"The truest expression of a people is in its dances and its music. Bodies never lie." - Agnes De Mille -
"Al Andalusi", presented by Flamenco Borealis and sponsored by the Saskatchewan Arts Board is a performing art production that took place on July 23, 2016, at the Persephone theater in Saskatoon.
"Al Andalusi” means originating or coming from “Al Andalus”. “Al Andalus” was the Arabic name for the south of Spain in the 8th through 15th centuries, a region that is referred to in our present time as “Andalucia”.
In the Arabic imagination, the artistic ferment of the Andalusian kingdom is still considered a golden age. It was a high water mark of philosophy, poetry and music. In fact, many of the art songs of “Al-Andalus” - the Muwashahat – represent a cornerstone of Arabic music education up to this day. The South of Spain is now known for Flamenco music and dance, an art form which emerged from the synthesis of Arabic, Jewish and Spanish folk traditions.
“Al-Andalusi”, a live music and dance performance, explored the relationship of the music and dance of Arabic and Spanish periods of the South of Spain. It aimed to promote understanding and appreciation of both Arabic and Flamenco music and dance. More importantly, it hoped to demonstrate how, when cultures meet in the context of art, new possibilities for creating beauty and meaning emerge.
“Al Andalusi”, an idea based on an exploration of a history of intercultural and inter communal understanding, promises to open up possibilities of contemporary intercultural and inter communal understanding. “Al Andalusi” offered an artistic experience previously unavailable to Saskatchewan audiences and provided the artists of Flamenco Borealis an opportunity to discover previously unexplored aesthetic possibilities, while presenting art forms that are dear to their hearts.