Los Veranos del Corral 2010
Second week – July 26-29, 2010
Miguel Ochando, Eva Esquivel, La Nitra, Adela Campallo, Juan Pinilla, Lucía Guarnido, Belén Maya
Text and photos: Antonio Konde
If nothing else, the Muestra Andaluza de Flamenco presented each summer at the Corral del Carbón in Granada has become the place for many local artists to showcase their ability. A venue with undeniable charm which makes everything seem just a little bit more flamenco from the first moment the artists step on stage.
The second week was full of cante, dance and guitar by artists, all of whom were from Granada with one exception.
Miguel Ochando needs nothing more than his guitar to show who he is. It’s not common for flamenco guitarists to play pieces composed by others, and even less so a whole recital of such material. Creation and individuality have always been prized above and beyond the interpretation of famous compositions. In other musical genres it’s more common, such as classical guitar, but in flamenco it’s almost frowned upon if one doesn’t have an original repertoire. Ochando has different ideas that suit him well.
He started out with granaína in which there was more tremolo than anything else, and it was outstanding. He went on to play Montoya’s rondeña adding personal touches. With the backup of Alfredo Mesa he played Esteban de Sanlúcar’s Zapateado en Re, tangos in minor key, guajiras and bulerías with the guitars in a facing-off that made the sparks fly. This shows how in Granada guitar has a privileged place in flamenco. The second part of the evening was given over to dance in the person of Eva Esquivel accompanied by the singing of Antonio Campos and Sergio Gómez “El Coloraíto”, and the guitar of Luís Mariano. You can always tell a veteran. Her dance is mature and exponentially strong at just the right moments. With taranto and tangos ended with levantica, Esquivel just got better and better, until she found her true self. An introduction of malagueña by the great Granada guitarist, Luís Mariano, who is becoming progressively better. Coloraíto’s singing brought newfound music to the cante of Chacón, and the fandango of Albayzín which complemented Eva’s dance with bata de cola, followed by a milonga vocal and then Eva’s alegrías.
The same stage twenty-four hours later received the singing of La Nitra accompanied by Paco Cortés. La Nitra became world-famous as one of the voices the great Paco de Lucía took on his tours for several years. Little is left of that. Her repertoire is condensed, just four cantes, lots of desire to please and not much else. The guitar of Cortés received ovations, but the singer, despite her best efforts, had problems with her voice and possibly had been too long away from performing to pull off the cante de Levante she decided to tackle. She was pleasing enough in the soleá, alegrías and bulerías, ending with fandango, but there was no communication. Seville dancer Adela Campallo is dancing well. Rich with dancerly knowledge and more self-assured, she’s gone back to her roots. Far removed from any experimentalism, she began with a personalized dance adapted to the “galeras” of singer Lebrijano. It was a far cry from the cante that couldn’t pull itself together all night long. The voices of Juan José Amador and Javier Rivera. With alegrías, flamenco took over, and strange as it seems, this venue turns everything into flamenco. A magical space dominated by a fountain that somehow generates flamenco. Campallo came on strong with a little too much emphasis on footwork. Amador sang cante de Levante and fandango de Lucena, and the Seville dancer returned for siguiriyas. This is where the duende made its appearance in the form of dance. Non-stop energy beginning to end.
Once again it’s wall-to-wall Granada. The only Lámpara Minera of La Unión other than Manuel Ávila, Juan Pinilla likes to revel in being a different sort of flamenco singer. His repertoire is never the same, nor are his cantes. He does not conform to any of the stereotypes and delves into the history of cante with sometimes forgotten forms. With zambra he paid tribute to Caracol, and petenera did the same for Pastora Pavón. A Morente version of vidalita was followed by caña with soleá to end. Cantiñas with verses of Machado and Alberti, and the closing is fandangos of Macandé, Rebollo and Gloria. Paco Cortés on guitar was outstanding as always. And more Granada, no one can complain.
The second part of the show was dancer Lucía Guarnido who has begun her career as soloist. She has clean technique and good body control but is missing that certain something to make it all work. Her siguiriyas was powerful, with moments of great beauty. Luis Mariano, the guitarist who is making a fine showing in the Corral this year, played bulerías that provided an introduction for the dancer whose caracoles dance was the highlight of the evening. Sinewy moves were received with great applause. Antonio Campos is another Granada flamenco artist who is making his mark. With tangos he demonstrated his ability and showed why he is so in demand among the best dance groups of the moment. Guarnido ended with soleá por bulería in which she overdid the armwork which somewhat marred the closing.
The end of the week was reserved for Belén Maya, the icing on the cake. As I said before, this stage turns everything flamenco. Belén was fabulous. Very flamenco, constant reminders of her father in the forms and playful arms. Changing the ways things are normally done, she began with tangos, moving on to tientos and ending with taranto. The guitar of Rafael Rodríguez and the singing of José Valencia made it all the more flamenco. Soleá por bulería and alegrías by Maya, always smiling and seeking out the audience’s complicity which was forthcoming from the moment she appeared with bata de cola and shawl which she made use of in a renewed concept of dance: impossible to be more flamenco!