Mother Tongue with bits of flamenco and tabla thrown in!

Have you ever thought of flamenco dancing with our very own dhak! Usually the two main instruments for flamenco are voice and guitar. But DRUM-N-FLAMENCA stand out as the first-time instance of Bangla dhak and Dhol being played with flamenco dance form. It is a collaboration between BBC award-winning percussionist and music director Abhishek Basu with the internationally acclaimed flamenco dancer and contemporary dance choreographer, Annalouise Paul from Australia.

For Annalouise this trip has been like a hunt for her father’s roots. As she explains, “My father was born in Kolkata. He was a Sephardic Jew. He left India in 1947 and got settled in Australia.” She goes on to say, “Rajasthani gypsies had travelled and settled in Spain, influencing flamenco. There are many similarities between pure Indian music and flamenco.”

Talking about the project Abhishek says, “It’s very interesting how she is promoting flamenco in Australia and kept the purity of flamenco. That was what I was looking for! I thought of classical tabla sound  which can go well with flamenco and wanted to explore. There is a rhythm in flamenco, the Tango, which has a very interesting similarity with the abahon and biswarjon of our traditional dhak.”

Talking about the future of flamenco Annalouise says, “Its journey has been very interesting. During the last 25 years,  it has evolved a great deal. Recently, UNESCO has  endorsed  it  as  an  art  form. Flamenco is not a classical form. But probably it is going in that direction. It needs to advance and go to the next level.”

Annalouise is pretty excited about her latest project,  which is called  Mother Tongue. It is a vibrant kaleidoscope of dance and live music that explores war, cultural tolerance and healing, revealing shifting paradigms and new futures. This highly visual and spectacular work is a collision of dance, rhythm and vocals from Torres Straight Islands, Ghana, Polynesia, North India, flamenco and contemporary body percussion.

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