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15 FESTIVAL FLAMENCO CIUTAT VELLA. Agustín Carbonell 'El Bola' - Fernando Terremoto - Rafaela Carrasco - Los Manolos

May 25, 2008

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)


Text & photos: Manuel Moraga

Agustín Carbonell “El Bola” - Fernando Terremoto - Rafaela Carrasco - Los Manolos
May 24, 2008

They were wrong.  Fortunately the weatherman was wrong when he announced rain for Saturday and even some thunderstorms late in the afternoon.  And that’s nearly a miracle, because weather reports used to be little more than a rough guideline, but nowadays, with all the satellites spinning around in space, the weather report is a firm sentence.  But yesterday the skies defied the meteorologists and decided to wait until Rafaela Carrasco finished dancing.  It was all perfect.

Rafaela CarrascoAnd it’s not that surprising because her “Concierto Gusto” is a collective exercise in sensitivity.  Rafaela’s sensitivity dancing everything: notes, silences, percussion, absences…  Her entire body is expressive material and she knows how to get the most out of it.  The sensitivity of Jesus Torres on guitar.  The sensitivity of Juan Antonio Suárez “Cano”, whose guitar is one of the most suggestive and attractive to be found today.  And the sensitivity of Nacho Arimany, who also had his moment in the spotlight to display the depth of emotion he manages with percussion.  It would be difficult to highlight any particular part of the work, but the dialogue between dance and percussion was noteworthy because of its originality.  And of course the soleá in which Rafaela creates a well-rounded piece, coherent, dancing to the cante, making it her own, turning her body into music, and all without needing to make noise.  The dance to free-form fandangos was also very original.  In the end, Rafaela admitted to having had some problems on stage, but these things are to be expected in live performance, while never taking away from the artist’s talent.  In actual fact, this, along with El Pele, was one of the most applauded shows of the entire festival.  



Rafaela Carrasco
Fernando Terremoto
Rafaela Carrasco

Before Rafaela, Fernando Terremoto warmed up the atmosphere.  With bulería por soleá he worked off his nervousness and won over the audience.  Afterwards, he used a half voice to ease into granaina and malagueña del Mellizo, which he sung with great emotional underpinning.  What we did notice was that within his classic Jerez approach, Fernando Terremoto is developing a more personal style; wonderful details keep coming to the surface, and that’s a good sign.  His siguiriyas were full of drama, but without quite going all the way.  Where he really let himself go was in the fandangos, sung standing and without microphone.  And what the audience enjoyed most was the bulerias, also sung without microphone and accompanied by the singer’s own dancing.  Alfredo Lagos, as always, splendid on guitar.  Noteworthy too, the palmas of Bobote and Eléctrico. 

Agustín Carbonell “El Bola” wasn’t so lucky. His concert in the Hall at eight o’clock fell a little flat.  We know this Madrid guitarist’s talent, but yesterday it was spread too thin.  He didn’t manage to pull clean sounds out of the guitar, nor did he manage much depth.  Furthermore, the sound of the cajón covered up the scarcity of ideas the guitarist from Lavapiés had to offer.

Agustín Carbonell - El Bola
Los Manolos
Agustín Carbonell - El Bola
Los Manolos

And as a fiesta finale, Los Manolos, those well-seasoned well-known rumba musicians who rode the “lo-lay-lo” fad a few years and who have now resurfaced on stage and television.  They certainly are exuberant, and have plenty of experience, so the audience had a great time with them.

And when the Los Manolos show was over, the rains came to Barcelona.  That joyous, classic, changing, old, avant-garde, diverse and attractive Barcelona that received us these several days and made us vow to return.  The Festival Flamenco Ciutat Vella is a good reason to do so, but are always plenty of reasons to visit this great city

Special Ciutat Vella 2008 "CARAMA" - Program - Reviews - Photos - Videos