Hameln Review 22nd March 2010

DEWEZET Kultur

Spanish passion and Indian Influence

Flamenco encounters percussion at the theatre.

By Andrea Gerstenberger

Hameln – Experiencing the pulse of India on the stage presented an impressive experience for the audience, who showed their thanks with frenetic applause. Bettina Castaño lived and revived flamenco – with the Indian, Persian and Marisian influences which form this dance. A breath-taking explosion of Spanish passion and the holy rhythms of Indian temple music continued for over two hours.

Bettina Castaño is accompanied by Indian percussion experts Chenda, Mattanur, Sankarankutty, and by Karuna Moorthy, an exceptionally gifted Tavil player. In two solo pieces, they played their instruments in a haze, and pulled the rest of the group along with them.

Bettina Castaño combines spanish temperament with an explosive strength during her dance passages., Sometimes very disciplined, then furious and tapping her feet wildly, and after the break, tenderly floating, she displayed the range of diversity flamenco has. An important partner in classical Spanish flamenco is the palmero. This was David Hornillo, who like Bettina is from Sevilla and who provided a Spanish flair for our ears with his somewhat bizarre chant and rhythmic clapping.

The well-played guitars were a further highlight. What a performance from El Espina and Mario Campallo! And in the second part, they provided a treat for the ears with wonderful melodies - simply fantastic! Music to emerse yourself into and feel good. Both guitarrists coordinated genius fingerwork, perfectly harmonised, unified by the joy of playing.

"Sensing the music frees the dancing muse."

Bettina Castaño