Works by acclaimed La Otra Orilla are recognizable for their unique and radical approach to flamenco, reflecting an absolutely trans-disciplinary vision. Based on the collaboration between dancer and choreographer Myriam Allard and singer-director Hedi Graja, this company embodies and celebrates the timeless and universal appeal of flamenco. The artistic directors rely on their in-depth knowledge of the nuances and modes of this art to suggest a hybrid language that is modern and poetic, creating strong productions that are firmly rooted in the present.

Myriam Allard

©Marie-Andrée Lemire

Myriam Allard

Choreography, dancer

Born in Québec City to a Franco-Manitoban father and an Greco-British mother, Myriam Allard grew up in a household where music, dance and openness towards others were part of everyday life. Her discovery of flamenco was like an earthquake—in 1996 she left her native land for Spain, where she trained under masters of the art for 8 years. Her professional debut took place on the well-trodden boards of Spain’s traditional tablaos, after which she joined various troupes throughout Europe, in the US and Japan—including Israel Galvan’s dance company. 

Brimming with her experiences overseas, Myriam returned to Montréal in 2006 and, along with Hedi Graja, founded La Otra Orilla—the other shore—a space for dialogue where there’s no limit to what can be created. The two artists became inseparable, crafting poetic, unconventional works that paired dance, song, music and theatre. Their pieces reached audiences in Québec and across Canada, as well as in the US, Scotland and Colombia, resonating everywhere they went.

For Myriam Allard, the body knows all. It’s manifold, and it dances. Every gesture translates her quest for transcendence, each play of tension seeks to connect with the other. Armed with her profound mastery of the codes of flamenco, her dancing frees itself from canonical aesthetic frameworks and develops a language within which instinct rubs shoulders with the delicate, the refined—and in the depths springs forth with a latent strength, voiceless tension.

Over the years, Myriam Allard has become a true reference in her field. At once choreographer, performer, artistic director, mentor, collaborator, teacher and mother of two, she never stops sharing her vision of the world by always reflecting more light.

© Levent Erutku

Hedi Graja

direction, SINGing

Multidisciplinary artist Hedi Graja was born with one foot on each shore of the Mediterranean, which crucially influenced his artistic identity. Introduced to theatre in Paris, then trained in classical singing in Toulouse, he eventually discovered flamenco, which would have a pivotal effect on his path. He left for Seville to dig deeper and flamenco singing became his preferred expressive medium. After spending four years in Andalusia, he completed his studies in art and literature in Paris, where he also continued studying flamenco singing and collaborated as an actor with the theatre company Le Théâtre du Voyageur. In 2005, he moved to Montreal where he founded company La Otra Orilla with dancer Myriam Allard. Since then, ha has developed the company’s visual signature, taking charge of stage direction and design for all their productions. With a strong, fiery bass-baritone voice, rare in flamenco, Hedi Graja’s singing displays the elements of a deep flamenco, anchored and timeless.