José Manuel Gómez Gufi
On Sunday in Madrid, Antonio Canales was triumphant, and the audience sent him off with cheering and applause. The evening began with the presentation by Blanca del Rey who reminded us that Antonio never dances soleá in the same way, nor any other form either. Antonio’s is a dance of animation.
He began with tangos of Camarón, and it sounded like “Fantasia”, Walt Disney’s masterpiece in which Mickey Mouse directs the orchestra in the role of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. Antonio is now the star dancer and he gives way to the violin of Bernardo Parrilla who sounds flamenco because there’s a huge family history behind the instrument, and at times we forget that he’s playing a violin.
After a time, the dancer gestures to the female chorus, Angela and Tere Bautista, who sing together and fulfill that function of dishing out the rhythm in pairs (the Mellis, the Makarines) and, for the moment, they shine alongside Canales. This is what we’ve been seeing over the last three decades, many people who shine beside Antonio Canales. To such an extent, that Canales’ fans have demanded he do more dancing, and so he came with a show created with the glow of “new flamenco” from the nineteen-nineties. A defining moment and a historic period that is hardly even viewed as a turning-point any more.
In the group of musicians are various schools, but take note, this is without counteracting any of their qualities, and so there are people from Jerez (Bernardo Parrilla), Morón (singer David El Galli) and Caño Roto (Lucky Losada on cajón, Jesús del Rosario and Ramón Jiménez on guitar). With Canales each one has a chance to shine without the whole thing turning into an annoying succession of individual talents.
THE DOSE AND THE OVERDOSE
Canales dances better with each passing day, and it doesn’t matter that his body has ballooned to the point that he looks a lot like the genie of the magic lamp, an ironic character who only attends to one wish, to show the genius inside, and that’s not measured in HPM (heelbeats per minute). The dancer knows that what’s danced is as important as what isn’t, and in a world that has often been on the brink of an overdose, the music is appreciated as much as the silence.
In fact, the drummer Marc Miralta spent the entire recital using the brushes, making everything seem improvised, while Parrilla rubs the lamp and the genie appears to provide the rhythm, and the people loved it. All that was missing was to dance barefoot, as on the previous day in the fantastic concert “A Galeano” by guitarist Rycardo Moreno, dancing barefoot or with moccasins.
Canales had announced his commitment to footwork, but brought a commitment to art. And that’s how his followers took it, at times it seemed that had come from watching a soccer game, but that was impossible since the Spanish team was playing at the same time.
Photos & videos – Rafael Manjavacas