Monday, 24 June 2013

Legend of Tarifa at Cervantes in Manchester

A debut performance of The Legend of Tarifa by Manchester-based writer Natasha Smith will take place this summer on 24 July at the Cervantes Institute on Deansgate in Manchester. 

Blending poetry, music, song and dance, The Legend of Tarifa is a tale of magic and mermaids and a young man’s quest for eternal love, inspired by the passion of Flamenco and Andalusia. 

The Legend of Tarifa is written and produced by emerging writer, Natasha Smith, who’s currently studying for a masters under Jeanette Winterson, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. 

The original music score was composed by Gillian Menichino, who is doing a PhD in music at the Royal Northern College of Music. The dancers are from Manchester Dance School, the Danceworks. 

Having lived in Tarifa for eight years, the town’s magical bohemian quality inspired Natasha to write The Legend of Tarifa
'I’m fascinated by the enduring power of fairytales so I wanted to see if I could recreate that with a modern twist. A mermaid story was a logical choice for me. When you live by the sea for so long, it’s impossible not to be inspired by it. By mixing poetry with music and dance, the aim is to create a really unique performance that appeals to a wide audience of different cultures. I wanted to bring a slice of Spain to an English audience.'

The composer Gillian Menichino jumped at the chance to be part of this project.

'The moment Natasha described the idea behind the poem I knew I wanted to be involved. Spain is so culturally rich and I know so many people, who just like me, are fascinated by this country. I loved the idea of creating a piece of music that invokes the vibrancy of its culture and brings it to a Manchester audience,' she said.

As a Spanish school whose remit is to promote Spain around the world, the Cervantes Institute is the perfect venue for this event. 
The performance will begin with Gillian’s music, which is interwoven throughout the poem. The orchestra includes violin, double bass, flute and Spanish guitar. The performance also features an authentic Flamenco singer and photographic slideshow.

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