Valentina La Morena (Audrey Valentina), originally from Karachi, Pakistan, started her dance career in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. As a child, she was deeply influenced by the rich music and dance culture of her Pakistani roots. Her passion for world music rhythms, presented her with the opportunity to study dance when she came to Halifax in 2003, exploring African dance, belly dance, salsa, hip-hop and ultimately, flamenco.
Being inspired by the passion and raw emotion of flamenco, she began classes with El Viento Flamenco Dance School in 2004 and has continued under Flamenco School Maria Osende since 2008.
Through the Atlantic Flamenco Festival in Halifax, she has been able to take several master classes with visiting guest artists from Spain, including Miguel Tellez, Rafael Campallo, David Romero, Virginia Castro Duran, Caridad Vega, Carmen Romero, Maria Serrano and Inmaculada Ortega.
In 2016 and 2017, she spent time in Seville, Spain where she studied under several highly regarded flamenco artists, such as La Farruca, Concha Vargas, Fernando Romero, Africa Fernandez, Carmen Ledesma, Manuela Rios, Andres Marin, El Oruco and Juan de los Reyes.
Valentina resonates most with the purist form of flamenco, as expressed by most gypsy flamenco artists, who share the cultural legacy of the original gypsies who came to the south of Spain from India; Los Farrucos being her greatest inspiration, alongside Pastora Galvan, Alba Heredia, La Moneta and La Familia Montoya who have inspired her to develop her gypsy style and find a deeper connection to this art form.
She hopes to make another trip to Spain in 2018 to continue developing her skills in dance, and also to begin exploring flamenco cante (singing).
She has performed at several festivals, fundraisers and community events, sharing the art of flamenco with Nova Scotia. Through the Atlantic Flamenco Festival, she has performed at several Flamenco Nights at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax, Nova Scotia since 2012. Check out past performances here.
Valentina embodies a style that embraces her femininity and represents a fusion of her eastern roots and the earthy rawness of gypsy flamenco.
Currently, she teaches beginner flamenco for Flamenco Dance School Maria Osende.
Check out the Upcoming Events page for more information and expect some public events throughout the summer in Halifax!