We are Rootless
“Home is knowing.
Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage.
If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.”
— Glinda (The Wizard of Oz)
The Rootless Company is a collaboration of Edinburgh based artists with diverse ethnic backgrounds. The majority of the company met during 2016’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe whilst performing in other projects and since then their passion for dance and music has not only brought them closer as an artistic collective but led them to explore how their disciplines have defined each and every one of them.
Gabriela Albornoz and Alejandro Cooper represent both regions of Indian Culture through the captivating sound of the sitar and intricate South Indian Classical Dances Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. Iraya Noble and Ali Rahmani introduce the exotic arabic rhythms of the darbuka and tombak and the charm of Egyptian dance. The finishing touch to this charismatic ensemble of artists is brought to you by Inma Montero, Danielo Olivera and Daniel Martinez, who together connect all of these disciplines through the solemnity, elegance and power of Flamenco.
The result of this unique blend is a sensational audio-visual experience not to be missed. ‘Rootless’ will captivate your imagination through the passion of these emerging local artists whose aim is to explore dance and music as a binding element that connects all of humankind.
My relationship with dance (like any relationship) has had its ups and downs. At times I thought I wanted it really badly, and at times I felt the need to run away from it. Despite my own and other people’s expectations to find a “real job” I have chosen dance as my profession because it simply cannot be otherwise. Believe, I tried, but life always puts me in the dance path.
My dance has been (and still is) influenced by different styles. I have a background in contemporary dance and Egyptian dance, and I am currently learning Flamenco and Indian Classical dance Bharatanatyam. Because there are just too many dance styles and movement practices I like, I bring them in various ways into my dance and my teaching. Sometimes separately, sometimes together. Dance helps me in so many ways, and makes the best and the worst of myself come out in powerful ways.
Being part of this project means a deep exploration of movement and rhythm. It is great opportunity to learn from the talented artists that are part of this and to keep doing what I love.
Ali Rahmani is an Iranian percussionist who began to learn music at the age of 9.
In 2007 he joined Homayoun Orchestra and performed concerts in different cities of Iran.
Ali has been a pupil of top Iranian tonbak Masters and after moving to Italy to study, he joined multi ethnic bands and recorded two albums with La Banda di Piazza Caricamento and Pasticcio Meticcio band and performed lots of concerts in different cities of Italy.
He moved to Edinburgh in 2016 and has performed several concerts in the UK with various musicians and dancers.
In his words: Being part of Rootless is 'a return to our native land where we have never lived'. .
I guess it was simply inevitable, after my first class of Indian Classical Dance, that was it. Something made sense in my brain and my body, both at the same time! I felt connected, full and free.
Slowly but surely I started a process in which dance became a healing tool capable of providing the balance between the mind and the body.
I joined Güngur Arts Buenos Aires in 2008 and began my training under the guidance of Natalia Salgado in Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, I became part of Güngur Arts dance company in 2011 .
Challenging as it was, dance became the centre of my day to day life, a source of passion and joy and the inspiration to constant evolution.
In 2015, after moving to Scotland, I joined Ihayami School and soon became part of the Dance Ihayami Company , Priya Srikumar's teaching became a strong influence in my dance and performatic vocabulary.
I regularly travel to India to train with the renowned Kishore Mosalikanti - Kuchipudi Master; Shri Jayan Kumar -Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer .
Being part of The Rootless Company is a way of defying any limitations allowing the space for creativity to take over and guide the way to new experiences.
Danielo is a Flamenco musician; although primarily a singer, he also plays the guitar and percussion instruments. Danielo has worked & collaborated in many different music projects and groups involving Flamenco, Latin Music amongst other styles within the UK music scene since 2002. He has also been a regular performer within the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2005, involved in many different projects.
Danielo is a Lead Practitioner & Workshop Organiser, where he delivers Music, Rhythm and Body Language workshops within schools, hospitals and various centres, focussing mainly on people from a wide social background and age group, as well as mental health and physical and learning disabilities.
In his words: " Being part of the Rootless Company gives me a platform of creation and development of ideas. I have been involved in flamenco fusion projects since 2002 and particularly within the fusion of Indian and Flamenco, so I wanted to continue developing these experiences. I’ve always been very interested in mixing different styles and searching for new expressive musical and rhythmical forms”.
Inma Montero has been a well known flamenco singer, dance teacher and choreographer within the Scottish scene since 2011. She is part of many different projects and she has been working as a flamenco teacher offering training to dancers and musicians of all levels and ages in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.
Inma has also been an active member of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the last 7 years, receiving several 5 star reviews during this time.
Born in Cordoba, Spain she has been involved in flamenco classes and workshops since she was only 7 years old. In her own words: 'I cant find another way to live but singing and dancing'.
In 2013 Inma co-created her own flamenco band alongside Danielo Olivera, working with special guests from Spain and performing regularly in various places, running workshops and working for the community..
'Rootless is the best choice to connect my body my voice and my mind with other dance disciplines and musicians learning from the differences and similarities that characterize this fusion. The freedom to create with other artists from a different perspective transports me to a time when it did not matter what belonged to whom.'
Alec was born and raised in Argentina, where he started learning guitar at the age of 12. After finishing high school he moved to USA to pursue a degree in composition at Berklee College of Music. He then continued his studies by doing a Master's in Musicology at the University of Surrey, during which time he became increasingly attracted to Indian classical music. As a result, he decided to do a PhD on Indian music at the University of Edinburgh, and learn sitar from Varanasi-based guru Debashish Sanyal. Alec is currently based in Edinburgh, where he co-directs 'The Sitar Project' (a group promoting Indian classical music in Scotland), and both performs and teaches sitar on a regular basis.
'Playing with the musicians in Rootless has challenged me to find new ways of approaching my instrument.
Attempting to match the rhythms, melodies and harmonies of these distinct musical genres has been a fascinating journey of musical exploration. In the process, we have encountered both surprising similarities and notable differences, resulting from common roots and distinct histories.
Incorporating dance has made this project all the more enjoyable, as it adds an additional musical and visual dimension to our performance. The dancers bring an amazing energy which inspires us as musicians to play with more feeling and expression.'
I am a Flamenco guitarist and I started playing guitar at the age of 7, when my studies at Córdoba's Professional Conservatoire of Music began. I chose to study Flamenco guitar as I fell in love with its expression, rhythm and emotion and I am fortunate to have learnt to play the guitar at the hands of respected teachers and artists such as Paco Serrano, Juan José Gutierrez, Manolo Franco, Daniel Navarro "Niño Pura", Gabriel Expósito, David Pino and so many more that I have had the pleasure to work with during my 14 years’ of study. I am licensed in Flamenco Guitar and I’m actually the first student to obtain the title in Elementary Grade, Professional Grade and Licensed Grade since the official grading system begun.
I am now 25 years old and I have dedicated the last 18 years to learning, performing and teaching Flamenco guitar. My company ‘Daniel Martinez Flamenco’ was launched in October 2017 with the debut of my first production ‘The Art of Believing’ which I am currently touring the UK with. I have performed professionally in various productions within Great Britain as well as running my own Flamenco guitar school between the UK and Cordoba since 2010.
I am really excited to be a part of Rootless as working with different artists from different musical backgrounds will be an interesting journey that we look forward to sharing during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.