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Núria Rovira Salat

Núria Rovira SalatNúria Rovira Salat, born in Spain in 1980 is a professional singer and dancer who performs songs and dance from North Africa and the Balkans that got her Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology but found her life taking a very different direction.

She practiced dance as a hobby alongside her graduate studies as a special educator and her degree in social and cultural anthropology. But leisure became by chance her new direction when began to be in demand in the arts. She began to participate in several productions and she began to organize workshops and to participate in several shows in Spain.

First a trip to Paris, a meeting with the Lebanese dancer Lamia Saffiedine, pushed her to leave Spain where she is from to deepen her experience of oriental dance.

She is Catalan who grew up in Barcelona and now teaches dance in Paris when she is not performing as a professional singer and dancer. She speaks Catalan, French, Spanish and English.

She began her dance career while training in Arabic and Berber dance with La Negra, Beatrice Lavielle, Lamia Saffiedine and Saadia Souyah.

She is also inspired by gypsy dances with Pétia Yurtchenko, and Simona Jovic, among others. Núria has danced for Stephan Eicher, Fanfaraï, Tony Gatlif, Titi Robin, Ibrahim Maalouf or Cirque Romanès, and teaches oriental and gypsy dances in and around Paris and abroad.

A couple of years later, she was asked to sing in several different gypsy bands, such as the Finzi Mosaic Ensemble or Radio Thrakia Electric.

She trained with Emmanuelle Trinquesse, Clotilde Rullaud and Martina Catella, then continued her singing career with the Mohein Company.

Núria Rovira SalatNúria specializes in traditional music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans. She has performed at festivals and has also sung for the cinema. Gradually, she has built her own personal project, which bears her own name - rediscovering her origins but not forgetting her other influences.

Her repertoire is a modern reinterpretation of traditional Latin and Hispanic songs, with a very personal touch. Núria is a link between the north, south, east and west of the Mediterranean - she is a Catalan who practices oriental dance, sings in a Balkan group, thrills at flamenco and lives in Paris. She also excels at describing the Spanish reality without false modesty.

"Flamenco was stolen from gypsies and used to attract tourists" - Núria Rovira Salat.

With Karine Gonzalez she prepared an opening for the World Music Cities festival.

"The general idea was to have a group of musicians from the flamenco world, from the Spanish gypsy universe, with Karine Gonzalez to dance, and, on the other hand, a team from the Balkan gypsy world, with a accordionist, a clarinetist, a bassist and me to dance and sing."

"The idea was to have two different universes, which represent the east and the west of the Mediterranean, and to provoke moments of encounter, moments where each one presents its color."

Núria Rovira Salat"The goal was to make people understand that distances are not that important, that even if there are disparities between styles, there is more in common than the differences."

"The show leads from the Bosphorus to Gibraltar, the two straits to the east and west of the Mediterranean, from the rising sun to the setting sun. It was going to be a musical cabaret.

Núria first learned and practiced oriental dance before learning and practicing flamenco dancing and says there are links between these two forms of dance.

"It's absolutely true! And that brings us back to the subtitle of the festival: "The Andalusians". For me, there are several Andalousies because all cultures influence each other. It is impossible to conceive a pure dance without external influence."

"For me, a culture is always alive, it is built by its relationships to others, as our personal identity: each of us is built in relation to others. Without others, we do not exist."

"Me, I went to the Arab dance as it was something that fascinated me, but I came back to flamenco when I met Karine Gonzalez. We became very friendly, we started to work together for fun, then we created the show Azahar - at the crossroads of our personal and cultural identities. Today, cultures are so globalized that everything we do is a mix."

Núria Rovira Salat"I find that the history of Al-Andalus is not sufficiently anchored in Spain. The Spaniards are not sufficiently aware of the miscegenation that occurred during this period when three cultures coexisted: Arabs, Jews and Christians."

"They are not aware enough of this wealth. This episode has even been forgotten. Me, I find that too many people are racist today, even vis-à-vis gypsies."

"They do not understand that it's part of their culture. They do not know this culturally rich past, with ten centuries of Arab presence and all that that implies for Spanish culture."

"For example, my name is "Núria" and it's an Arabian name. My mother was not aware that it was an Arab name when she baptized me. Her name is Núria, like her mother. That's it: people are not aware of this Métis past."

"For me, Spain is not just flamenco. Not at all ! Spain is a multicultural country, deeply. This is the debate today: there are plenty of regions that want their independence, like Catalonia. I am Catalan and I am very close."

"There has always been a desire in Spain to centralize the government, to homogenize the culture, to install Spanish everywhere. Well, everyone speaks Spanish in Spain and it is a great wealth but, instead of giving space to other languages, governments refuse to emphasize the regional cultures."

Núria Rovira Salat"It is wrong to say that Spain has only one language, one music and one dance. Flamenco was stolen from gypsies and used to attract tourists. When we go to a souvenir shop, anywhere in Spain, we come across dresses of flamenco dancers and castanets."

"We are in a stereotype, whereas it is an ancestral culture, which, in Andalusia, knows lots of local variations. This dance has been put forward but it does not represent the Spanish unity at all."

"Each region has its dances. We, the Catalans, for example, get excited when we hear "Ah, Spain! Flamenco !"

Myself, I love flamenco but I do not forget that in Catalonia, we have the Catalan rumba, that the Catalan government tries to make us recognize as "heritage of humanity." - (Excerpts from an interview by François Maugier)

She became professional in Arab-Berber dance with Saïda Naït-Bouda, Sâadia Souyah and Agnès Denis and then met traditional Maghreb dances.

She gives classes on dance, has contributed to the creation of Amber Company and integrates Mehdi Slimani's urban dance show.

She then discovered Gypsy dancing with Petia Yurtchenko and Simona Jovic, with whom she developed the dances of the Gypsies of Rajasthan, Egypt, the Balkans and Turkey.

Núria Rovira SalatShe continues her apprenticeship with Béatrice Lavielle and meets with Karine Gonzalez, a flamenco dancer that leads her to collaborate with her in this way.

Tony Gatlif, director of cinema brings Nuria her first television experience in Stephan Eicher's music video "Rendez-vous" and she dances in several fanfares such as "Ziyara", "Fanfaraï" or "Haïdouti Orkestar.

She then joined the show "Awadi - Tribute to the Dances of Egypt", created by Alexia Martin and danced for the Parisian orchestra "Stars of the Nile" by Mamdouh Ahmed in addition to participating in the show of the Gypsy Circus Romanes.

Núria collaborates with many CFB dance companies, Nakissa, alongside Iranian dancer Shahrokh Moshkin Galam, and also performs with Titi Robin, a world musician.

Núria dances but she also sings, in the "Finzi Mosaic Together", the show of Jean Marc Zelwer "Imaginary Gypsy" and later in "Radio Thrakia".

She creates children's shows with the musician Laurent Ghénin and also sings for the cinema: "What The Day Owes To The Night", "Born Somewhere", "For A Woman" and "Mediterranean, Our Sea To All" under the musical direction of the composer Armand Amar.

Núria Rovira SalatNúria has danced with Stephan Eicher, Fanfaraï, Haïdouti Orkestar, Tony Gatlif, Jean Marc Zelwer, Ibrahim Maalouf, Titi Robin or Cirque Romanès, and sings for the stage as well as for the cinema by the hand of composer Armand Amar.

His two choreographic creations "Azahar" (2008) and "The Andalousies, from the Bosphorus to Gibraltar" (2016), testify to his artistic universe;

Her show, "Helia Luna" brings to young audiences a new approach to cultural identity, both in traditional aesthetics and new technologies.

In 2017, Núria created "SYNGA" from the hand of her companion, the French bassist Malian Stéphane Zubanu Diarra, they invite young talents of oriental music, classical, gypsy and flamenco, for this new project of Spanish fusion.

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"Lagrimas Negras"- Zu&Nuria



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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the 'Jesus Christ' lizard (which walks on water, too) and that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution has not made it an option for humans yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It is a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What is more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US, Arabic (Arab Scientific), Japan (East Press)

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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