenco has had a major impact on Deborah’s life. Her passion for the dance form took her to Spain where she met her husband, flamenco singer Alejandro Mendía. It has taught her to be resourceful, to challenge herself, and to continue learning. “Flamenco is a never-ending journey and I look forward to the continuing inspiration and growth that it brings me,” says Deborah in conclusion.
 
 

Q & A with Dawson

 
What message do you try to relay through your dance?
 
The intensity of flamenco requires you to be honest and to come to terms with a lot of emotions, on and offstage, and audiences everywhere can relate to that. As an Indian flamenco dancer from Canada I was not born into the world of flamenco, but I do my best to dance sincerely and relay my own struggles and joys onstage. 
 
Your most memorable performance till date?
 
It had always been a dream of mine to dance at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Last summer, I was honoured to perform there with Les Noces Gitanes, a flamenco/Balkan/Moroccan fusion band. Being able to perform with this band that I have worked with for the last eight years in a setting like the folk fest was very rewarding and I got quite emotional performing in front of my friends and family.
 
Photos: thierrydubucphotographe.zenfolio.com, courtesy Deborah Dawson

MORE Global Indians ARTICLES

INTRODUCING KARAN BAJAJ

INTRODUCING KARAN BAJAJ

The Seeker, Karan Bajaj's first international novel, will be published in India in June 2015, and worldwide in early 2016. The book follows a Manhattan-based investment banker who becomes a yogi in the Indian Himalayas. It was inspired by Karan’s one year spiritual sabbatical learning yoga in a South Indian ashram, meditating in complete silence in the Vedantic tradition in the Indian Himalayas and living as a Buddhist Monk in a Scottish monastery.

Introducing Tanuj Chopra

Introducing Tanuj Chopra

  The director of the brilliant film ‘Punching at the Sun’, Chopra uses his ...

Introducing Rohit Bhargava

Introducing Rohit Bhargava

About a year after graduating from college with an English degree, Rohit Bhargava began waiting t...

Introducing Kamala Nair

Introducing Kamala Nair

Set in a remote village in India, Kamala Nair's The Girl in the Garden tells the story of a young woman who revisits the events of one fateful childhood summer in her memories – the time when her mother whisked her away from her home to their ancestral home in India. It is there she discovers a spellbinding garden, one that harbours a terrifying secret.

Introducing Saumitra Saxena

Introducing Saumitra Saxena

Saumitra Saxena is a well-accomplished poet who has contributed immensely to the field of Hindi literature, with works that have been acclaimed not only in India, but overseas as well.

Introducing Sujit Choudhry

Introducing Sujit Choudhry

The new Dean of the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law is none other than Sujit Choudhry, a prolific scholar and an international expert on comparative constitutional development. He has to his credit more than seventy articles, reports and book chapters.