BENGALURU: Of the many dance forms across the globe, it is surprising that two geographically remote art forms – Kathak from North India and Flamenco from southern Spain – can have so many similarities. Tatkaar and Zapateado, an upcoming event at Bangalore International Centre on Saturday, will explore commonalities between both the dance forms. The programme will be a lecture demonstration by Archana Kumar, accompanied by Varun Krishna on Spanish guitar.
Kumar is an independent performing artiste who officially started dancing when she was 13 years old. Her work is based on real experiences, which are evocative and experimental. The event may point to some historical and cultural links through comparative movement analysis, where Kumar will intertwine her personal narrative with insights she gained from her own practice and observation. “It was quite a natural result, because my soul speaks to both these forms so effortlessly that I’m surprised myself,” she said.
“Flamenco is more contemporary to the Kathak that was developed with Persian and Moghul influences. Also, the dance form started as a storytelling form by groups known as ‘Kathaakars’ who naturally influenced and got influenced by the folk art and dance around that region,” Kumar said, adding, “The two dance forms have a common ancestor – the Gypsies. I’m amazed at how I naturally got attracted to Flamenco after practising Kathak for almost two decades. Certainly, not all Kathak practitioners find an affinity to Flamenco and vice versa.”
The event will be followed by a documentary that offers the glimpse of the journey of gypsies through Europe, ending in southern Spain and will also depict the common ancestry of these two forms. “Of course, we also have the Moroccan and Middle-Eastern influences in the music of Flamenco, which hasn’t been looked into in this documentary because that’s a different path in history,” Kumar said. Kumar and Krishna have been collaborating on a couple of authentic tunes and some fusion or experimental tunes that will blend and explore various aspects of Kathak and Flamenco.