“ll corpo: ecco una terra non ancora colonizzata dal potere.”
— Pier Paolo Pasolini
Yalda Younes is in love with flamenco. She is as much in love with the way it builds, retains, and distributes energy (master of dynamics!), as she is with its humbling and empowering way of inhabiting this world. Simultaneously visceral and spiritual, social and solitary, organized and rebellious, flamenco has at its core the qualities of wildness that sustain the living and defeat authoritarianism. Reclaiming dignity through cathartic (self and collective) empowerment, self-derision and pleasure in simplicity, flamenco celebrates diversity, finds strength in vulnerability and joy in cooperation. It embraces, and even seeks unpredictability.
Although Yalda approaches choreographic creation with a personal, individual and experimental curiosity that may result in her pieces not resembling flamenco, the philosophical fundamentals of the art form are rooted in both Yalda’s practice and teaching. In lack of a better definition, she therefore calls her practice “not flamenco”, with the intention of paying respect to the Spanish culture that is not her own. It is also her way of acknowledging the fact that her flamenco teachers have influenced not just her movements but also her senses and her way of thinking, contributing significantly to the artist she is today. Ultimately, Yalda's work is a testament the rich cultural potential that can arise when artists respectfully experiment with culturally situated traditions, all while exploring their individuality.
On a personal level, Yalda’s flamenco-immersed practice experiences the sonic body as an archaic mountain, a still movement with no beginning and no end, an organized chaos of sharp, dynamic micro-activities, an energetic discharge that culminates in silence.
Her pedagogical skills are informed by her experience with traumatic injuries, her anatomical knowledge provided by her training as a yoga therapist, and the creative freedom conveyed by her beloved teacher, Israel Galvan. Her classes encourage singularity and creativity among her students, with equal emphasis on the emotional, physical, and spiritual layers of flamenco. Filled with playful and poetic imagery, Yalda’s classes are energetic, precise, and safely guided, and seek to foster plural and shifting identities outside of geographic limitations and stigmatizations.