Rosario Ancer receives the Lola Award for a body of work spanning more than 25 years. Photo by VNB Photography.
Rosario Ancer. Photo by VNB Photography.

This year’s Lola Award has been presented to Vancouver flamenco dancer, choreographer and director,  Rosario Ancer.

Referred to as “the mother of flamenco in Vancouver”, Ancer receives the $10,000 award, founded in memory of Vancouver choreographer, Lola MacLaughlin. The award is presented to a senior-level choreographer every two years.

“This award acknowledges a body of outstanding work which spans more than 25 years,” says Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre, which administers the award. “She has been instrumental in building the art of flamenco in our community and I am thrilled that her unique contribution has been recognized.”

Mexican-born and Spanish-trained, Rosario Ancer launched her professional career in Spain in 1980. In 1989, after moving to Vancouver, she co-founded, with her guitarist husband Victor Kolstee, their school Centro Flamenco, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, and Flamenco Rosario. As an interpreter of flamenco dance, Ancer has been more interested in the continuing growth and evolution of the art form, than in simply reiterating its past.

“I’m honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the 2016 Lola Award and also that the committee thought of me worthy of such an honour and distinction,” says Ancer. “I knew Lola as a kind, welcoming and profoundly humanistic person and a thoughtful and smart artist. She was an inspiration to me, as a person and artist. This award fuels me with the desire to continue exploring free, new and daring ways of expressing myself.”

The award is named after Lola MacLaughlin, the founder of Lola Dance in Vancouver. Her diverse body of work was recognized with the Clifford E. Lee Award in 1992 and Jacqueline Lemieux Prize in 1994.  MacLaughlin died in 2009 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

“We hope this award will reflect and nurture some of the essence of Lola’s spirit, artistic approach and vision, and contribute to the growth of a Vancouver aesthetic that reaches beyond our shores,” says Tony Giacinti, Lola’s husband and a major contributor to the establishment of the award.

The award was previously presented to Crystal Pite in 2012 and Lee Su-Feh in 2014.

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