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The origins of Arab-Flamenco fusion 

From December 16, 2019 until October 20, 20205:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). 5:00 p.m. Free entry to the session held on December 16. For all of the others, you must sign up in advance (limited capacity of 15 people). You can sign up one week before each session.
In Spanish.

At its headquarters in Cordoba, Casa Árabe is offering eleven “master classes” to be given by Carolina Prior, with the goal of taking a tour through the origins of Arab dance (gypsis), including its changes over time and its influence on flamenco.

Intended for youth and adult audiences alike, mixing both theory and praxis, and using historical, sensorial and cultural elements, we will delve into the origins of Arab dance, including its change over time and influence and flamenco, as well as its fusion with the tradition of Arab dance. We will speak and dance to the rhythm of the kalbelia, gawazi, karsilama, belly dance, and its fusion with flamenco.

The first session, on December 16, is open to the public until the room’s capacity is reached. For all others, you are required to perform prior registration approximately one week before each class. No more than 15 people may attend.

Calendar of sessions
December 16, 2019: Introduction to the master class series (conference and dance)
January 20, 2020: Kalbelia dance (Rajstan) (conference and dance)
February 17: Kalbelia dance II (Rajstan) (dance)
June 22: Karsilama (Turkish dance) (conference and dance)
July 6: Karsilama II (dance)
September 21: Gawhazee I (Egyptian gypsies) (conference and dance)
October 19: Gawhazee II (Egyptian gypsies) (dance)
November 23: Flamenco routes (conference and dance)
December 14: Belly dance (conference and dance)
January 25: Arab-Flamenco fusion (conference and dance)
February 22: Arab-Flamenco (dance)

Carolina Prior
Dancer, professor and choreographer from Cordoba. She began her training at the Luis de Río Professional Dance Conservatory, in her childhood, in the study programs of Classical Dance and Spanish Dance. However, it was Middle Eastern dance that enamored her senses, and towards which she guided her professional life as a dancer. Carolina has taken part in highly renowned festivals in Spain and abroad, including the Raks Madrid International Arab Music and Dance Festival.” She was a guest performer at the “International Middle Eastern Dance Festival” in Barcelona. And, in conjunction with Casa Árabe, she was a solo dancer in the show “Algarabía,” repeating an experience with “El Viaje del Mirlo” (“The Blackbird’s Journey”) for the White Night of Flamenco. A dancer for the company of choreographer Arnaldo Iasorli, with whom she premiered “Fragmentos Orientales” and “Rain” in Madrid. Solo performer at the “Mab She” International Dance Congress, in the style of Arab-Flamenco fusion. A solo dancer in the show “Al Zahara in Music,” the first show held at Medina Azahara in Cordoba. In 2006, she opened her own school in Cordoba and formed her Middle Eastern dance company called “Ashira,” with which she has produced and directed a large number of innovative performances using historical, sensorial and cultural elements. Thanks to her ability to feel and internalize a wide variety of artistic registers, she created a very personal style of her own, with a carefully refined technique of great elegance.
The origins of Arab-Flamenco fusion 
Photo: Carolina Prior
December 6, 2019: Introduction to the series of “master classes” (conference and dance)
The first class will provide us with an introduction to the activities which will be held throughout the year of 2020. Mixing both theory and praxis, and using historical, sensorial and cultural elements, we will delve into the origins of Arab dance, including its changes over time and influences on flamenco, as well as its fusion with the tradition of Arab dance. We will provide an introduction and dance to the rhythm of the kalbelia, gawazi, karsilama, belly dance, and its fusion with flamenco.

January 20, 2020: Roots (conference)
At the first session in 2020, we will focus on the dance known as the Kalbelia, a magnetizing dance originally from Rajasthan, one of the most beautiful parts of India, the India of “The Arabian Nights,” that of the senses.

Traditional dance that celebrates any moment of cheer in the community, it forms an integral part of the culture of the Kalbelia. Their dances and songs are a matter of pride and a hallmark of identity. It represents the creative adaptation of this community of snake charmers to changing socioeconomic conditions and their own role in rural Rajasthani society.

February 17: Roots II (dance)
At this session we will review and expand upon everything learned about the Kalbelia dance in order to savor and practice it.

June 22: Nomadic people (conference and dance)
We will be traveling to Turkey to discover its most nomadic facet through a dance known as the Karsilama or “face-to-face salute.” Very popular in the Byzantine era and ancient Constantinople, as well as contemporary Turkey (Istanbul). It was originally danced as a war dance, but with the passage of time, it was gradually adapted to the customs and habits of the region. It overflows with playfulness, inviting dancers to move about and express themselves. It is a captivating dance with a very characteristic enveloping pace. Steps, gestures, power, communication, dance.

July 6: Nomadic people II (dance)
We remain in Turkey for more discoveries while dancing to the rhythm of the Karsilama.

September 21: Gawhazee (conference and dance)
The Gawhazee ”heart invaders,” as they have been called on some occasions, are the nomadic dancers who inhabited the Nile. It is believed that they emigrated from India along with their families. They lived in the open air, though in this nomadic process, they ended up returning to their place of origin. They would perform at fairs in the company of other artists, which is why their dances are so lively and eye-catching. Their movement is unique, based on a natural but at the same time intense work, especially in the hips.

October 19: Gawhazee II (dance)
Dance workshop to refine details and learn a larger repertoire of the wonderful Gawhazee.

November 23: Flamenco roots (conference and dance)
Flamenco, especially as concerns the songs of Eastern Andalusia, bears a very strong relationship with Arab music. This is why it is not surprising that the so-called “palos” of flamenco “cante” are nothing more than recreations of the songs of Andalusian folklore, of a folklore filled with Arabisms, as a result of the “eight centuries” of Islamic presence during the medieval era. At this workshop, we will take a closer look at the flamenco dance technique with a view towards Arab-Flamenco fusions.

December 14: Belly dancing (conference and dance)
Respecting and loving the cultural roots of each and every one. With the majestic feel of flamenco and the sensuality of belly dancing, we will turn this combination into a magical mixture of cultures, music, dance and feeling. We will teach the techniques of belly dancing, while orienting it towards Arab-Flamenco fusion.

January 25: Arab-Flamenco fusion (conference and dance)
The art of flamenco is a result of a sum of musical cultures that developed in Andalusia and were then passed down from one generation to the next. Its history is not so ancient, with little more than two hundred years in existence.
However, in flamenco’s music and dance we can find the age-old traces of Jewish, Arab, Castilian, “Andalusian,” and Gypsy music, or in other words, the cultural amalgam which makes up our identity today. Having reached this point, Arab cultural influence will allow us to create a fusion between these two disciplines: Middle Eastern dance and flamenco.

February 22: Arab-Flamenco fusion (dance)
We will continue with the power, sensuality and rhythm in Arab-Flamenco fusion dance, filled with passion and subtlety, through a choreographic workshop.