Essence of Spanish dance

SPANISH FOLKLORE and dance in its complete resplendence weaves its magic once again in Dubai at the Madinat Theatre with Ballet Carmen Cantero’s production entitled ‘Esencia Pura’ meaning ‘Pure Essence’.

By Vijaya Sukumar (Contributor)

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Published: Wed 14 Feb 2007, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:00 AM

The two-hour production presented by leading Spanish choreographer Carmen Cantero and her troupe of dancers, captures the spirit of Spanish dance. It showcases the entire gamut of techniques, rhythms and emotions that are quintessential of Spanish folklore.

Carmen Cantaro has dedicated her life to preserve, popularise and propagate Spanish folklore and dance. Her company 'Ballet Carmen Cantaro' created in 1997 to promote Spanish culture has performed in several worldwide Folklore festivals and has represented Spain at political and cultural events.

What sparked your interest in dance, and where and when did you begin to study?

I don’t remember. I have always been interested in dancing. Ever since I was a child, dance has been an integral part of my life and my dream was always to be a dancer.

When did you last perform on stage?

The last time I danced on stage, was when I was 4 months pregnant and I was 35 years old. I then decided that I have to leave this activity. I started my own productions.

What does the training of a professional dancer encompass?

It comprises hard discipline because it has to be combined with your studies. It commences with dance formation from an early age in the conservatories. To keep active in the profession the person has to dedicate many hours everyday to train the body.

What is the key to achieving the highest levels in dance?

You have to dedicate lots of hours of training each day to perfect your technique.

What does 'Esencia Pura' embody?

'Esencia Pura' reflects the essence of Spanish dance; it represents its most simple PURITY. The core of the Spanish dance is the special footwear that is required in the school (Escuela Bolero) and the castañuelas; in our choreographies we always mix these elements.

How would you define the spirit of Bolero dance?

The Spanish dance, specifically the Bolero school, is the ‘mother’ of all the dances. This Spanish dance is very rich and varied; it is very complete, because it requires a base of classic ballet.

Does Ballet Carmen Cantero have a particular style?

Yes, I think that currently few ballet companies include folklore in their performances and Escuela Bolero is doing so and it becomes more difficult because it is necessary to have a very technical preparation. In my ballet, I always introduce folklore in every one of our choreographies.

How does dance as an art form uniquely communicate culture?

Dance has a common language that reaches all audiences. Dance is culture and art. Basically Spanish dance is a cultural heritage, that is not tangible. It is something that we have inherited and we should take care of. It should be spread all over the world, that is why I see myself committed to accomplish that.

What is the level of appreciation of dance and ballet in this part of the world?

According to my experience, there is a big need of seeing ballet here. Every time we have been here (In Dubai), we have had a large following with sell out performances. There should be a wider artistic offer. Dubai population need to have more scenic art proposals. These kinds of events represent arts and culture. Beyond that they become social spaces that are very important in cosmopolitan cities like Dubai.


February 13-16, 2007; performances every evening at 8.30pm and a matinee performance on February 16 at 3.30pm

Booking details

Tickets are priced at Dh175 for evening performances and Dh150 for the matinee performance

For further information, please contact:

Madinat Theatre Box Office, Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Tel: +971 4 3666550.

Online booking at

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