By Yolanda Ferrera Sosa.
The Group Sangre Gitana, one of the most attractive socio-cultural projects of Joaquín de Agüero House of Culture in Camagüey, is a faithful exponent of the Spanish cante jondo and flamenco.
Sangre Gitana (Gypsy Blood) is composed of 130 girls and teens who study in Primary and Secondary Schools in town, and is conducted by young art instructor Yaineris Torres Pérez, who also founded the group with the lovely passion for this kind of cultural expression.
“The original idea – she reminds – came out because of the need to go after the purest Spanish roots in the city of Camagüey, one of the first Villas founded by Don Diego Velázquez, almost 500 years ago. Personally speaking, I feel a great passion for the flamenco, so once I graduated and with the support of the House of Culture, I began to organize the group. And her you are, Sangre Gitana is celebrating its fourth anniversary.”
In fact, to celebrate the anniversary –October 18th - Yaineris Torres and the institution organized a season that included masterclasses given by a virtuoso of the Spanish flamenco, Yoel Zamora from Cienfuegos, who participated in the salutation, alternating with Sangre Gitana at the Teatro Principal.
THE BEGINNINGS OF SANGRE GITANA
Sangre Gitana’s first steps were kind of guaranteed because of the notable prestige the province has in the world of dance and ballet. Some troupes from this central-eastern province have reached success within the national borders and abroad, like the Ballet of Camagüey, the Artistic Ensemble Maraguán, of the local University – made up by amateur dancers and musicians -, and Camagüey’s Folkloric Ballet.
However, none artistic project intends to cultivate exclusively the flamenco here, so Yaineris decided to bet on the Spanish heritage in Camaguey... and she was successful.
“The initial months were difficult, fundamentally the part of scouting girls in the schools, girls with certain aptitudes for the dance. However, step by step the project was taking shape and Sangre Gitana came true”, - Yaineris remembers.
“The challenge – she adds – is not to be only a dream, we didn’t want to be another formal and decorative element in a House of Culture; we assumed the group with responsibility and the parents played a tremendous role for the better lustre to the shows”.
“We maintain the best of relations with other troupes that in Cuba cultivate the flamenco music and dance, for instance with Lizt Alfonso Ballet, where we have received courses for our own improvement; Reinier Mariño group and the Group of Yoel Zamora who annually invites us to participate at Hispanart considered a formidable party for the flamenco.”
FROM AND FOR THE COMMUNITY
The cornerstone of Sangre Gitana is its community work, since it is from the community from where people come to form its line. So you can find Sangre Gitana working in a school, in cultural institutions, in Work place etc.
“We organize workshops to explain the characteristics of this genre. It is a very beautiful and necessary task”, upholds the young instructor.
Yaineris is a dreamer, as she describes herself. Her pupils always praise her for the duty she assumes everyday in the rehearsals, and where the discipline rules in a bunch of girls whose ages rage between 5 and 16 years old.
Daína Ruiz de Villalora –founder of the group, 14 ears old now- says that Sangre Gitana has contributed to her more integral formation. “I have learned a lot since I began to be part of Sangre Gitana. I began here when I was a little girl, and I have grown up with the Group, I am very grateful for that. So we are like a great family now”
Meanwhile, girl Adienay Jiménez Molina –eight years of age - admires the instructor (Yaineris) for her patience and for those choreographies where she has the opportunity to become a great flamenco bailaora, just like she dreams.
“When I was a very small baby – she tells me- I saw on the television a program on Spanish dance, and I told to my mom that I wanted to make the same thing. Now I am very happy thanks to Sangre Gitana .
A ROAD RETRACED WITH LOVE
Without doubts, Sangre Gitana has known how to walk solid and well through the path of the success that crowns the works undertaken with humility, but passion.
All its members have their own reasons, the direction of the House of Culture Joaquín Aguero where it belongs, the Office of the Historian of the City of Camagüey, and the public to which Sangre … dedicate its art.
Homage deserved to the ancestors arrived to this part of the Cuban geography, coming from Andalusia.