Blanca del Rey, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Laura Rozalén and Mercedes Ruiz in an original production of the festival organization
“Life as a voyage: existential, emotional. Flamenco existence itself: a journey through the memory and recognition of the art-form and of great artists”. That’s how Francisco López, director of “Las Cinco Estaciones” describes the new production of the Festival de Jerez which debuts this Friday, February 22nd at the Villamarta Theater as the opening gala of the event. The main support in dance is veteran Blanca del Rey, along with talented young artists Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Laura Rozalén and Mercedes Ruiz. A selection of dancers that straddles Cádiz and Córdoba, each of whom has been distinguished by recent awards in earlier editions of this festival.
“Las Cinco Estaciones” establishes parallels between flamenco and life so this imaginary journey takes off from memory of the past and takes place in the present and the future. In this way, the “estaciones” or stops “are memories, cities, dreams, foiled plans, waiting rooms for the next voyage”. And the final destination is not desperation or pessimism, but “the uncontrollable desire to continue the journey and keep on laughing” explains Francisco López, who also wrote the libretto.
As far as the selection of artists, he assures us that “these are the people I had in mind from the very beginning. I needed their creative richness, their diversity and their way of ‘being’ in flamenco”. They all agreed to participate in the project, and worked very hard, even to the point of creating new choreographies. “I explained the script, and the meaning behind the show, and each one was kind enough to mount new choreography, new music and even new verses” explains the director.
The journey begins “En las estaciones de la memoria”, in which Laura Rozalén is the central figure for “Antiguos Modernos. ¡Ay aquellos bailes antiguos!”, a guajira creation based on Pepe Marchena. In the same scene, Olga Pericet and Marco Flores recall past greats of partnered flamenco dance with a caña called “Espejos donde mirarse”.
The second stop leaves Córdoba for Jerez, but passing through Madrid. Here, Blanca del Rey exhibits her “Soleá del Mantón”. In the capital, Laura Rozalén dances zambra. Once in Jerez, it’s Mercedes Ruiz’ turn with siguiriyas. The third stop, titled “El Extraño Viaje”, opens with Olga Pericet doing abandolao rhythms, followed by the guitar of Paco Serrano playing serranas and Marco Flores dancing peteneras. This is the prelude to “La Última Estación”, the last stop with Blanca del Rey and Mercedes Ruiz dancing “La joven y la muerte”, a creation inspired in Schubert’s quartet number 14. “Viaje a Ítaca” is the end of the flamenco route via bulerías, with the guitar of Santiago Lara, and the whole company on stage for cantinas.
In addition to the dancers, the show includes the singing of Londro, Miguel Lavi and Miguel Ortega, the guitars of Paco Serrano, Santiago Lara and Antonia Jiménez, the cello of Débora de la Fuente and the percussion of Rafael García, as well as soprano Inmaculada Salmoral.
“Las Cinco Estaciones” is the second production under the auspices of the Festival de Jerez, and the premiere performance is taking place five years to the day since the first one, “¡Viva Jerez!”, which was February 22nd, 2008, also under the direction of Francisco López. “This show has come into being with the same artistic standards as the first one, and with the exact same goal of becoming an attractive calling card, both within Spain and internationally, for the Festival de Jerez” says the director.
1. En las estaciones de la memoria
Laura Rozalén / AntiguosModernos
¡Ay, aquellos bailes antiguos! / Creación-guajira
Based on a recording of Pepe Marchena / Mi mulata está abusando
Olga Pericet and Marco Flores / Doña Pilar
Caña With Miguel Ortega, Miguel Lavi, Antonia Jiménez and percussion.
2. Desde Córdoba a Jerez, hay que pasar por Madrid
Blanca del Rey / Córdoba
Soleá del mantón
With singer / guitars
Laura Rozalén / Madrid
Zambra / Romance de Juan de Osuna
With Londro, Santiago Lara and cello.
Mercedes Ruiz / Jerez
With singers, Santiago Lara and percussion
3. El extraño viaje
Olga Pericet / Ticket to ride
With Miguel Lavi, Miguel Ortega and Antonia Jiménez
Paco Serrano / Reveses del alma
Marco Flores / Estación de paso
With Miguel Ortega, Miguel Lavi and Antonia Jiménez
4. La última estación
Blanca del Rey – Mercedes Ruiz / La joven y la Muerte
Creación (based on quartet nº 14 of F. Schubert)
With Paco Serrano, Arantxa Hernández and percussion
5. Viaje a Ítaca
Santiago Lara / En-Balao
Toda la Compañía / Tantas maneras de reír
All the company
Dance: Blanca del Rey, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Laura Rozalén, Mercedes Ruiz
Cante: Londro, Miguel Lavi, Miguel Ortega
Guitar: Paco Serrano, Santiago Lara, Antonia Jiménez
Cello: Débora de la Fuente
Percussion: Rafael García Montaiña
Soprano: Inmaculada Salmoral
Libretto, lighting designer and stage director: Paco López
New production of the Festival de Jerez