For the first time ever, a Spanish flamenco troupe has performed in North Korea, delighting its supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong Un is well-known for his passion for basketball and movies, but until now his love of the Spanish dance of flamenco has been kept under wraps.
This week the supreme leader welcomed Spanish flamenco troupe Noches de España to Pyongyang and by all accounts the show was a great success.
Flamenco en Corea del Norte https://t.co/PLgI9ZuXvF
Ojo al relato de lo que esperaban encontrar, y lo que se encuentran.
— Alberto G. (@Dalek_fan) April 21, 2016
The flamenco group performing in Pyongyang.
The East Pyongyang Grand Theatre was filled to bursting with curious North Koreans who came out to witness one of Spain’s most famous cultural products.
The audience rose to their feet and “applauded uproariously” with some people “lifting their hands to their hearts” and others “bowing their heads” reported Spanish daily El Mundo.
“We’ve been pioneers, we have made history,” the troupe’s leader, Tommy Lara told El Mundo, referring to the fact that the group are the first Spanish flamenco performers to visit North Korea.
The performance was part of North Korea’s Spring Friendship Art Festival, held every April. The ten day celebration features a host of performances in homage to Kim Il-sung whose birthday was April 15th.
The idea for the flamenco performance was born when Tommy Lara met the ambassador to North Korea when he visited Spain.
The group travelled to Pyongyang via Moscow and performed alongside artists from Russia, China, Cuba and Mongolia.
The dance company was shown all the very best sights of the North Korean capital, as is common with visiting tourists, and stayed in a “luxury hotel” complete with “bowling alley, spa, karaoke, swimming pool and pubs”.