Tightrope: A Flamenca Poem is a poetry and movement “dance” that is about a woman and by a woman. Performed by Flamenco dancers Valeria Montes and Jesus Muñoz, and poet laureate Hakim Bellamy, Tightrope chronicles the story of a woman who is navigating this tightrope of a thing we call life without apology. Written from the perspective of all the people who tried to love her, both successfully and unsuccessfully, the centerpiece of the performance is Valeria Montes who embodies the muse of the poem. The passion and precision with which she moves along the high wire is viscerally seen as grace and power to naked eye. However, to the naked ear (with accompaniment by Jesus Munoz) both the tension and the tapestry build throughout this performance…at the intersection of dance, music & poetry.
Valeria Montes, known as La Chispa (the Spark), has been described as “mesmerizing” for her passionate and vibrant interpretation of Cante Flamenco (flamenco song) and for her complex rhythmic zapateado. In 2010, she won the prestigious Kresge artist fellowship for Performing Arts. She is founder of La Chispa and Company, a principal dancer for the Jesus Muñoz Flamenco Company, and COO and full-time instructor at Casa Flamenca, a non-profit organization based in Albuquerque, NM. She is also the co-founder of COMPAS “center of music and performing arts Southwest”. She started dancing Spanish classical dance with instructor, Maria Del Carmen Montes and was very fortunate to study with legendary Spanish families and artists of flamenco: Farruco family, Carmen Ledesma and Concha Vargas.
Hakim Bellamy became the inaugural poet laureate of Albuquerque on April 14th, 2012, at age 33. Many poems later, Bellamy has been on two national champion poetry slam teams, won collegiate and city poetry slam championships, and has been published in numerous anthologies and on inner-city buses. A musician, actor, journalist, playwright, television host and community organizer, Bellamy has also received an honorable mention for the Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize at the University of New Mexico and the Emerging Creative Bravos Award. His work has been featured on Alternet, Colorlines, the Tavis Smiley Show and on stage with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You can watch Hakim on New Mexico PBS (Channel 5) every Saturday afternoon a 4pm, or find him at www.beyondpoetryink.com.