III Estival Flamenco
GALA DE CÁDIZ Y SUS PUERTOS
Castillo de Santa Catalina, Cádiz. 9:00 pm. August 24th, 2019
Text and photos: Estela Zatania
When the popular Cádiz series Jueves Flamencos, held annually at the Baluarte de la Candelaria disappeared a few years ago after more than three decades, that tradition of free-wheeling shows, was more or less replaced by the “Estival Flamenco” organized by the Cajasol Foundation and the Cádiz municipal government.
Cádiz knows how to get the most cultural use out of its impressive fortresses with dramatic views of the sea and sunsets, a valuable added dimension. It’s an exquisite recipe: a warm summer evening at the sixteenth century Santa Catalina fortress, the sound of the waves, a sophisticated catering service with elegant waiters…and of course, flamenco.
This festival, as so many others this year, has paid special attention to the participation of women, although there have also been male interpreters such as Jesús Méndez, Dorantes, Cabrero and Diego Villegas. On Wednesday the 21st, dancer Paloma Fantova gave a powerful performance in which it was clear she has distanced herself from the Farruco style to find a personality of her own.
The closing of the six-day series took place the night of August 24th with the show titled “Gala de Cádiz y sus Puertos”. Dancer Macarena Ramirez, who at a very young age was a protégée of Antonio el Pipa, is now a mature artist with a clear taste for the classic forms. With the excellent voices of May Fernandez and Pili “La Gineta”, daughter of Juan Villar, the guitar of Juan José Alba and the percussion of Edu Gómez, she interpreted caña, siguiriyas and alegrías with sweet elegance.
It’s been years since guitarist Antonia Jiménez broke through the glass ceiling to become a recognized accompanist and soloist. With a contemporary touch and repertoire and unfailing good taste, she played a lovely taranta. Singer Inma la Carabonera came on with an impressive Mohawk hairdo and added some “rap” verses to Antonia’s guajira, two brave and talented women laying out their way of understanding flamenco. Soleá por bulería with alternative tuning, and the singer’s beautiful moving delivery had a modern patina that was just right. Tasty tientos tangos, and by this point I began to wonder why the Estival Flamenco of Cadiz doesn’t receive more attention.
Singer Encarna Anillo offered her most lyrical facet accompanied by her husband, guitarist Pituquetee, Jesús Lavilla on keyboard and the percussion of Roberto Jaén. Encarna is a free spirit, and explained at the outset, “I’m flamenco, but I love music above all else”. Diva and artist, after interpreting original songs of Pituquete’s. exhibited that duality with her version of “Voy a Perder la Cabeza por tu Amor”, with a nod to Adela la Chaqueta, ably combining the registers of popular songstress and flamenco singer.