Showcasing the Arts


Sept. 2012 Featured Artist: Diana Dinicola

Diana Dinicola Diana Dinicola is a self-described "ballet refugee" who was introduced to Flamenco after an injury and was instantly hooked. Her fascination with flamenco's expressive opportunities led her not only to become a dancer (bailaora), but also to study singing (cante). She immersed herself in the unique history of flamenco, tracing its development through the centuries as expressed in its own subculture and mirrored in the history of Spain and the diversity of Iberian culture.

Diana travels to Spain every year to study in Seville in the region of Andalucía, the cradle of flamenco. She brings her first-hand experience of Flamenco and Spanish culture back home to the Bluegrass. She has also come full circle in her own history, teaching flamenco to ballet students as a faculty member of the Louisville Ballet School, a company with which she once worked as an arts administrator.

Flamenco has also become a family affair for Diana—she often performs and teaches with her husband, Paul T. Carney. After they married in 2001 Paul decided to explore flamenco percussion as a way to spend more time with Diana. But after a trip to the Flamenco Festival in New York City, he found himself a convert to the art form, moved by the performances from the powerful Spanish artists he saw there. He is now a flamenco guitarist as well as percussionist accompanying classes and playing professionally.

As a teaching artist, Diana has used flamenco as a medium for teaching core curriculum and life skills to young people in schools and community centers. During the summer of 2012, she and her husband worked with middle school students from the Russell, Portland and Newburg neighborhoods of Louisville for two weeks, building bridges between neighborhoods by uniting the kids in a common goal—learning to perform this completely unfamiliar art. The final show produced new bonds between students and their families created through collaboration and creativity.

Diana is also a co-founder of Flamenco Louisville, where she teaches and leads a company of professional dancers and musicians. Besides performing throughout the region at big festivals and small venues, Flamenco Louisville has successfully anchored Spanish Night at BLU Mediterranean Grille in the downtown Louisville Marriott for six years, performing an authentic flamenco floor show. This unique partnership has been a consistent draw for the restaurant and is an unusual example of corporate support of the arts as a client rather than as a donor.

For Diana, her life in flamenco has become her journey toward excellence as an artist and as a teacher. It is a journey of discovery and responsibility, balancing her growth as she learns from those who have defined the path, even as she reaches out to those taking their first steps on the way.

Diana Dinicola
Flamenco Dancer
Teaching Artist

Louisville, Ky.



Page last updated: June 8, 2016
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