Nobody knows exactly how flamenco, a unique type of performance art, got its name. It emerged from Andalucia, Spain but has cultural ties to many ethnic groups including Indian gypsies, Arabs and Sephardic Jews. Although much of flamenco’s history is shrouded in mystery, one thing is certain: there is nothing quite like it.
In flamenco performances, dancers lead the way as musicians adjust their playing styles to match the rhythmic movements of bodies onstage. Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, one of America’s most prominent flamenco companies, is visiting Durham for the weekend.
Frank Stasio talks with Carlota Santana, the group’s artistic director, about how she constructs meaning in onstage performances. They also talk about the expanding definition of flamenco and how Santana uses dance to connect North Carolina school children with Spanish culture. They are joined in the studio by Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana guitarists Gaspar Rodriguez and Pedro Medina, vocalist Jesus de Ultrera and percussionist Francisco "Yiyi" Orozco, who also provides vocals. The group will perform at Motorco Music Hall in Durham Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24.