Text and photos: Estela Zatania
November 20th, 2015. 10:00pm. Teatro Florida, Algeciras (Cádiz)
Algeciras' Sociedad del Cante Grande which each year awards its prize the “Palma de Plata”, last night paid tribute to Jerez dancer Antonio el Pipa.
For its twenty-third edition, the Palma de Plata was awarded for the first time to a dancer. In previous years, illustrious artists such as Fosforito, Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera, Terremoto, Manolo Caracol, Chano Lobato, Juan el Lebrijano, Rafael Romero, Antonio Mairena and Paco de Lucía among many others, received the prestigious recognition.
The monographic magazine Al-Yazirat each year accompanies the event as a sort of continuation, with essays and photographs by well-known authors and investigators from the world of flamenco.
At the city's Teatro Florida, a well-rounded show was presented that opened with local guitarist Salvador Andrades who offered a mini-recital of his compositions. Following this, the Pañeros, José and Perico, accomplished artists from Algeciras who have a reputation outside the city as well interpreted their customary repertoire. And all the while, the background of large potted palms recalled the stage-set used by the much-missed guitar genius from Algeciras, Paco de Lucía.
The Palma de Plata award was presented to Antonio el Pipa during a break in the show, and José Luis Vargas, president of the Sociedad del Cante Grande, described El Pipa as “the greatest flamenco dancer of the moment”. Antonio was deeply grateful, and stated: “from now on I can boast of being a gypsy from the neighborhood of Santiago in Jerez, and holder of the Palma de Plata of the City of Algeciras”.
The second part of the evening was given over to Juana la del Pipa and the majestic soleá dance of Antonio el Pipa, with the accompaniment of Jerez guitarists Juan Diego and Domingo Rubichi.