I wanted to unite dombra and flamenco music in Astana – an exclusive interview with Spanish Ambassador

Spanish Ambassador
Photo credit: Arman Aisultan/ Kazinform

The Astana Ballet hosted a flamenco jazz concert by Spanish artists Amos Lora and Gito Maleta with the support of the Spanish Embassy. Kazinform News Agency correspondent talked to the Spanish Ambassador ​​Jorge Urbiola asking about the uniqueness of flamenco, the culture of the two countries, as well as plans of Spanish Embassy.

What makes flamenco such a unique and popular art form, in your opinion?

I believe that flamenco comes from deep within the soul. It is a very pure art, it's about feelings in its purest form. This makes it a universal language. Flamenco is not only popular in Spain; for example, but it is also very popular in Japan. There are very good flamenco guitar players there. This is the universality of this art form. I hope that in the future we will also have good Kazakh flamenco players.

What do you think will be the significance of this evening for the development of relations between Spain and Kazakhstan?

I believe that uniting countries through culture in general, and through music in particular, is very important because it brings people together. Over the past few years, I have discovered Kazakh music, and I know that many Kazakhs already know and enjoy flamenco. Having these two fantastic Spanish artists perform here today in a venue like the Astana Ballet will certainly bring music lovers together.

Photo credit: Arman Aisultan/ Kazinform

Are there any similar cultural projects and initiatives the Spanish Embassy is planning in the near future?

Last year, we had a very famous modern Spanish artist, who held exhibitions in both Almaty and Astana at the national museum. We have hosted writers and musicians, but there are no more planned events for this year as of yet.

What do you like in Kazakhstan's culture? And what elements of Kazakhstani culture, in your opinion, might be interesting to Spanish people?

I believe that Kazakhstan’s cultural heritage is something that foreigners, especially Spanish people, enjoy and will enjoy. The music of the dombra, for example, is very pure and comes from the soul of the nomads. Our mentalities are very similar. I am sure that all Spaniards who come to this country will appreciate what Kazakhstan has to offer.

Tonight, we will have a unique experience. Since both dombra music and flamenco music come from deep within the soul, I wanted to unite dombra music and flamenco music here in Astana. There's one anecdote: the performers could not practice together yesterday because they lost the connection in Istanbul of their plane. So, they will play live without having practice before.

Can you name other similarities in culture of Kazakhstan and Spain, if there are any?

Yes, there are indeed a lot of similarities. For example, we enjoy spending time with our families and friends. We enjoy good food, so quite a lot.

Are there any plans of Spanish Embassy on opening cultural centers in Kazakhstan?

In fact, we already have a cultural center in Almaty. There is also an academy for learning Spanish in Astana. We have plans to open a Cervantes Institute, but this will take some time, but we will open, certainly.

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