After a successful career in Spain, Rosario Ancer and her Vancouverite husband, guitarist Victor Kolstee, moved to Vancouver in 1989. They co-founded their school Centro Flamenco, Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, Rosario Ancer Flamenco Arts Society (Flamenco Rosario), and its Professional Training Program. As an interpreter of flamenco, Rosario is most interested in continuing the growth of the art form rather than simply reiterating its past – exploring new possibilities by crossing boundaries of both history and culture.
Rosario’s open-ended collaborations and experimentation that intercross non-traditional choreographic work with visual arts, computer programming, music composition, and lighting and stage design are a clear proof of her risk-taking artistic spirit – her dedication to flamenco dance innovation outside of traditional flamenco scenography. Her vision has opened an entirely new dimension of flamenco storytelling that demonstrates the tremendous multidisciplinary potential of contemporary flamenco in contrast to stereotypical perceptions.
Called “the mother of flamenco in Vancouver” by the local press, Rosario received 2009 Isadora Award for Excellence in Choreography for the creation of Mis Hermanas, and for her contributions to bringing excellence in dance to British Columbia. As the one who captures the rich history and culture of Vancouver, and makes a significant contribution to the creative life in the city, Rosario was honoured with 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award in Dance. Rosario received the prestigious 2016 Lola Award given by The Dance Centre on behalf of Vancouver’s dance community, for her unflagging dedication to flamenco innovation pursued through her progressive exploration and deconstruction of the form. In 2012, Rosario received a nomination for Inspirational Latino Award for the arts and nomination for YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture.
Through her works, Rosario has created a platform where flamenco and a new generation of flamenco artists can flourish in Vancouver, creating an eastward bridge that connects the wide national flamenco community.
In 2010, her award-winning work, Mis Hermanas toured internationally in Mexico. In 2013, Mis Hermanas toured in British Columbia and Yukon as part of Made In BC touring initiatives for contemporary dance. Her work “La Monarca” will be touring British Columbia in the spring of 2018.