steps and Tabla beats to Spanish tunes
- Sumi Krishnan,
by Flamenco Red is a collaboration of varying styles and cultures. The
first half of the program is the story of Queen Isabel of Spain. History
shows that in 1492 Granada was conquered, the Jews were expulsed and Columbus
funded for a second voyage to the Indies. Ruled by Isabel, a decade before
and known for formalizing the Spanish Inquisition creating a counsel solely
for killing non-Catholics, mainly Jews, Queen Isabel 'La Catholica' ironically
was known for her prudence, gentleness and particular empathy for American
Indians demanding they be given equal rights in the new colonies. She encouraged
education for women in Universities and was the first woman on a US coin
and stamp. Isabel the dance is about the inner workings of the mind
of a world leader who so precisely set in motion events that altered history,
cultures and regions. She was the catalyst for Flamenco in the name of
righteousness and peace.
unfolds as Annalouise Paul enters into a dark red stage to the rhythms
of the Tabla played by none other than Bobby Singh, the favourite tabla
player of Sydney. In a perfect execution of uniting force, the Spanish
guitar played by Robbie Varga, accompanies the story telling of Annalouise
Paul who portrays the emotions of a Queen torn between ruling, and the
conscience and voice of her mind, shown by the stringed music, and that
of her heart weaved through the rhythms of the tabla. A combustive contemplative
and intense piece showing immense concentration, heat and energy emanating
between the artists with the effective use of lights on stage, made for
a breathless performance leaving the audience reflective and in awe.
Paul is a pioneering dancer with a commitment to teaching delivering pilot
programs for students and teachers of the DET, Australia Council, Arts
NSW, Western Sydney Dance Action, and Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.
She is also the recipient of Critical Path, Margaret Farm Residency, Arts
NSW and Australia Council each time working with Bobby Singh. Bobby is
Australia's well known tabla player, student of Pandit Nikhil Ghosh and
Aneesh Pradhan. Bobby Singh has received numerous awards and performed
with musicians all over the world and in many festivals. Robbie Varga is
a master of contemporary flamenco guitar, and has performed with well known
choreographers in his 30 year career span.
half of the program was made up of an interesting mix of styles called
Are You Game? The artists, Bobby Singh on Tabla, dancers Miranda
Wheen and Melisa Gowen, and World and Junk Percussion Electronics, Peter
Kennard launch on a challenging journey of displaying their individual
styles initially showing their own prowess and technique with arrogance
until all communication between the artists falls apart and realization
dawns that a conversation starts with listening actively to one another
and considering and perhaps imitating each act initially from a "place
nowhere" to finding commonalities. A humourous and energetic journey that
finishes in hearty comraderie between the artists and the audience.
flexible and innovative, is the founding member of Dirty Feet in Sydney.
She has danced in New York and Amsterdam; Miranda Wheen is a recipient
of the Deanís medal who has choreographed many cross cultural dances as
a part of her regular work. Peter Kennard is a composer, producer and musical
director with a career span of 20 years who has worked with many well known
musicians in Sydney. He showed his prowess with bringing kitchen utensils
to life during this part of the performance with uncanny feather like touches
on the Cymbal. Bobby Singh once again, showed his rhythmic creations in
this section of the dance for the evening with unfailing insight into the
choreography through his spontaneous compositions.
Krishnan is a regular contributor to www.narthaki.com