Bandaluzia Flamenco performed in Gunnedah recently showcasing a passionate display of southern Spain’s music and dance.

The group had toured to a select number of regional towns and Gunnedah was fortunate to make the list.

A workshop was conducted in the morning to showcase not only the skills flamenco dances possess but also educate participants on the rich history and culture associated with the genre.

It began in the south of Spain and involved international influences from different empires and cultures over the last thousand years.

Music in the region has influences as far as Indian, Arabic and Jewish cultures.

The style of music is often performed at a variety of ceremonies including weddings.

The participants were led by dancer Jessica Statham while being accompanied by Damian Wright on guitar.

“We [do] a lot of references to some of the legends of flamenco,” Damian said.

The afternoon had about 100 people in the town hall bringing a picnic style afternoon tea.

Bandaluzia Flamenco performing at the Gunnedah Town Hall.

The group features a flamenco guitarist, dancers, percussionist and violin player.

Damian described the performance as its own take as Australian flamenco musicians involving instrumental pieces, original pieces and classical dance forms.

“[It is] full passion and fire of flamenco of course and our unique perspective of flamenco being Australians,” he said.

“Flamenco is a small world here but … I have noticed with the next generations coming along there is always a select few who are crazy about it.”

His fascination with flamenco guitar resulted in him living in Spain for five years, soaking up the culture and learning more about the genre.

He is now travelling with the group on the Musica Viva Australia tour, bring the art of flamenco culture to regional Australia.

“I am always surprised at how much appreciation there is of the arts when we travel to places like Gunnedah,” Damian said.

“Gunnedah has got such a beautiful conservatorium and music. All the people there are so nice and supportive and so it is nice to be back here again.”

While Damian had played in Gunnedah multiple times, it was the first time Bandaluzia Flamenco had performed in Gunnedah.

Gunnedah Conservatorium hosted the group as a part of its 2023 events in a rare experience of southern Spain culture in regional Australia.

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