By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s all-female flamenco dance company kicked off its second bi-annual Flamenco Festival on Saturday.

It’s strong, it’s expressive, it’s passion personified, it’s tradition meets modern day culture.

Elba Hevia y Vaca is the artistic director of Pasion y arte, which is producing the festival. She says over the next 16 days, Philadelphia will get to explore an art form born in southern region of Spain in the midst of pressure to convert to Catholicism. It was a form of rebellion that includes singing, guitar playing, dancing and hand claps.

Vaca says the festival presents a contemporary version of the art form.

“With specific 21st century Flamenco artists that are doing narrative work, that are pushing the envelop, that are interested in women’s issues.”

The Barishnakov of Flamenco — Israel Galvan– will perform, as well as modern feminist flamenco artists Rosario Toledo.

It runs through March 16th.

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