Review - Mosel Music Festival, Trier 2009

23.8.2009. Trierischer Volksfreund

Dance of passion under the stars

No chance for the slow-creeping cold to get into the bones. The TV presentation of 'Flamenco Puro' warmed the audience in the courtyard of the electoral palace of Trier with spanish temperament and the passion of dance.

Full of passion – flamenco dancer Bettina La Castaño brought fire into the cool evening in the courtyard of the electoral palace. TV-photos (3) Mandy Radics

Trier. (MRA) 'Trier's most beutiful concert arena' – this is what the creators of the Mosel Music Festival call the jewel which lies hidden between the basilika and the electoral palace. Around 900 visitors found their way into the courtyard of the palace to experience a 'real jem of flamenco'. The guest was Bettina La Castaño with 'Flamenco Puro'.

Two virtuosos with accoustic flamenco guitars (El Espina and Mariano Campallo) open the meeting point of expression and transport the audience quickly to the edge of another world with racy and delicate flamenco tones. A world full of passion and music that touches the heart. As La Castaño appeared, graceful and complete, dressed in a warm orange dress, the audience let themselves be pulled into this world, just like with an irresistable undertow. La Castaño manages to bring the audience of 900 people under her spell right from

the beginning. She is one with the sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes delicate, sometimes demanding music, which she emerses herself in. She circles herself, lifts her arms into the air and stamps with her feet. The music becomes increasingly faster, as do her feet. Every muscle in her body seems to vibrate with a passion, which is besed on extremes. She dances dynamically, powerfully, and gracefully and light as a feather all at the same time. The three singers and two guitarrists (David Hornillo, Emilio Cabello, Manuel Salgado) egg her on and Castaño dances like the devil, until the guitar tones suddenly ebb away. The audience awaken from the spell temporarily and cheer for the artists on the stage.

Castaño brought two other flamenco dancers with her. Clothed in black (Clarissa Wedding) and white (Christina Hall), they dance a 'Liebeszauber' (love spell). Sometimes tightly entangled, sometimes distant from eachother, but with an extraordinary amount of emotion.

Bettina Castaño is a dancer and a keen choreographer. This daughter of spanish parents in Sevilla has danced flamenco since the age of 18, although she grew up in Switzerland. She occupies herself with joining flamenco with other cultures. In her 15 different programmes, she mixes flamenco with Hungarian gypsy music, Indian music, or classical tones for example. In Trier however, Castaño performed pure flamenco, as it originally was – with guitars, singers and dancers.

The audience, who came from Kassel, Luxemburg or mountainous Gladbach, are so enthusiastic, that there is a standing ovation at the end. And the fact that it was Bettina Castaño's birthday, was also celebrated.

The only negative – the unclear view as a result of the uneven seating. Unfortunately the stage was so low, that the most important thing – the dancer's feet – couldn't be seen.

The courtyard of the electoral palace in Trier during the flamenco concert.

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño