Text: Sara Arguijo
Photos: Oscar Romero / La Bienal
“21”. Guitar: Dani de Morón. Voice: Rocío Márquez, Jesús Méndez, Arcángel, Duquende. Rhythm: Antonio Montes, Manuel Montes, Carlos Grilo, Diego Montoya. Dance collaboration:: Israel Galván – Real Alcázar de Sevilla – September 21st, 2016
Dani de Morón, the new focus of flamenco guitar
It was no easy job. After his triumphs in previous Bienals, Dani de Morón came this year to open the doors of the Real Alcázar with his guitar. The official residence in Seville of Spain's royal family, as one driver of a horse-drawn carriage explained to tourists. And of course, the expectation to see him was similar to that provoked by the King and Queen, although with more shouts of “ole!” than anything else.
It seemed to be a risky venture. A show – that will be a recording – that brings together some of the most important voices of flamenco in the 21st century, and as such, obliges the main performer to maintain his central role being surrounded by major talent. But of course, that's how people from Morón are, as his best friend would say. And very astute I would add. So it was all very natural, Dani was seated in the center of the spotlight and represented a festival format to accompany the diversity of Rocío Márquez, Jesús Méndez, Duquende, Arcángel and dancer Israel Galván in what ended up being the most subtle way to reach his own triumph. Clearly, it takes greatness to accompany interpreters who, more or less, could be seen as today's Marchena, Mairena, Camarón, Chacón and Morente, and managing to sound differently for each one. As Melchor de Marchena would have done, a guitarist whom we know inspired the man from Morón.
We could also talk about his incredible rhythmic and harmonic capacity. The speed and strength of his left hand which, at times, even seemed to have more than five fingers. His way of playing with the tempos and counter-tempos. His creativity, and the worlds suggested by it. The way he remembers his hometown. His diaphanous melancholy luminous emotional and profoundly suggestive playing. His way of caressing the strings and clutching the instrument. The endless sounds he gets from the guitar (like a musical percussionist as the Seville dancer had said in the press conference).
Not to mention the shading and color we enjoyed in the artists whom last night he accompanied, the genius that is, and once again was, an Israel Galván who pulled the entire audience into his world with an absolutely magnificent piece of what we might call interactive flamenco.
And we could explain Dani. As happened with Galván in dance, his abstraction and everything he promises with his guitar, would be fodder for brainy librettos. He is ahead of his time, and probably holds the future of flamenco guitar in his hands, as many people said on the way out. But the best thing about Dani is that he manages to make others happy with his music, exactly the same virtue highlighted by the two little ones to whom he dedicated a wonderful granaína that triggered tears in more than one spectator.
The other day I was thinking about how artists are known, or at least sensed, by what they do on stage. You can see their fears and doubts, their attitude and even their character. Dani de Morón is fast, sharp, close, nervous, imaginative, humorous, rebellious… A sentimental soul who knows how to cry, and is moved by small details, a fighter, someone who needs to hang on to his roots, a rooster under attack…or was that his music?