Why does flamenco transcend borders to strike such a chord with the Japanese? Why are we stirred by those singing voices, the sound of the strings, and the beating rhythms? Why does the dancing resonate with us and enchant us? Flamenco dancer Shiho Morita has given expression to these questions from a unique world view in the series “Hana,” and continues to explore them. With “Hana 9” she has whittled everything down as much as possible to reveal universality in the form of the work. Perhaps this is where the root of our connection with flamenco lies.
Invited from Spain to join her on stage were guitarist Alfredo Lagos from the birthplace of flamenco, Jerez de la Frontera, and singer David Lagos. The program for this flamenco project comprises not only dancing but also cante (singing) and guitar solos, and centers on traditional types of flamenco songs. The simple stage production and raw, live sound was used to enhance the essence of flamenco.
As a Japanese dancer Morita redefines the Spanish culture of flamenco, expressing universality beyond national or ethnic identity in a variety of ways through dancing. She has received great acclaim for her richly-creative forms of expression, winning the FY2009 Award for Cultural Affairs Art Festival Excellence Award. She is a leading figure in the development of flamenco culture in Japan, for example performing at the traditional Fiesta de la Bulería in Jerez in 2018.
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