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Noche Flamenca: Tres Suenos
October 25, 2017, at 12:15 pm
Over 1,000 years ago Spain was home to Jews, Christians and Muslims. All three cultures co-existed in relative harmony, interacting with one another in multiple ways. This period was one of the most enlightened and economically expansive periods in all of Spain’s history. Here were the seeds of the Renaissance. It was not until the edicts came down from Rome in 1492 and the Inquisition was let loose that an era of intolerance, repression and expulsion began, which fueled the expression of deep pain and longing that is at the heart and soul of flamenco.
With this history as backdrop, Noche Flamenca’s Artistic Director, Martin Santangelo, has created a new piece, approximately 30-45 minutes in length,based on a Rumi poem called “The Christian, the Muslim and the Jew”, translated by the great American writer and comedian Paul Sills (founder of Second City). In 2000, Sills was working on a form of Story Theater that celebrated the humor and worldliness of Rumi’s timeless writings and, deeply moved by his adaptation, Santangelo asked for and was gifted the script. Now, years later, through song and dance, Santangelo focuses on a specific section of Sills’ script that explores the relationship between a Christian, a Muslim and a Jewish religious leader, each seeking to find the most effective means to communicate directly with God.
The overall project has been created in consultation with the Rev. Robert Brashear of the West Park Presbyterian Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (where Noche Flamenca has its offices and studios), Rabbi Rolando Matalon from B’nei Jeshurun on W. 88th St, Chaplain Rabbia Harris, scholar in residence at Stony Point Center, and others. Santangelo has collaborated with long-time Noche Flamenca guitarists Eugenio Iglesias and Salva de Maria to develop original composition to add to existing Ladino music which Rabbi Matalon is an expert on. The three have also sourced traditional liturgical songs from the period. The work has been choreographed by Santangelo and principal dancer Soledad Barrio.
Tres Suenos will include a series of outreach events involving interfaith communities.