Interview: Pablo San Nicasio Ramos
Artistic director of the Festival “Carmen Amaya”
and the company of “Tablao del Carmen”
October 2011 – Barcelona
Always deeply involved in the flamenco cause, one year ago José Luis Ortiz Nuevo set out on a new project, the responsibility of being artistic director of the Festival Carmen Amaya, whose second edition is being held the end of this month of October. Two intense days of dance to pay tribute to one of the most universal Catalonians of all history.
And this year with the added feature of the important role played by the company of the Tablao de Carmen.
The artistic concept is based on something Carmen once said, that she had been born by the sea and her first contact with rhythm was hearing the pounding of the waves, their continuous breaking on the shore. That was her first notion of rhythm, something that profoundly influenced her.
For this reason there is the recurring sound of the ocean, and the four dancers on stage adopt parts that correspond to the basic elements of nature. Three male dancers who are air, earth and water, and one female who is fire.
I would suppose the latter is a clear reference to Carmen Amaya.
There’s flamenco and there’s choreography, they offer a flamenco version of Ravel’s Bolero, a master work in the history of music that Carmen Amaya danced in the 1940’s, in Spain as well as in France, and which dovetails nicely with the Spanish dance tradition, the bolero school, etc…
One number mixes tango and bulerías… Between one thing and another, I think it’s a show that never loses interest at any point, all the performers are making a big effort to please.
Is the entire cast made up of people from the tablao?
He also works with Farruquito who comes the following day. Is the idea to program dance only?
A few days after the event you’re invited to participate on a panel “Flamenco and Communication Media” at the Congreso Internacional de Flamenco de Sevilla. In light of the fact that there is going to be a “Libro Blanco” to gather conclusions, do you have anything prepared, any minimal objectives to present there?
I’m not particularly fond of these conventions and congresses. The important thing is that flamenco enjoy good health and that’s it. Above and beyond all kinds of political meetings or associations like this one.