Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company

This article is from 2010.

Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company

Where Spanish and African cultures collide

With its close proximity to Africa, Spain is often seen as a gateway to a better life. Some immigrants are successful, others not, but it is their desire for greener grass, followed by a longing for home, which inspired Paco Peña’s latest show, Quimeras.

‘The Spanish media is full of examples of people trying to get to Europe through the Canary Islands and dying in the ocean,’ he says, ‘because Europe is seen as such a haven and a promised paradise – but it’s a chimera, and after all their struggles they end up being the underdog anyway. But they are actually a great contribution to our society, and I want to show that in a positive light.’

Within a broadly painted narrative, Peña aims to showcase the diverse music and dance styles both cultures have to offer – and how, if they can overcome their differences, great things can blossom.

‘The show highlights the musical richness of the African cultures – and the richness of our Spanish culture, which I exemplify through flamenco,’ he explains. ‘But eventually they have to integrate into each other, because two groups of people mixing together eventually make a better thing than their separate parts.’

Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 2–4 Sep, 8pm, £8–£28.50.

Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company

Paco Peña's Quimeras: In Search of a Dream was a critical triumph and sell-out at Edinburgh International Festival 2010. The performance brings together dancers, singers and musicians from Africa and Spain, performing a journey in pursuit of a better life, searching beyond the frontier for a wonderful, promising world.

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