A slice of Spain

A slice of Spain

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Bangalore School of Music and the Embassy of Spain in India recently came together to present a traditional flamenco dance by the internationally-acclaimed dancer, Eva Yerbabuena at Chowdiah Memorial Hall.

The venue could not have been more crowded – there were people standing in the aisle throughout, while many sat on the floor near the stage to catch a closer glimpse of the dancer.

“This is a packed house and it’s clear that Spanish culture is popular in Bangalore. We are proud to have one of Spain’s finest artistes with us. I’m sure that Eva will bewilder and bewitch every spectator who watches her perform,” says Gustavo de Aristegui, ambassador of Spain to India.

Flamenco, which hails from Andalucia (Spain), is a dance form marked by hand and leg movements as well as clapping to the beat. There is a strict framework of rhythmic patterns, which goes well with the quick moves of the dancer.

The evening started off with a woman in a red and black dress coming onto the stage and performing an extremely stylised form of flamenco. Just like they show in the movies, she performed the tapping of the heels and danced holding the frills of her dress like there was no tomorrow. With the male vocalists, Spanish guitar and cajon playing in the background, it was a treat for lovers of music as well as dance.

This was followed by a few more swift and passionate dances, in which the playful Eva went from wearing white and blue floral dresses to a classy black gown. It was interesting to watch the musicians observe her every move and play to it. The addition of the ghungroo in one of the dances was also met with loud cheers.

Between each of the dances, there was a musical performance by them, which many seemed to enjoy more than the dance itself. “It was beautiful even without understanding what the lyrics meant. I’ve never seen this dance form before, but it was
quite calculated and fascinating to watch,” shares Vishwanath, an audience member.

There were others who felt that something was missing in the performance. “I felt that there was not too much variety and it wasn’t vibrant enough. They should have introduced each dance briefly to take the audience through it better,” shares Jai Sridhar, who attended the show. “That aside, she was an excellent dancer and had good footwork. It was artistically nice but I couldn’t connect to it.”

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