Cover photo: Marita Torres
The dance company and its evolution:
“Ank’hara we are, by order of incorporation to the company, Sahara and Nashwa (founders with Azahara, former Ank’hara), Anjum, Shabanna and Rosa. The group was founded on 2009 and at that time we were only three members. Little by little, we grew up to the five dancers we are now.”
“Each dancer make some important contribution: Rosa, for example, comes from the circus and the performing arts; Sahara practices medieval fencing and knowledge about audiovisuals and graphic arts; Shabanna is a drummer in a band and she is very good at rhythms and music in general; Nashwa can dance various styles as well as providing an unbeatable venue for rehearsing, the Ibelin room in her own home; and finally, Anjum is very good at sewing and designing as well as being the team’s mathematical brain. Everyone counts!”
“All the components of Ank’hara have a personal preference for rock-metal music, but we have not lost sight of our more classical Oriental start, as well as the purest ATS. We would also like to highlight our collaboration with local and national bands, in expansion.”
We are faithful collaborators in beneficial events in favor of animals and we love to support every fair cause.
The dance style of the company:
“In Ank’hara we are dedicated to oriental dance, tribal ATS and tribal fusion and we try to be original: we like to interpret and understand what we are dancing and do not hesitate to use elements that increase the level of our shows.”
“Initially we focused on the oriental and tribal styles in a very relaxed and calm way: we only wanted to enjoy dancing what we liked. But our knowledge in tribal along with the fact of we are few groups of this style on Palma de Mallorca makes us to focus on tribal more and more. Almost without realizing, our personal tastes for rock-metal-heavy-trash were surfacing, so it was inevitable that we increasingly lean toward tribal fusion.”
“If we look at the Rock & Metal scene, we can see it’s a very broad genre that can range from grindcore to doom to flamenco rock. When we dance a theme we are inspired by the melody, lyrics, rhythm, etc … So it is not easy for us as a company to fit into a single style. We seek an intense, deep and powerful interpretation of each theme. We could say that our style when dancing to metal music is Tribal Fusion, or Oriental Fusion depending on the music.”
“On black metal or death metal side, we have choreographed songs like Virtues of The Beast by Septicflesh, Night of the Wolf by Nox Arcana, or songs by the Norwegian group Dimmu Borgir.”
Each of us has her preferences, but as a group we enjoy the good music. Each song is a universe with its own story and it is difficult not to fall in love with all of the styles.
“On the other hand, within the symphonic metal, we have worked with Apocalyptica music, for example, song “Bitter Sweet”; as Industrial Metal,“My violent heart” by Nine Inch Nails; in the new metal wave, Korn with the song “Slept so Long” from the BSO Queen of the Damned; with the electro dark theme “Dorn” by Das Ich and then some “unclassifiable” bands like The Cure, Corvus Corax, Trobar de Morte, etc …”
“When choreographing, the truth is that we do not have any problem when we work with rock-metal music instead other genres. For us, it is nothing different than when we use an oriental or tribal theme. The biggest problems usually come from other factors: our beloved musicians (laughs), the short deadlines we have, the unexpected music changes in live performances, the staging with bands and their “misunderstandings”… Most of times there is no time to rehearse with musicians and for them working with dancers is usually very new. Logically they aren´t still aware of all our necessities but it is always solved with the companionship, the good mood and the tribal improvisation knowledge that we have.“
Exploring the metal music through the dance, makes us being part of it as creators and protagonists at the same time.
“The first motivation for rock-metal dancing is that it’s a genre that we’ve listen to all our lives and the one we like most. Our knowledge in oriental and tribal dance helps us to create choreographies of this style. Metal music in that way, makes us part of it being creators and protagonists.”
It’s the music I’ve always listen to, it’s a natural thing for me. I’ve grown up with it and dance is the tool to take my love to metal to another level – Shabanna.
About the rock-metal dance in the Island of Palma de Mallorca, their city, and in the world:
“The future is becoming more open. Mallorca is a small island and we are the only ones dedicated to rock-metal dance. Local groups are more and more receptive to collaborations with us. We see a very positive response from musicians as well of the public. We are surprised but gladded that music bands request us more and more assiduously and many repeat with us. We believe that Mallorca is a small-scale example of what may be happening in the rest of Spain and Europe.“
“It would be very good if we recognized the discipline of rock-metal dance to the level of the discipline of rock-metal music. In Mallorca, in Spain, in the world, in general, there is a lot of talent. Nowadays, dance has more presence and importance: it is not a mere adornment for the live shows and audiovisual products.”
Ank’hara at music festivals:
“In 2015 we had our own space (like a music band) at the metal festival Mallorca Extrema III 2015, which opted to incorporate, for the first time on the island, a dance show on stage. The reaction of the audience was very positive.”
“We also had an entire day dedicated to Ankhara in 2014 at the Gothic-Treffen-Mallorca in a theater of the Island. It is very positive and hopeful.”
Working with bands:
“As for the bands, we have mostly collaborated with local groups like Battlehorn (viking death metal) on several occasions.”
“We have also worked with Taifa (Andalusian rock) who are already “addicted” to the dancers and we try to collaborate together as many times as we can. Sahara also collaborated in their last video “Libre para Soñar” appearing alongside other flamenco dancers.“
“We also collaborated with the already disappeared Mythshine (heavy power), with El Camino (rock) and recently with In War (trash / death metal) supporting Brujería … and yes, Sahara jumped on stage with Brujería to interpret a peculiar version of the “Macarena”. People was wondering if it was prepared! (Laughs).”
“This year we have been the image of the extreme music festival Extreme Division Mallorca in its first edition on the initiative of photographer Andreu Beltran, a photographer who describes himself as making” fucking heavy photos .”
“It’s very difficult to decide who we would like to collaborate with and work with. Of course, doing it with big bands would be a dream, or participating independently in a large festival like Wave-Gothic-Treffen. It would be fantastic if a band like Septicflesh will look at our work and tell us: “Hey, do you want to dance with us?”
“Within our next projects we find a choreography that could take us out of the Island in 2017 and a choreography with the collaboration of a great teacher and dancer … but at the moment we can not reveal anything else!.”
“We also want to express our appreciation for those who are calling us and are relying on Ank’hara for their shows and their themes. In addition to getting bigger together, we always end up winning great friends. At the end, that is the philosophy of Ank’hara. We are not only a dance group: we are friends, we meet outside the rehearsal room, we cry, we laugh and we support ourselves. That has made us reach where we have come and have as many friends as we have.”
Ank’hara, where to find them?
YouTube Channel: Ank’hara bellydancers
Long live heavy metal!!