Review from the Bensheimer Echo 30.7.2007

Firery flamenco with Indian tones

Bettina Castaño and musicians deliver a super performance at the Fürstenlager.

Aucherbach – Bettina Castaño doesn't just dance flamenco, she lives it. At the International Summer Festival at the Fürstenlager, she created sparks in which spanish temperament and the eruptive power of emotion could be seen.

It was breath-taking. Sometimes the flamenco star would stamp her feet furiously and tempestuously, and other times the beautiful diva would almost float across the dancefloor, with graceful movements. Her charisma and great power of expression are electrifying. Those who experienced her performance on Saturday evening with her group – four instrumentalists and a singer – was highly impressed and fascinated. The event manager, Klaus-Peter Becker again had a full house at the Fürstenlager Gesundbrunnen. The guests came despite unstable weather conditions and a thunderstorm two hours before the open air event began.

Unique body language

The public accompanied the performance with thunderous applause again and again. In her new programme 'Impulse of India'. Bettina Castaño links facets of the Indian culture with flamenco. Her unique body language turns the performance into a borderline between speed and elegance. Despite all of this, she remains authentic and fully concentrated the whole time.

With the snapping of fingers which sounds like the castanettes, and tapping the foot, she creates a tonal range which forms the basis for her dance. Sometimes she makes dainty, playful, coquettish movements, and then she races across the stage in a firey and passionate manner. A feeling of electricity is created. The Indian element compliments the flamenco in dance, music and vocals with meditative movements and stylistic devices. An exciting, manifold symbiosis.

Excellent guitarists

The Palmero - Antonio Saavedra is also part of the performance with the rhythmical clapping of hands and foot stamping. With his smokey voice, he creates a vocal background for the ups and downs of the emotions. His syncopes are the elixir from which Bettina Castaño takes the power of her dance.

The flamenco star brought excellent guitarrists with her – El Espina, composer and the artistic director of the ensemble pulls the strings. He lays down a fantastic sound with Jesus Torres upon which the dancer soars above reality and gets into the hearts of the people. With her 'india' programme, Bettina Castaño, who has been a celloist since her early teenage years, is on the search for the roots of flamenco, which the gypsies brought from India to Europe.

Concert in the Lotus position

Sometimes the two Indian percussionists (Karuna Moorthy (Tavil) and Mattanur Sankarankutty (Chenda)) would softly stroke the skin of the drum, and then they would make it sound wooden, or even metallic. The instruments became a means of communication, holding an elaborate dialogue with one another. Listening to the technically perfect sound was a real treat. The evening proved that the power of flamenco can be wonderfully integrated into the Asian culture, as if they were two sides of the same coin. The artists left the stage to raging applause and a standing ovation. - moni -

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño (Foto: Anja Beutler)

Voice for B.Castaño

Click here