DALÉ CAÑA FLAMENCO COMPANY at Tanks Arts Centre for World Music Series

Tony Hillier

The Cairns Post

The ancient art of flamenco gets a contemporary twist this weekend at Tanks, writes Tony Hillier.

The Tanks is tailor-made for flamenco, the fiery gypsy art form of Spain’s Andalucia region. Melbourne’s Arte Kanela troupe proved the point in front of a capacity house as part of the venue’s inaugural World Music series last year. On that night, guitarist Gerard Mapstone and violinist Shenzo Gregorio opened proceedings – this time around, they are back as an integral part of the headline act.

Brisbane’s DaLeCAÑA Company offers a different spin on the classic art of flamenco.

“Our show is more of a world music band with flamenco dancing at the centre,” Gerard explains.

“The sound is based on the beauty of Andalucia’s multicultural blends with guitar, violin and percussion.”

When he created the group five years ago, Mapstone did so with the intention of providing an insight into flamenco. “I wanted audiences to experience the intensity and passion that is created, finding the duende [spirit] that binds us all together.”

The group, he says, has become an ever-growing ensemble that thrives on collaboration.

Gregorio, who performs with other nationally acclaimed acts such as Four Play and Monsieur Camembert, shares Mapstone’s free-spirited zeal. “He’s one of those musicians who really brings everything to a performance – he’s a real virtuoso,” says DaLeCAÑA’s founder.

Mapstone established his own credentials in his 20s during a four-month sojourn in the flamenco stronghold of Jerez de la Frontera in Spain’s southwest. “My mentors there were exceptional players and composers, such as Jose Ignacio Franco, who really inspired me.” In Jerez, Mapstone also met the player who had first ignited his interest in flamenco guitar as a kid. “When I was about seven I saw Serranito playing at Expo ’88 in Brisbane and ever since I’ve been trying to capture that sound.”

DaLeCAÑA’s dancer Jessica Statham also paid her dues in Spain, studying at Madrid’s renowned Amor de Dios academy with cutting edge flamenco performers.

They will be ably supported by Israeli-singer songwriter Noam Blatt, one of the most popular visiting acts from last year’s Tablelands Folk Festival. >> DaLeCAÑa Flamenco Company perform at Tanks Arts Centre as part of the World Music Series 2012 on Friday night, supported by Noam Blatt. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets are $40/$35, available now from ticketlink.com.au or 1300 855 835.

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