Spun in Spain: When Kathak Met Flamenco

A Kathak dancer’s love for foreign beats draws her to a Moorish palaces, DIY salsa, and movie marathons in Andulasia.  
Spun in Spain: When Kathak Met Flamenco
The Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (left) is a landmark basílica marking the zenith of Mount Tibidabo, Barcelona; Autumn colours on a grapevine outside the author’s dance school (right) paint her memories of Granada. Photo by: Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images (cathedral), Mukulita Ganguly (dancer)

“Olé! Toma toma!” I moved in a euphoric frenzy, the beats getting faster and faster. Is this what happens when kathak and flamenco meet? Well, there is no manual.

No-manual pretty much sums up how I embarked on this journey to the south of Spain, halfway across the world from my car-choked city of Bangalore. But I was here now, in this ‘cave classroom’ of Escuela Carmen de Las Cuevas, a Spanish Language school in Granada hosting its weekly Flamenco jam session.

Oh the walks around Granada! Long and glorious, best taken without reason. It helped that sunsets of crushed rose and violet tailed me everywhere. One of my favourite places to watch the sun go down was the terrace of the school. Here I could rest my weary legs after practice, lying on one of the sofas overlooking the city of white walls and brown tiled-roofs… as the sun slowly drowned into clouds.

 

To read the full story, subscribe to National Geographic Traveller India here.

  • Mukulita Ganguly carries a fervent dance bug in her bones which takes her twirling to beaches and mountains. She loves to hog desserts and is scared of waves.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?