Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009. 10:00pm. Museos de la Atalaya, Jerez de la Frontera
|The organization of the “Flamenco Hoy” awards, annually presented by the association of specialized flamenco critics, celebrated their tenth birthday at the Museos de la Atalaya in Jerez de la Frontera.
Originally held in Madrid, the event was moved to Jerez last year. On Tuesday evening, in an atmosphere of tremendous expectation, and with the presence of Jerez mayor Pilar Sánchez and other municipal representatives, as well as Francisco Perujo, director of the Agencia Andaluza Para el Desarrollo del Flamenco and Olga de la Pascua, director of the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco, twelve prizes were awarded in a variety of categories.
The most-awaited awards were those for best cante recording, that went to Manuel Moreno “El Pele” for “8 Guitarras…y un Piano”, best male dancer, for Javier Barón who recently won the National Prize for Dance, and best female dancer, for the talented Rocío Molina who raised the level of women’s flamenco dance before turning twenty. The prizes were presented by well-known flamenco performers such as Moraíto, El Farru and María José Franco among others, giving a thoroughly Oscar-like patina to the whole event. Short audiovisuals showed nominated artists on several giant screens, and three musical acts rounded out the slick presentation.
Also noteworthy was the moving moment when Romualdo Molina accepted the award for best contribution to flamenco in the media, in honor of his 50 years of profession, which brought a heartfelt standing ovation. “El Pele” put the musical touch when he sang a martinete upon accepting the prize for best cante record, and Enrique Morente’s young son caught everyone’s attention when he accepted the prize for best producer in the name of his famous father who was unable to be present.