Dance: Adrián Santana, Águeda Saavedra (guest artist). Guitar: Francisco Vinuesa. Voice: Ismael el Bola, Jesús Corbacho. Percussion: Javier Teruel. Advising director: Manuel Liñán.
Young Málaga dancer Adrian Santana, is holder of second prize for men’s dance from the Festival Cante de las Minas, among other honors. In conversations and interviews, when he speaks of his beginnings and flamenco orientation, he always refers to his maestro and uncle, Pepito Vargas, dancer and fiesta singer so loved in Málaga, and who passed away only a few years ago. This is a relevant bit of information that defines the artistic persona of Santana, and allows us to understand the affection and veneration he feels for flamenco as interpreted by an earlier generation.
The rhythm of siguiriyas and the crisp sound of castanets is the opening of this discreet work that celebrates a past that other dancers prefer to avoid. Starting with the castanets. For years they weren’t used in shows, and came to be as outdated as ending a show with rumba. But Adrián Santana has no complexes in this regard, and openly enjoys doing the things he learned to love.
According to the dictionary, “simbiosis”, the title of the work, is the “association of people or groups in which, each one with their own qualities or circumstances, helps the other”. It’s been many years since coupled flamenco dancing has been cultivated, but Adrian strives to revive and highlight it. And a fine partner he has for the purpose. With young Águeda Saavedra, also from Málaga, he shares a perspective of admiration for classic forms, making her the ideal accomplice.
They both dress traditionally to offer this personalized vision. Adrian is elegant in his ruffled shirt, high-waisted pants and vest. But it’s no get-up, and there is no attempt to imitate but rather preserve. Yesterday’s traditions seen through today’s eyes.
Tangos prologue taranto, and the dancing is full of energy including some historic moves such as leaps and knee-drops, José Greco-style. A good assortment of cantinas…romeras, de Córdoba, mirabrás… Caña and polo sung for the dance is like a suite of related cantes, Adrián exhibits his ability for shawl-twirling and the couple ends their performance dressed in fire-engine red for romance bulerías.