Rae Bowhay has been in love with dance since she was 7.
Originally from Alberta, she began her studies with Joy McIlwain from the Calgary City Ballet and in the dance program at Grant MacEwan Collage. She moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to study with Charles Edmondson (Horton/Lewitsky technique), and worked for Christensen Dance Company (off-shoot of the industrial dance niche) and Collage Dance Theatre (site-specific dance). In 1995, she studied at Graham and Limon schools in New York City before settling in Montreal in 1996.
In Montreal Rae worked for several independent choreographers such as Benjamin Hatcher, Fabienne Pelissier, Brett Plager and Julie Slater. In parallel she initiated her own choreographic pursuits and a desire to work with live music led her to flamenco. With the vision to create a similar musical/dance relationship, yet something very personal and independent of tradition, Rae got a ticket to Spain from the Canada Council for the Arts and started studying the tradition...
Rae's transition into flamenco has lead her through a long and eclectic career as both flamenco artist and artistic director of more than 15 iconoclastic and contemporary creations. These works have been presented throughout Quebec (Tangente/Studio 303/TOHU/Festival Classique des Hautes-Laurentides/Camp Musical du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean/XIIe Sommet de la Francophonie), across Canada (Toronto International Dance Festival/West Canadian folk festivals), and internationally in Scotland, India and China.
Rae currently prepares a new dance and musical project entitled Bull's Paradise Café/ songs of redemption...
Within her own Montreal Flamenco Tablao scene, Rae has been a regular artist at the Centro Gallego, Casa Galicia, El Gitano and Sala Rossa since 2001. Her flamenco credentials also include guest coach for the Cirque du Soleil, and jury member for the Canada Council for the Arts and The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
La Puerta Negra
In 2013 Rae opened a dance studio in Montreal called La Puerta Negra where she founded her flamenco school, a new teaching methodology for flamenco dance and a notation system for percussive dance. The studio hosts workshops and events with well known local and international artists. The most consistent collaboration has been with renowned actor, director, author, educator and pioneer of feminism in Quebec: Pol Pelletier.
Rae has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and FACTOR; and in 2005, she received the Victor-Martyn-Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement in dance.