Jodhpur, April 4:
Smitten by India’s rich diversity in music, dance, food and landscape and mesmerised by Indian ragas and mudras, Mexico-born flamenco dancer Karen Lugo, here for the Jodhpur Flamenco & Gypsy Festival, finds the Indian dance form Odissi intriguing and has tried to inculcate the ‘eye work’ in her performances.
On the sidelines of the festival that is taking place at Mehrangarh Fort here, Lugo said: “I am really impressed by the traditional dances here. I saw the Odissi dance and I found it really incredible. I found a new world in Odissi.”
To many, India’s kathak and the international flamenco have some common strings.
When IANS asked Lugo about whether she has added some Indian elements in her dance form, she said: “In flamenco, we move the hand, but it’s not like mudras. There are some mudras that you can usually find in India, but not exactly.
“In Odissi and kathak, we tell stories, and I wanted to know about it… I discussed it with one of my friends from California, who has a school here in Pushkar. So, she told me about these mudras and I was impressed.
“When I saw dances like kathak and Odissi for the first time, I noticed the eye work. So when I dance, I try to be very conscious about my eyes. I feel that detail in indian dances are very clear and clean, so for the first time, little by little, I became more confident about the detail in my style.”
On her first visit to India in 2011, Lugo says she also took a few singing lessons here as she finds the melodies very lively.
“Indians are culturally rich. I took few singing lessons of ragas. The melodies used here are lively and I find that Indians are rich in music, dance and food. I really like the spices, especially different flavours. If you talk about landscape, in India you have deserts, beaches and Himalayas. It really has diversity,” she said.
She says she feels “I am home when I am here”.
“I find lot of similarities between Indians and Mexico, especially the physical and cultural similarities too. For instance, we also eat chapati with hands,” quipped the 28-year-old, who stays in Spain, and hopes that events like the Jodhpur Flamenco & Gypsy Festival continue to platform cultural exchanges.
Lugo’s credits include the show “Rojo y Rosa” of Agustin Carbonell ‘El Bola’ as a dancer and choreographer, performing in Suma Flamenca de Madrid, Austria’s Flamenco Festival and the Lara Theatre of Madrid. She has also participated in the film “Flamenco Flamenco” of Carlos Saura, and as principal dancer in the show “El Duende y el Reloj”.
She has even collaborated with the renowned group Ojos de Brujo in festivals throughout Spain and France. In November 2012, she premiered her show “Flamenco Territorio DeMente” in Seattle, which led to a US tour in cities such as Olympia, Los Angeles and Washington DC. (IANS)