With a pinch of India

Review St.Galler Tagblatt from 13.2.2007 by Daniela S. Herman

The band 'Alderbuebe' and Bettina Castaño delight the audience at the 'Bären' in Häggenschwil

Perfect performance, harmonious pictures, fluent coordination. Bettina Castaño and the 'Alderbuebe' offered something special for 2 evenings in the 'Bären'.

Very precisely and very quietly, the Alderbuebe opened the evening programme with the composition by Ueli Alder 'Sonnenaufgang auf der Osteregg'. A scottish and a polka followed. The music of the four silent men is a treat for the ears - what the songs are called, remains a mystery. They play 'from the heart and off the top of the head'. Willi Valotti on accordeon, Walter Alder on dulcimer, Michael Bösch on violin and Köbi Schiess on double bass.

Personal style

Bettina Castaño appears for the finely nuanced Zäuerli, slowly opens herself, constantly emersed in deep concentration. She builds up her unique, very personal dance variation to a flamenco on silken paws, holds conversation with the accordeon, and ends the sequence with a Paso Doble. The audience in the 'Bären' applaud tirelessly. The second dance is introduced by Bettina alone. According to old flamenco tradition, she creates the rhythm with her hands and feet. With improvisation and Zäuerli, the musicians take up their instruments with a wink of the eye. Provocatively and full of vitality, the dancer commits herself to the game of the sexes. The audience are inspired.

Firey Csárdás

Flamenco has many roots, one of the most significant is from India, brought to Europe by gypsies. Bettina Castaño returns to this source in her constant search for perfection. She incorporates elements of Indian dances into her choreographs. In numerous performances, she has proven that Appenzell music can be mixed with Csárdás and flamenco. For fans of traditional flamenco, the mixture can seem somewhat confusing. However, as a result, she is very original, and finds great enthusiasm with the public. The perfection of the music and dance performances silences even the last heckler – above all, when the Appenzell-born dancer emerses herself into the music. Then, sparks fly.

Project Kerala

A year ago, the flamenco dancer went to India to learn about Indian rhythm. The exchanges she had with Indian, Persian and Afghan musicians took her in a new direction. As a result, the public in Häggenschwil can also experience the artist Castaño as a percussionist.

However, Bettina Castaño wants more. In Kerala in India, she started a project that 'should be standing in three or four years'. It dealt with a cultural centre which offered ayurveda aswell as are and culture.

´My dance is , and always will be flamenco', says Bettina Castaño. She is, and will always be a full blooded dancer, who plays and provokes to her heart's desire.

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño