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Photos: 1 (c) Konstanze Winkler, 2 and 3 (c) Silvia Salamanca


Interview with
Silvia Salamanca
by Marcel Bieger and Konstanze Winkler


Since a couple of years you are based in the USA, do you still have contact to the Spanish belly dance scene, and could you tell us something about it, over here we don't know very much about it.

I totally do! Spain has been blooming and booming with Oriental Dance lately! Last 8 years have seen an exponential rate of growth in students, schools, performers, styles ...

There are a few names like Munique Neith (Barcelona) or Morgana (Madrid) that have schools with over 500 students ...

Also a very characteristic treat on the Spanish uptake has been how belly dance brought an interest in rediscovering the Moorish roots being a very important inheritance in the country! After all, 700 years of Al-Andalus don't go away in music and dance traditions so easily ... So in every corner where belly dance is practiced in Spain you are going to find a class in flamenco-Arabic variation ... Which I love!

How come you went to Texas and what made you stay there?

I went to Houston, Texas during the finishing of my PhD in Biochemistry given that my professor in Spain (Barcelona University at that time) had a contact at the Texas Medical Centre with another professor that worked at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Houston. So I did an internship to finish my thesis and after that ... I met my husband! That's my reason to stay (although we both are planinng to go back to Mallorca)  

Is Flamenco very popular in the USA, and are you on a mission to make it even more popular?

Not as popular as one could expect! And yes, I am on a personal quest to spread the knowledge of this art-form and all the gypsy roots to it ...