While North Korea - and more particularly Kim Jong-un - tries to eradicate all traces of the Western world from their people’s hair-styling and fashion-wear, it turns out the country’s leader has a love for flamenco and various other forms of foreign #Dance and entertainment.
This week a famous Spanish flamenco troupe by the name of Noches de España (Nights of Spain), including the well-known performer María Gracia, took a trip all the way to North Korea’s capital to perform at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater and apparently the show was an outstanding success.
Aquí tenemos a María Gracia, la artista preferida de nuestro anterior alcalde Esteban Bravo Andres, triunfando en... https://t.co/3A0agxXlFx— Pinilla de Jadraque (@PinillaJadraque) April 22, 2016
4,000 North Koreans attended
Reportedly there were 4,000 North Koreans --including their supreme leader-- in the theater to watch the performance, all of whom were interested in and curious to experience one of Spain’s most famous cultural events.
According to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo, when the performance ended, the audience rose to their feet applauding uproariously, with many putting their hands to their hearts and others bowing their heads in respect for the performers’ talents.
The flamenco troupe’s leader, Tommy Lara, said, "We’ve been pioneers, we have made history," referring to the fact they are the first flamenco performers to travel from Spain to North Korea to give a live performance.
The flamenco dance show was part of the Spring Friendship Art Festival, held in North Korea in April of each year. The festival pays homage to Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, whose birthday was reportedly April 15th and the event runs over a period of ten days.
It was apparently when Tommy Lara met with the Spanish ambassador to North Korea during his visit to Spain that the idea was born and plans were made.
Reportedly the flamenco troupe traveled to North Korea via a charter flight from Moscow and performed in Pyongyang with 28 other delegations of artists from China, Cuba, Mongolia, and Russia.
Performers enjoyed deluxe accommodations in North Korea
It wasn’t only the privilege of dancing the flamenco, however, as the troupe was treated to all the best sights in Pyongyang and got to stay in a luxurious hotel which reportedly had a bowling alley, karaoke bar, pubs, spa, and a swimming pool.
The Spanish flamenco troupe and other performers can be seen on stage in the image included below.
Olés en Pyongyang: hablamos con el primer grupo de música español que ha actuado en Corea del Norte. Un hito. https://t.co/krIdCOw5sZ— EL MUNDO (@elmundoes) April 21, 2016