Los Veranos del Corral 2010
Third week – August 2 to 6
El Galli de Morón, Ana Morales, Miguel Lavi, Luisa Palicio, Enrique Morente (Kiki) y Juan Habichuela (nieto), Amador Rojas, Alicia Gil ,Daniel Navarro, Antonio Campos
Text and photos: Antonio Konde
The summer series in Granada at the Corral del Carbón has come to an end with an intense final week of shows. Nine performances in five nights had a lot to offer. Some of the week’s offerings were anxiously awaited as they were daring productions which, in some case were a positive revelation not only for the interpreters, but for the audience as well. El Galli made his solo singing debut, nervous, anxious to get the most out of his vocal cords and show off what he’s learned over the years. With a carefully selected repertoire there were ups and downs. On the one hand, his tonás had a strong and primitive flavor, but in the malagueñas of Chacón he couldn’t seem to get it together, and Miguel Iglesias’ fine guitar work appeared trapped by Galli’s rushing.
Solea and cantiñas were perhaps the best of the recital. The former, paused and melancholic, the latter, with the feel of Cádiz bay and a bulerías ending. His mining cante was right on, and he did bulerías to wind up. The dancer on this balmy evening was Ana Morales. As I’ve written on other occasions, this is a stage that does not take well to staged works that perhaps come off well at other venues. For this reason Morales’ offering was not the right thing. An audience expecting to see traditional flamenco dance doesn’t always understand avant-garde works or cultural mixtures. A version of her show “De Sandalia a Tacón” which we saw in the last Festival de Jerez didn’t quite work, despite the best of intentions: the transition from oriental dance to current flamenco, a dance fantasy in three parts representing the evolution of dance to modern times. With the voices of Antonio Campos and Moi de Morón, the artist was outstanding in alegrías with moments of great visual beauty, and her way of working the bata de cola.
For the second flamenco event of the week, a Jerez singer who is flamenco through and through. With a voice halfway between broken and crystallized by old Jerez, Miguel Lavi is a surprise. He was excellent from beginning to end, giving every bit of himself in each cante, each line, each “ay” sounded flamenco without any kind of embellishment. Malagueñas of Manuel Torre and Mellizo, soleá por bulería, toná, siguiriyas sounding clearly of San Miguel and bulerías. This a singer much underestimated in his hometown, but who has flamenco in his throat. The contrast came with Luisa Palicio. A fine dancer, with great knowledge of how to move a bata de cola, but she didn’t convince. Perhaps it was poor judgement to introduce the bata in soleá just as in alegrías, making the repertoire seem overly sober and repetitive. She tried a guajira, attempting to adorn her dance, but it was not worthy of her level.
For the next to last evening, the melismatic voice of Enrique Morente junior, Kiki. He was accompanied on the guitar by Juan Habichuela’s grandson who outshined the cante throughout. Being the son of who he is, there is a lot of responsibility if he expects to follow in his father’s footsteps. His register is similar to that of his big sister’s, and his ideas are those of the father, a little overdone perhaps. In the style of Enrique senior, the millimetric precision of tones the father is doing these days makes us remember how measured and studied his cante is. Not very attractive. From here on, it was caña, taranto and cartagenera, siguiriyas with dance to end (not a good idea), soleá, tangos dedicated to his father and bulerías. A young man with a possible singing future, but who didn’t get it together.
Amador Rojas was the icing on the cake. In the second half, his dancing was a cut above everything else. A different line, a way of living and feeling the dance, and an original formula suited to the times. He has a way of using his body that seems to leave behind the essence of distinctive figures and moves, with Hindu clothing at the beginning, hooded and wearing a black tunic and with glitter on his skin for an oriental dance, tangos derived from farruca, fandangos that end in alegrías and soleá.
Seville singer Alicia Gil came with Lito Espinosa on guitar. A classic compact recital. Tonás, tientos tangos, soleá, alegrías and bulerías. A sweet voice that aimed to demonstrate the origin of each cante, except in bulerías where she followed the line of Remedios Amaya, Niña Pastori and Parrita.
Dani Navarro needed only two dance to give intensity and color. Toná leaning towards bulerías and soleá, where his masculine personality intensified. A dance based on footwork that required no upper body to be convincing.
The close of the series of Los Veranos couldn’t have had a finer star. Antonio Campos is turning out to be one of the best singers to come out of Granada in recent years. He presented his new, original and clearly broken-in show, but with a renewed concept of cante. He took advantage of Lorca’s poetry to fantasize with cante sung with popular verse and music. “De noche me salgo al campo”, “Yo me subí a un pino verde”, “Vamos al tiroteo” as petenera, “Anda Jaleo” and “Los Cuatro Muleros” to bulerías” were some of the numbers and literary instruments he used in the most sublime manner. All with a traditional popular introduction.
With the cabales of Serna and the violin of José Luís López, the guitars of Jesús Torres and Cano sow the seeds of Café de Chinitas which had begun a capella. The accent of Ibiza-style clothing was added by Rafaela Carrasco. The cello caresses a farruca dance by the Seville dancer dressed in man’s clothing with fringe and red boots. Rafaela’s dancing is conceptual, another way of feeling that turns away from the most orthodox flamenco to look towards Argentine tango with Campos as her partner. The singer shows he can travel to and from the Levante at will, thanks to a taranta and levantica of Cojo de Málaga that triggers enthusiastic applause. Soleá apolá is shaded with a piano, adding unexpected color. Fandangos danced by Rafaela and bulerías to round off an unforgettable evening in which light and sound technician Juan Benson must also be thanked for his untiring efforts for flamenco over the years. And an emotional Antonio Campos who gave the best thing he could possibly give at the end of the show: flamenco flavor.