Once again flamenco followers are in mourning. As is a dynasty.
The flamenco dance dynasty that has produced the greatest number of outstanding interpreters in modern times. And of course, a family is in mourning: the Farrucos, have again been touched by loss. The much-loved and admired matriarch, Pilar “La Faraona”, has passed away.
Pilar Montoya Manzano was born in Seville in 1960, daughter of the great Farruco, sister of Rosario la Farruca, aunt of Farruquito, Farru and Carpeta and mother of the young dancer Barullo. She was a favorite with flamenco fans who admired her gypsy-style dancing, without superficialities – her famous look, carrying a large basket and wearing an apron over her dress always triggered applause and cheers – a difficult loss to assimilate. More than dance, Pilar seemed to embody a flamenco essence that is becoming scarce these days, while at the same time exhibiting the unmistakable forms of the Farrucos.
She participated in “Flamenco Puro” in New York with stars such as Fernanda de Utrera, El Güito, Manuela Carrasco and Angelita Vargas among others, but it was in the film “Bodas de Gloria” when followers of the art-form took note of the lady. She was also unforgettable in one of Farruquito's shows when she simply walked slowly across the rear of the stage, without dancing, wearing a hat and carrying a cane, dressed to resemble her father Farruco, with his same way of walking. The resemblance was so uncanny, it caused a tremendous sensation among the audience.
Pilar, just 54 years old, appeared on stage for the last time two weeks ago in Seville.