Slanjayvah Danza: 6 Feet, 3 Shoes 'the rhythms of flamenco and traditional folk music'
- Kelly Apter
- 14 November 2017
Fusion of Scottish and Spanish traditions with contemporary dance
One came from Scotland, two from Spain, all headed in the same direction: Yorkshire. Inspired by the true-life story of three friends who met at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, 6 Feet, 3 Shoes fuses traditional Scottish step dance, flamenco and contemporary dance in a percussive celebration of cultural integration.
'I moved from Perthshire, my two friends came from Cordoba, Spain – and we all met in Leeds 17 years ago,' says Jenni Wren, who directed and choreographed the show. 'So it's about how we got there, how we all found a family away from family, a home away from home. Then trying to learn each other's languages, and me having to change the way I spoke so that the Yorkshire people could understand me.'
Wren formed Slanjayvah Danza in 2004 after graduating (a name inspired by the Gaelic term for welcome, 'Slàinte' and the Spanish word for dance), to create dance that speaks to different generations and cultures, and marries dance with other artforms, including music and storytelling.
All of which comes together in 6 Feet, 3 Shoes, performed by three dancers and three musicians hailing from England, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.
'It's been interesting looking at the rhythms of flamenco and traditional folk music,' says Wren, 'and finding lots of similar patterns in the footwork of flamenco and Scottish step dancing, as well as similarities between the Spanish Escuela Bolera dance and Highland dancing.
'So we've got Spanish, Scottish and contemporary dance happening separately on stage – but also moments when all three elements really come together.'
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Fri 24 Nov