32nd Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque, New Mexico, USA. June 15-22, 2019
Like the flowers that sprout and bloom each year in the inhospitable New Mexico dessert, the organization of the Alburquerque Flamenco Festival has once again put together an admirable program with top flamenco stars, parallel activities, courses and overwhelmingly contagious enthusiasm.
And no calamity stops the flow, not the tornado in Dallas the other day that delayed the arrival of several main performers, nor the devastating fire that consumed the central offices a couple of years ago could hold back this ambitious project supported by the University of New Mexico and other entities, both public and private in accordance with the vision and concept of Eva Encinias, founding director.
This year marks the 32nd edition of the event which is the crowning jewel of a long path, since the initial vision of Eva’s mother, with perfect continuity in the latter’s offspring, the tireless Marisol and Joaquín, in addition to a new generation that continues to support and participate for the good of flamenco and cultural enrichment of the New Mexico community which has come to feel this art-form as theirs.
As in other years, there was a spectacular program with performances by noteworthy interpreters who presented their respective projects at two main venues: the Rodey Theater of the University of New Mexico, and the Albuquerque Journal Theatre of the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
The Festival opened on Saturday, June 15th with the award-winning flautist and saxophone player from Córdoba, Sergio de Lope, backed up with the singing of Matías López “El Mati”, the guitar of David Caro, the bass of Juanfe Pérez and the percussion of Javier Rabadán for a program of contemporary jazz that was very well-received by the audience.
The following day, “Emovere”, featured the clean conceptual dancing of Lucía Álvarez “La Piñona”. The excellent backup with singers David Carpio, Pepe de Pura and Eva Ruiz “La Lebri”, in addition to the fine guitar of Francisco Vinuesa gave us a night to remember.
On Monday the 17th, the explosive powerful original Belén López left no one indifferent with her show “Flamenca”. The group included singers Morenito de Íllora, Juan Manzano “El Coco” and Pedro Jiménez “Perrete” with guitarists Carlos and Juan Jiménez and Rafael Jiménez “Chispas” on percussion.
Tuesday night, Madrid dancer Concha Jareño put her maturity and knowledge at the service of her “Recital Flamenco”. Elegant and cerebral, with a certain retro feel, the dancer was backed up with the fine singing of David el Galli and Manuel Gago, with the original guitar-playing of Juan Antonio Suárez “Cano” and the percussion of Kike Terrón.
Olga Pericet filled Wednesday night with her diminutive form, outsized talent and show with the long title: “La Espina que quiso ser flor, o la flor que soñó con ser bailaora”. With a performance the artists themselves afterwards described as especially successful, we saw the original Pericet in a diversity of registers, from the most classical to the most outlandish, with her good taste always getting it right. Invited guest dancer, Jesús Fernández, surprised many with his masterful original style. On the vocals, Jesús Corbacho and Miguel Lavi, with Antonia Jiménez and José Almarcha on guitar rounded out the group.
On Thursday, dancer Manuel Liñán shook up the atmosphere with “¡Viva!”, a brave work that explores the blurry frontier between the sexes, and Friday and Saturday were given over to a long closure that included the participation of all the featured artists from the Festival, in addition to the American Flamenco Repertory Company “Yjastros”.