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Festival Flamenco Caja Madrid 2011 - Carmen Linares Oasis abierto. Miguel Hernández flamenco

February 11, 2011


"Oasis Abierto. Miguel Hernández Flamenco"

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 - Teatro Circo Price - Madrid

Text: Pablo San Nicasio Ramos
Photos: Rafael Manjavacas

Carmen Linares: cante. Salvador Gutiérrez and Eduardo Pacheco: guitar. Tino di Geraldo: percussion. Ana María González, Rosario Amador and Carmen Amaya: Chorus and palmas. Tomasito: cante and dance. Pablo Suárez: piano

Marinade of onion and vinegar

Among the first flamenco works of 2011, barely one month after its debut in Alicante, is one of the acts which illuminates the memory of Miguel Hernández who came into this world one hundred years ago.  A project led by Carmen Linares who once again puts herself into a poet’s skin, and for whom there is no rest, goes on with her voice lacing the air with more and more pain.

The singer from Jaén presented this show within the Caja Madrid festival held this year in the memory of another poet of flamenco, her friend Morente in a sort of avant-garde flamenco handshake.

The presentation and staging with poetic backdrop and photographs related to Hernández complemented the music and reminded us of the project’s main objective…a necessary consideration which accomplished the goal and little more.  The flamenco was better, but even so, in relatively limited doses.

And not because there was a lack of talent on stage.  The singer from Linares brought along a select group to configure the flamenco setting, although the musical result was somewhat irregular.

Mostly because the moments of “fill-in” were too obvious, as were the moments of strength with heavy-handed winks to the audience, there was all of this.  A show which, generally speaking, builds via brief surges.  An oasis that yields water and maintains itself mostly thanks to the star of the show, in carefully meted out servings.

The superb percussion of Tino di Geraldo, the best of his generation, opened, leading to bits of verse of the poet from Orihuela, and the complete group.  In a cuplé por bulerías, Tomasito, well-received and cheered, recited and even danced hip-hop with selected poetry of Miguel Hernández.

With Carmen Linares standing in the arena, the poem “Andaluces de Jaén”, to the music of peteneras, marked a change of pace.

On the one hand, Carmen, and on the other, everyone else.  She manages to be the center of attention in a show where her absences are excessively noted.  She and only she, with the excellent support of the piano of Piano Suárez and some guitar moments are what make up the best of the evening.  Just as we had expected, but not so….like that.

If the soleá por bulerías and soleá didn’t manage to interest the audience who last night filled the venue and supported Carmen, it was finally in the siguiriya and cabal, one of her strong points, things began to warm up.

Until then we had at least been able to enjoy Carmen’s typical “struggle” with the cantes.  It was her, her challenges and her voice.  Mixed with moments that went beyond dull with Tomasito and friends with their bulerías fiesta.  A repeated formula that was only up to par in the group’s last bit, and where the Jerez performer’s unquestioned dramatic inclinations were on display.

Everything went to a higher level beginning with “La Casilda del Sediento”.  One on one with the piano, Pablo Suárez was noteworthy, this is the central piece that gives the name to the whole work.  A piece in which the folklore and flamenco falsetto of Carmen Linares (it always seems like a strange voice) joined hands and the previously missing emotion was finally present.  The malagueña of “Niño Yuntero”, and the evocative “No Puedo Olvidar” were highlights.

Without exactly going for the tearjerker element, but coming close, and with due solemnity, we bid farewell to Miguel Hernández and his wonderful poetry, remembering a tragedy that two neighboring groups lived through not that long ago.

Another drama shook the flamenco world two months ago when another poet, Morente, took his leave, and the singer repeatedly evoked his memory as in the encore of the powerful work “Casilda del Sediento”.

Perhaps that falsetto voice was what had the greatest impact in an evening in which Linares and only Linares led the journey to Orihuela.