Aimed at promoting India-Spain tourism and culture, four journalists, including writers, photographers, and television journalists from Spain, as well as four artists and cultural activists are touring the state as part of a Kerala familiarization tour.
In Thiruvananthapuram today, the delegation experienced Ayurveda. Margi School of Classical Theatre, which is collaborating with the Spanish tour delegation, staged a Kathakali performance, based on the Miguel de Cervantes-
penned classic Don Quixote, was staged at the Vyloppalli Samskriti Bhavan. This was followed by Rasa Duenda by the Spanish artists. Following the cultural programme, the delegation also engaged in a dinner meet with personalities from the cultural arena in Kerala.
The tour is viewed as a pathway for the cultural exchange from the either shores. The Spanish delegation consists of eminent men of words and vision who shall unveil the unexplored Spanish culture and gather on their way back selective products of high potentiality like Culture and Heritage, Ayurveda, Wellness, Gastronomy, Beaches and Landscapes in Kerala.
The tour which began on February 9, will end on February 13. Apart from Kerala, the Spanish delegation is also visiting Chennai and Port Blair, and is facilitated by the Incredible India tourism campaign, Casa de la India, Air India, and the Indian Cultural Centre in Spain. The Kerala familiarization tour, covering Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, has the support of Kerala Tourism.
The Kerala leg of the Spanish journalist team’s tour took off on the 9th from on their arrival in Kochi. The group had a taste of the Kochi splendor on the 10th of February. Later on, Dr. Guillermo Rodríguez Martín, prolific writer, renowned cultural activist and the director of Casa de la India, spoke at the Kerala Literary Festival in Kozhikode, at a session titled “A.K. Ramanujan, A vision of India” in connection with his book When Mirrors Are Windows. A View of AK Ramanujan´s Poetics. The book is an Oxford University Publication based on the PhD of Dr. Rodríguez submitted to the University of Kerala. The Director of the Indian Cultural center in Spain Casa de la India, Dr Rodríguez is a wizard at combining the cultures of Spain and India. His love for travel has carried him across the Indian sub-continent.
The literary fest eve was further adorned by an Indo-Spanish performance – Rasa Duenda, inspired by the poem The Deep Song, composed by the renowned Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, is a combination of Indian and Spanish art.
International artists Monica de la Fuente; Choreographer and classical Indian dancers trained at the temples of the classical dance such as Kalakshetra and Margi; Jose Salinas, the National Award winner for Flamenco singing; and Carlos Blanco, the classical and Flamenco guitarist and the winner of the Best Musician Award at the Inter¬national Folk Festival of Caldas da Rainha breathed life into poetry through Rasa Duenda.
The delegation will leave for Chennai on February 13, after visiting the Padmanaphapuram Palace, Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple and Puthenmalika. The journalists’ team comprises personalities like Pedro Grifol, photojournalist;
Isabel Garcia, journalist; Juan Frutos, Film and TV Documentary producer and journalist; and Ángel López Soto; photojournalist. Meanwhile, artists including Mónica de la Fuente, choreographer and dancer; José Salinas, singer and percussionist; and Carlos Blanco, classical and Flamenco guitarist, are also accompanying the team led by Dr. Guillermo Rodríguez Martín.
According to Dr. Guillermo Rodríguez Martín, “Casa de la India aims to cover the new cultural, social, academic, institutional and economic needs of the 21st century in the relations between India and Spain. It is, therefore, a platform for India to make itself known in Spain as regards its great economic, scientific- technological and cultural potential, to facilitate a greater exchange and dialogue between the nations of Spain and India and, similarly, to promote activities which may increase the presence of Spain in India”.
The plan, delegation and sponsorship of the familiarization trip was finalized by Casa de la India, India Tourism and Air India at the FITUR-Tourism Fair 2018 in Madrid, where India was the guest country and where Kerala Tourism had a very prominent and successful pavilion. In connection with the tour, the Quixote Kathakali production co-produced with Margi, which premiered in 2016 will tour México and Spain in November 2018. The experimental theatre form is a combination of two entirely different literary and theatrical culture, two different ways of understanding art, theatre and imagination that come together in this unique adaptation of the Spanish classic novel Don Quixote authored by the great seventeenth century Miguel de Cervantes.