Artistes from Spain and India have come together for a co-production entwining elements of Flamenco, with traditional Indian music and dance to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Envisaged by Spanish film director Carlos Saura, the production 'Flamenco India' which premiered in Spain last year, aims to bring together popular dance forms from both the countries and their respective cultures and is set.
The production is set to be staged in India later this year.
"Usually bilateral relations are focused on politics and business but we want to introduce the exchange of culture too, especially on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of India-Spanish diplomatic relations," says Magdalena Crux Yabar from the Spanish Embassy in India.
According to Saura, the Spanish native dance form Flamenco and Indian classical music and dance complement each other with the latter's rhythmic diversity and flexibility allowing Indian artistes to engage with their Spanish counterparts.
"It is wonderful to see culture binding the two nations. It actually joins the people and helps them understand each other better. India has no dearth of brilliant artistes. The quality is brilliant," says Oscar Puente Ramos, Mayor of the city of Valladolid.
Yabar says the collaboration, which features 14 artistes from each country attempts to showcase the similarities and possibilities between art forms from the two countries without tampering with their original essence.
"People here connect well with Flamenco. The same happens in Spain too. For me it is always enriching and helps to broaden our spectrum, it is the starting point for all other relationships," she says.
'Flamenco India' has been participating in several
cultural festivals like Kolkata literature festival, Jaipur Photo Festival and International theatre festival here and is scheduled to be performed in other parts of the country as well.
To expand the reach of the alliance, the production has also roped in Oxford book stores, which is set to feature a Spanish section to facilitate people's access to that country's literature.
Ramos, who has been an actor and a musician himself says that both cultures "mix well" and hinted at a possible performance by 'Flamenco India' at the upcoming International Indian Film Academy Awards, is scheduled to be held in Madrid this year.
"We have arranged a meeting with Bollywood directors and since IIFA will be in Madrid this year, we will try to include Flamenco India there. There is something between both the cultures that mix well," says Ramos.
The Indian performers associated with the project include choreographer Santosh Nair, musician Ravi Prasad and popular sitarist Subrata De.
"We performed with Flamenco artists in 2007-08 when they came to India, the practice was difficult since nothing was planned, we went from zero to infinity. The art form is similar to Indian contemporary arts and the collaboration eventually worked well," says the sitarist.