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Argentina & Israel Galván at the Cante de las Minas. Nights of contrast

Fla-co-men, which premiered at the Festival, is a forward-looking exquisite show that includes music but no story-line, just the inertia of the human body and rhythm.
August 9, 2013

With a classic repertoire, Argentina demonstrated passion and strength in her show at the Catedral del Cante.

The fourth flamenco gala of the Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas was an evening of contrasts.  From “Viaje por el Cante” by singer Argentina, a passionate recital of classic flamenco, we went right on to a totally avant-garde show by dancer Israel Galván, the premiere performance of “Fla-co-men”, a work with no script, based on the inertia of dance and music.

Israel Galván

La Metamorfosis, Arena, El Final de Este Estado de Cosas and Lo Real-Le Réel-The Real are past shows of Galván’s which are partially recycled with a select group of musicians, offering the audience brief bursts of happiness.  Israel Galván in all his purity, with his body as an instrument.  Not only percussion, but also wind, brass, strings…the body speaks.  When he writhes to the violin of Elo Cantón, the notes are of wood.  Standing motionless before Tomás de Perrate, it’s more body.  And more flamenco with the percussion and metal of Proyecto Lorca.

Israel Galván, winner of the Desplante prize of the Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas in 1996, has always shied away from fusion; staged choreography is his thing, just as in classic flamenco.  Knowing how to juxtapose the elements.  And in this concert there was a gift, something from the old days the maestro Morento gave Israel Galván: “Fui piedra y perdí mi centro, me arrojaron al mar, y al cabo de mucho tiempo, mi centro vine a encontrar”.  The classic verse, por soleá, por malagueña, in a toná with the drums of Lagartija Nick.  The order of the syllables may be changed, but it’s still flamenco.

To open the night, Argentina, accompanied by José Quevedo “Bolita” and Eugenio Iglesias on guitar, the palmas of Torombo and the Mellis and the percussion of José Carrasco, interpreted a repertoire of traditional cante which included garrotín, serrana, soleá, milonga, caña y polo, minera de Pencho Cros, levantica, abandolaos, seguiriyas, cantiñas, bulerías and fandangos de Huelva to wrap it all up.  “Un Viaje por el Cante” is the heart of the artist at the service of all listeners.  It is Argentina’s maximum commitment with the art-form that has given meaning to her life since 2006, because she was born to sing flamenco.

The singer from Huelva declared she was “delighted for many reasons, because all the performers who come to this venue feel right at home because the audience comes to hear flamenco, and it shows.  I want to thank the festival for the initiative of opening new frontiers and taking our art abroad”.

After the show, both performers unveiled their “Lámparas” on the Avenida del Flamenco, a distinction which both Argentina and Israel Galván accepted with great emotion, feeling honored by “this town in which you live and breathe flamenco”.  On the cited Avenida, as of tonight, the names of Pencho Cros and Miguel Poveda also figure, on this day of tribute to the brilliant singer from Badalona who is from today on, a Favorite Son of La Unión.  This honor was enthusiastically received by the family of the singer who was winner of the Lámpara Minera on three occasions, Pencho Cros, and by Poveda himself who tomorrow closes out the series of shows with a cante recital at the old public market that is now a theater.

Miguel Poveda

Special 53 Festival Internacional de Cante de las Minas 2013.