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19th Festival de Jerez - Israel Galván "Fla.co.men" / David Palomar "Denominación de Origen" / Gema Moneo & Momo de Jerez

Israel Galván "Fla.co.men"
David Palomar "Denominación de Origen"
Gema Moneo, Momo de Jerez "Sangre de Territorio"
Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. Jerez de la Frontera
February 23, 2015
Text: Estela Zatania
Photos: Ana Palma

Special 19th Festival de Jerez - All the information


On Sunday evening, three terrific shows were on the agenda at the Festival de Jerez.



Teatro Villamarta, 9:00pm

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Dance, director, choreography: Israel Galván. Musicians: David Lagos, Tomás de Perrate, Eloisa Cantón, Caracafé. Proyecto Lorca: Juan Jiménez Alba, Antonio Moreno. Artistic director and choreography 'sevillanas': Pedro G. Romero. Stage direction and choreography 'alegrías': Patricia Caballero.

To talk about Israel Galván, we don't talk about his footwork, turns, closings or choreographies.  No. The first thing I see in the press release is "Israel Galván takes a new reading of his aesthetic code in 'Fla.co.men'".  So I ask myself: what does the man-in-the-street think about "aesthetic codes"?  It's not that Israel's experimental approach is without interest.  On the contrary.  Above and beyond his extraordinary technical capacity, the man is one of the most inspired creators and interpreters of our time.  But there is always a sector of flamenco fans who don't quite know what to make of him.  These are people who come to me after one of Israel's shows, as happened last night, asking for explanations that, quite frankly, I don't have.  I enjoy Israel's work, and can only advise people to try do the same, although it's a long way from classic flamenco.

We saw this show at the most recent Bienal de Sevilla.  I remembered it differently, less repetitious, especially in the first part that now includes a lengthy segment of siguiriya rhythm with very little singing.  I'd remembered more lighthearted moments, greater variety, less percussion.  The rhythm or compás, instead of being a vehicle, becomes an end unto itself, and little use is made of two admirable voices, those of David Lagos, and of Tomás de Perrate, the latter who comes and goes throughout the work like a Greek oracle out for a stroll.  The guitar of Caracafé, while not virtuoso, is just right, as is the musician's Bohemian countenance.

There is some straightforward singing...tonás, siguiriyas, trillas, alegrías, romeras, soleá...nearly everything fragmented.  Just when you start to feel cozy with something familiar, there is a brusque cold-turkey change to something completely different.  Israel does not like to deliver complete dances in the conventional sense, he has always preferred fragmentation.  This allows for little musical development, which is what is missed.

Israel Galván demands absolute creative freedom, and it has long been afforded to him.  It's a weighty responsibility the dancer carries fearlessly and with great integrity.

Israel Galván "Fla.co.men" - Festival de Jerez



Sala Paúl, 7:00pm

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Cante: David Palomar. Special collaboration (dance): María Moreno. Guitar: José Quevedo "Bolita", Rafael Rodríguez. Palmas: Anabel Rivera, Roberto Jaén.

The star of the night, the performer everyone was talking about, was Cádiz singer David Palomar.  I don't know if anything similar to the outrageous chauvinism so common in flamenco exists in other genres, I don't think so.  To call his new recording "Denominación de Origen", like the protected D.O. of fine wines, gives an idea of the pride and identification with place felt by this singer.  David is from Cádiz, and right proud of it.   And being from Cádiz means there is an unmistakable trademark, a set of characteristics, songs, and an expansive personality tinged with fantasy.  And even with all this, David Palomar has a personality of his own.   Last night he was generous with his singing, anecdotes and little dances, he paid warm tribute to Chano Lobato (oddly, there was no mention of Mariana Cornejo), and won over the audience with his astonishing communicative power.  Guitarist Rafael Rodríguez was faithful to his traditional sound with no trace of contemporary harmony, while José Quevedo "Bolita" and Jesús Guerrero played in their fresh modern line, each one giving just the right backup.  Noteworthy moments: alegrías de Cádiz, a potpourri of garrotín with tangos of Piyayo and el Titi, another of classic rumbas Chano used to sing...la Negra Tomasa, Cacharrito...tanguillo de Cádiz and without a doubt, the spectacular dancing of guest artist María Moreno.

David Palomar & Maria Moreno




Sala Compañía,  12 midnight

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Dance: Gema Moneo. Cante: Momo de Jerez, El Quini. Guitar: Juan Manuel Moneo, Jesús Agarrado.

At the Sala Compañía, members of the Moneo family bravely presented their show "Sangre de Territorio", despite being deeply in mourning for young guitarist Manuel Moneo "Barullito" who passed away Saturday.  They began with a moment of silence, gathered round a chair with a guitar.  El Momo de Jerez sang several cantes on his own...alegrías, soleá, siquiriyas...  Dancer Gema Moneo, powerful and dark, newly in demand on international circuits, served up all her rage in siguiriyas, possibly inspired by the pain of losing her cousin.  Without a doubt, she has benefitted from her contact with Farruquito in whose company she has recently worked.

Gema Moneo & Momo de Jerez