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Encarna Anillo puts aside the wicker chair

Encarna Anillo "Las Puertas de Gades"
Saturday, March 3rd, 2018. 12 midnight. Sala la Compañía, Jerez de la Frontera
March 4, 2018
Estela Zatania
Photos: Ana Palma

Voice: Encarna Anillo. Dance: Florencia O’Ryan. Guitar: Andrés Hernández 'Pituquete'. Piano and guitar: Melchor Borja. Percussion: Antonio Moreno. Palmas: Jorge Bautista, David Gavira, Pedro de la Chana. Guest artist: Eduardo Guerrero.

Last night, at the Sala Compañía, within the series Mujeres de la Frontera of the Festival de Jerez, singer Encarna Anillo presented her recital/work “Las Puertas de Gades.  At the press conference the day before, the singer had declared “I need to move away from the wicker chair”, a reference to the classic flamenco singing recital: a seated singer, a guitarist and a couple of people to keep rhythm if you’re lucky.

Other singers, such as the three Davids – Lagos, Carpio and Palomar, among others – have managed to transform their conventional recitals into works, adding a script, staging, designer lighting, guest artists, etc.  They continue to be singing recitals, but the general public “tolerates” them better.

Encarna interpreted a varied program of flamenco singing and lyrical song, changing her voice and register with the ease of changing buses.  She began, as her disposition could only permit, with alegrías, stylized and with a contemporary chorus, managing to conserve all the associated feeling of Cádiz.  It had been a few years since hearing the girl I’d met as “Encarnita”, who is now Encarna, stronger and more mature.

Her delivery is sweet.  But there’s sweetness that cloys, and sweetness that hurts.  Singing to piano, she used a lyrical vocal placement for a lyrical flamenco form, which is malagueña, exquisite, precious and cutting.  Another memorable moment was when she sang “Voy a perder la cabeza por tu amor”, ruthlessly making it flamenco via bulerías, in the great tradition of Dolores de Córdoba, Adela la Chaqueta and Bambino.  

For some savory tangos de Granada, she took her shoes off and placed them in a small square of light so no one could miss the detail, and proceeded to decorate her singing with bits of barefoot dance.  Florencia O’Ryan did a sort of “soleá del mantón”…but without the soleá, but rather a free-form guitar composition.  Guest artist Eduardo Guerrero, who earlier in the day had presented his show “Faro”, added his angular geometric Picasso aesthetic.

Poem 15 of Pablo Neruda, put to music, a waltz dedicated to the city of Cádiz, the classic tanguillo of the Viejas Ricas, with verses alluding to Cádiz and of course, soleá de Cádiz in addition to a long fiesta finale with the excellent dancing of the back-up musicians, are some of the elements that ended up making this night a gift for the senses, and a heartfelt tribute to the city that has given us Encarna Anillo, flamenco singer, artist and native of  Cádiz.


Photo gallery Ana Palma

Eduardo Guerrero & Encarna Anillo