Review Steinmaur 10.10.2010

Steinmauer flamenco to Appenzell folk music in the gym hall.

Sound protection and a string quartet

Bettina Castaño moved in a firey and elegant manner across the stage. At every performance in new light and dress, dancing to soft Appenzell music.

Eric Franklin

Spanish and Swiss musical cultures convene in Steinmauer

The Alderbuebe, with gilets, studded belts, and a golden spoon in their right ear, stand and sit in red light, as the performance in the gym in Steinmaur begins. The 25 minute delay due to traffic was forgotten as soon as the first tone was played. On arrival, the quartet, consisting of dulcimer, violin, accordeon and double bass played a soft, slow polka, and a fast scottish. After the second Appenzell style song, which has been past on through the generations, Bettina Castaño emerged in a traditional white flamenco dress, with a long train and embroidered shoulder scarf. She moved elegantly and created the rhythm with castanettes.

Behind the audience of 100, gym mats are layered – a sound protection. El Espina, the manager of Bettina Castaño, reduces the echo of her stamping shoe soles in this way, from a second to a quarter of a second.

Form, colour, floodlight

'I discovered the flamenco team at the art fair in Thun, and I was impressed' said Stefan Bruhin from the culture commision in Steinmauer. Bettina Castaño drums her heels on the dance floor precisely in time, and with mind-blowing speed, jumps, and finishes with a pirouette. The stern expression in flamenco is shown throughout her whole body. Even the direction of her eyes is trained, her billowing skirts punctuate the movements. Castaño appears in a different coloured dress for each performance. Dorrn illuminates the performers in such a way that the performance in the sober gym hall creates a colourful impression.

Ever faster

With a common name, and born in Teufen as Bettina Sulzer, Bettina Castaño had the idea to mix Appenzell Music with flamenco. Of course, the coin-rolling with a dance solo was not to be missed out of the programme. 'It is a fantastic combination with the music, the dance, the lights, and the dresses' says Brigitte Wehle from Steinmauer. The opening melody of the slow 'Birewegge Polka' introduces the second part of the programme. With firey speed, it continues. In a robe embroidered with silver sequins, the dancer turns pirouettes. One after the other, ever faster, so that the single shimmering sequins come off her dress. 'We've now played everything that we know by heart' explained Willi Valotti on accordeon. The encore of the encore was El Espina – the manager and lighting organisor. As guitarrist, he played in both encores. With his instrument, which somewhat drowned out the dulcimer, the music sounded significantly more Spanish. The artists left the stage to a standing ovation.

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño