Tamara Adira Say
Literary Arts: Author/Writer, Choreographer, Composer, Dancer, Director, Filmmaker, Illustrator, Literary Arts, Maker, Media Arts, Media/Visual Communications, Mixed Media Artist, Multi-Disciplinary, Multiple Art Forms, Musician, New Media/Technology, Performance Art, Performer and Writer, Performing Arts, Poet, Producer, Spoken Word Artist, Storyteller, Teaching Artist/Instructor, Visual Arts; Media Arts: Filmmaker, Media/Visual Communications, New Media/Technology, Producer; Multi-Disciplinary: Multiple Art Forms, Performer and Writer; Performing Arts: Choreographer, Composer, Dancer, Director, Musician, Performance Art, Spoken Word Artist, Storyteller; Teaching Artist/Instructor; Visual Arts: Illustrator, Maker, Mixed Media Artist; Programs Manager
T a m a r a A d i r a ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ARTE Y PASIÓN
tel: 210.241.2771 | www.arte-y-pasion.com
“Always remembering the masters of flamenco, Adira keeps a keen eye to the future. Bridging both the traditional and the new school, Adira proves to be one of the most creative visions in the South Texas flamenco scene.” – The Rivard Report
Tamara Adira is a dancer, choreographer, and founder/ Artistic Director of Arte y Pasión, a Texas based nonprofit company whose mission is to share, promote and develop the authentic art of flamenco as a vehicle of healing and restoration, and the promotion of human rights and equality.
Tamara has conceived, produced and performed artistic direction for over 30 theatrical flamenco productions between 2010 and the present. In 2010 Tamara founded Arte y Pasión, and in 2021 Tamara made Arte y Pasión a Texas Non-Profit. Through Arte y Pasión, Tamara Adira has nurtured the connection between San Antonio and Spain for over a decade. Through Tamara’s efforts and dedication, Arte y Pasión has brought flamenco artists from Spain to work with American artists since before 2010, fostering the continued growth and evolution of the art of flamenco in San Antonio and greater Texas.
For her work for social justice, Tamara was recently featured in Nicole Marie Moore’s “Valiant Women Then and Now,” a photo exhibit and biography celebrating women, inspired by the book “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints, and Subversives.” She has been featured in SA Monthly Magazine and San Antonio Woman and was recognized by Eleanora Magazine as “Top 50 Women to Watch in Texas.” She is 2015 winner of the Artist Foundation of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development award for “Original Choreography” and 2010 winner of the Artist Foundation of San Antonio Bernard Lifshutz Award for “Original Theatrical Production.”
Tamara is known for her work across mediums bridging gaps between music, cultures and media. In Mar 2022, she directed the production “Confluencias” which bridged the gaps between flamenco, Spanish classical, and American soul in a collaboration with artists from Madrid, Portland, and San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson in a dedication to the people in Ukraine.
She was handpicked by Ballet San Antonio to serve as a soloist and guest choreographer in Don Quixote in March 2022, as well as provide instruction in Spanish movement and anatomy for the corps de ballet. Her film Grito de los Árboles was selected by the Montreal Independent Film Festival. She was handpicked to collaborate with such organizations as Luminaria, DreamWeek, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Oliver Rajamani’s Flamenco India, Wayne Holtz’s opening for Big Freedia, and Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson’s Bad Mama Jama Mixtape, and performed for such dignitaries as Ron Nirenberg and First Lady Erika Prosper, Wendy Davis, Joaquin Castro, Julian Castro, and a Presidential Rally for John Kerry. She has appeared in such programs as America’s Next Top Model.
A graduate of MIT, her early performances and projects have been featured in Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program through the MIT Media Lab and Center for Advanced Visual Studies. During this time, she was handpicked to participate in a Harvard University residency under John Cage. Counterbalancing her studies in traditional flamenco, Adira leverages her experience in experimental and contemporary performance, with seeds based in her John Cage residency. Tamara has recently completed a residency in Sevilla with Belen Maya, in Madrid with Daniel Caballero, and is almost through her Executive MBA.
2022 Ballet San Antonio Don Quixote, Guest principal dancer and choreographer. Danced the role of the Fortune Teller/ Queen of the Gypsies; provided instruction in Spanish movement, anatomy and technique for Company dancers.
2022 San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture Individual Artist Grant. For residencies of performances and workshops with guest artists from Spain during 2022.
2021-now TORO: Artist in Residence
2021 Keynote Performance: Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s Swearing-In and Third Term Inaugural Celebration accompanying Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson
2021 Valiant Women Then and Now, A photo exhibit and biography celebrating women, inspired by the book “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints, and Subversives”
2021 Keynote Performance: Democratic Town Hall for Wendy Davis with Joaquin Castro and Julian Castro accompanying Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson
2021 DreamWeek Partner, “Grito de los Arboles,” “Mantas de Luz”
2021 SA Monthly Magazine, “Women in Business”
2020 DreamWeek Partner, “Mantas de Luz”
2019 DreamWeek Inaugural Speaker, DreamVoices “The Slingshot of the David”
2019 DreamWeek Inaugural Speaker, DreamVoices “The Rhythm of Your Truth”
2019 DreamWeek Partner, “Estrellas,” Arte y Pasión
2019 DreamWeek Mayor’s Ball, Solo Performer
2018 Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival Featured Artist, Arte y Pasión
2018 Eleanora Magazine: Texas Top 50 Woman to Watch
2018 San Antonio Woman Magazine: Featured Artist, Art Beat
2018 SA300 Tricentennial Events Partner “Siete Aguas,” Arte y Pasión
2017-19 San Antonio Multicultural Conference, Fiesta Commission, Arte y Pasión
2016 Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival Featured Artist, Arte y Pasión
2016 Season of the Carver Jo Long Theater, Arte y Pasión
2015 San Antonio Artist Foundation Winner “Original Choreography”
2010 San Antonio Artist Foundation Winner “Original Theatrical Production”
2007 Regional Artist Grant, Fayetteville Arts Council, study with Teo Morca.
1990 MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
Award for artistic innovation in a research project
Productions, Artistic Direction
2022 Confluencias. A project dedicated to the people of Ukraine, featuring Daniel Caballero and Berto Boyd, at Brick at Blue Star, Carmens de la Calle and the Arte y Pasión Outdoor Amphitheater.
2021 Tradición y Transformación, a collaboration with Sir Edwin Aparicio, Jose Cortes and Gopal Slavonic, Brick at Blue Star, San Antonio Texas.
2021 Flamenco Past Present and Future, a collaboration with Sir Edwin Aparicio, Jose Cortes and Gopal Slavonic, Roosevelt Library, San Antonio Texas.
2021 Grito de los Arboles/ Scream of the Trees, a DreamWeek Partner Production, the first full length flamenco film, produced during the pandemic as a distanced collaboration between artists in San Antonio, Spain, France, LA and New York. Selected by the Montreal Independent Film Festival.
2021 Mantas de Luz: El Diario de Ana Franco “Blankets of Light: The Diary of Anne Frank,” a DreamWeek Partner Production, performed virtually in response to the pandemic before our election, San Antonio TX.
2020 Quarentilla, performed virtually for the Texas Public Radio SA ARTS Telethon to raise funds for artists affected by COVID-19.
2020-21 Flamenco Entre Dos Arboles, performed virtually and with a small audience in response to the pandemic, from the Arte y Pasión Amphitheater, San Antonio TX
2019 Estrellas, a DreamWeek Partner Production, The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio TX
2019 Vuelo, The San Antonio College (SAC) Multicultural Arts Conference
2018 Aguitas, Luminaria, The Mexican Multicultural Center Theater, San Antonio TX, San Antonio Luminaria
2018 Frozen Dreams of Blood, Fire, Pecans, Anthem to 1794, Common Currents, Blue Star Contemporary, a San Antonio Tricentennial SA300 event
2018 Siete Aguas, San Antonio Museum of Art for the King of Spain’s Collection, SA300 San Antonio Tricentennial
2018 Sanctorum, a performance-ceremony for the internment of a musical time capsule, the San Antonio College (SAC) Multicultural Arts Conference, SA300 San Antonio Tricentennial
2018 Ole Summer of Spain, The Pearl, San Antonio, TX
2018 Twilight Under the Stars, Performance Benefit for Travis Park, the Saint Anthony Hotel, San Antonio, TX
2017 Tribus, We Flamenco Fest
2017 Frutas del Eter The San Antonio College (SAC) Multicultural Arts Conference
2017 Nascent|Nation, The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio TX
2017 Estrellas, The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio TX
2017 Una Flor en el Cruce, The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio TX
2016 Colores, The Carver Jo Long Theater, San Antonio TX – produced by and on the season of The Carver Community Cultural Center
2016 Una Flor en el Cruce, Luminaria, The Carver Jo Long Theater, San Antonio TX, San Antonio Luminaria
2016 A Glass of Wine, The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio TX
2016 Algoritmos, Jump-Start Theater, The Uptown Studio, San Antonio TX
2015 Domingo de Flamenco, Arte y Pasión Studio, San Antonio TX
2014-15 Angel of Gravity, the Uptown Studio, Blue Star Complex, spaces across San Antonio TX
2012-13 Dibujos, Raices de Arte Español, spaces across San Antonio TX
2012 Ventanas, The Little Carver Theater, San Antonio TX
2011 Flamencos, Jo Long Theater, The Carver, San Antonio TX
2011 Arte y Pasión, The Little Carver Theater, San Antonio TX
2010 Generaciones, Jo Long Theater, The Carver, San Antonio TX
MBA, Quantic School of Business and Technology, 2022 (in progress)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science, Art and Design, 1991
Tulane University, Master of Architecture, Art and Design, 2000
Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Design Studies, 1990
John Cage Residency, Harvard University, 1990
…Like an artist’s sketchbooks, Adira’s productions over the years reveal the dancers’ personal and artistic growth. Always remembering the masters of flamenco, Adira keeps a keen eye to the future. Bridging both the traditional and the new school, Adira proves to be one of the most creative visions in the South Texas flamenco scene….” The Rivard Report
“Having seen Adira perform over the years, she can be described as somewhat of a mysterious figure. Not afraid to appear vulnerable before her audience, Adira turns the “dirt of life,” as she says, into works of art….
….Often performing in slacks, Adira’s onstage persona incorporates both the masculine and the feminine. In the farruca, a dance usually performed by a male dancer, Adira embraces the wholeness of the human spirit dancing with both grace and authority….” – The Rivard Report
“Known for her formidable skills in Flamenco, a powerful, evocative style of dance that originated in Spain, [Tamara Adira] combines her ongoing dedication to traditional technique with her evolving passion for contemporary form and creates unique productions filled with breathtaking moments. Her collaborations with talented musicians, singers, and visual artists have produced some new and unexpected directions resulting in an experimental art form that is rooted in authenticity.” – The Artist Foundation of San Antonio
“The best female Farruca I have ever seen.” – San Antonio Express News
“visually striking....both daring and innovative. Incorporating elements of flamenco, classical Spanish and contemporary dance…. strong and masculine yet graceful and delicately beautiful.” - The Paisano Magazine
“[Angel of Gravity], choreographed by Adira for herself and Gaeth, the piece was...infused with the spirit and flair of flamenco.....both dancers wore the train skirt known as bata de cola and used it beautifully to amplify the dramatic movement vocabulary while invoking a story of a deeply affecting encounter between two people.” - The San Antonio Express News
“[Angel of Gravity] sublime, simple, gorgeous, intelligent. So many layers of intelligence. One of the most beautiful performances I’ve ever seen.” - The Artist Foundation of San Antonio
“....illusive butterfly with the dynamo wings... her dance inspires the rhythm and need to breathe... it inspires the "godsend" relief from inequity...it is pure in form and honest in intent...it is our basic instinct to survive...”. -- Melissa Husby, Fine Artist
“Magnificent.” – Marco Aquino, San Antonio Notes