Tremendous anticipation on the last day
of Madrid's charity flamenco festival. With tickets sold out days
before, those present were able to enjoy the performances of Son
de la Frontera, Carmen Linares and Farruquito.
The show began with the customary presentation by Juan Luis Cano
and Guillermo Fesser with the latter singing the rumba they popularized
on the radio “Yo Quiero Saber”. This music suddenly brought back
memories, and the longing for those mornings full of the humor of
Gomaespuma. For the time being we can all be grateful that they
continue in their humanitarian work so the children of Managua may
change their hardscrabble street life for a more decent atmosphere.
The dancing of small-town Seville.
Economy of movement and an abundance of art..
After that we were all curious to know just who or what “Son de
la Frontera” was, and were in for a pleasant surprise. ¿Would it
be yet another fusion group? It turned out to be quite an original
and interesting offering. Raúl Rodríguez (singer Martirio's son)
on the tres, guitarist Paco de Amparo, the palmas and dance of Pepe
Torre and Manuel Flores and the voice of Luis de Morón. Their very
original performance, though not particularly varied in rhythmic
forms was blessed with virtuosity and good taste. Noteworthy was
the excellent communication between the flamenco guitar and the
tres. Fine dancing on the part of Torres (a promising dancer who
performed in Farruquito's and Juana Amaya's recent show), and Manuel
Flores, who offered the dancing of small-town Seville with economy
of movement and an abundance of artistic sensibility. The back-up
singing of Luis de Morón was quite correct, the only drawback being
that a group of this quality ought to include original lyrics instead
of resorting to those of that genius from Jerez called Miguel Flores
(el Capullo). In any case, this group has a promising future.
Son de la Frontera
After the well-earned applause, it was time for the diva of cante,
Doña Carmen Linares, the epitome of elegance and humility on stage.
She began with cantiñas including bits of romeras from her last record
“Un Ramito de Locura”. This was followed by malagueñas and rondeñas.
Por soleá, followed by Levante accompanied by Miguel Ochando who was
then relieved by Paco Cortés for the seguiriya. Ingenious interpretation
of “En Lima Murió”, the story of a man who became a bullfighter in
order to win over a heart…until he met his death.
The epitome of elegance and humility
A festive ending por bulerías with the same musicians that backed
up the cantiñas, and thus finished the first half leaving us with
the good taste of having once again heard a singer who deserves
every possible kind of recognition.
Carmen Linares with Paco Cortés
Expectations were high to see Farruquito after the big spreads in
major media such as El País, the Herald Tribune and others, not to
mention his being included in People's list of the world's most beautiful
people which was headed by Halle Berry. To do justice to this performance
one would have to fill the entire server space allotted to this webpage
– you could literally write volumes about Farruquito and his performances,
and this is no exaggeration.
Revolutionary and surprising,
with no need to resort to novelty,
just a vision of flamenco “as it is”.
Trying to be brief, it could be said that Farruquito is finally
discovering the right path for his dance. His electrifying speed-ups
are now tempered with the necessary moments of repose and control,
making the perfect combination which makes us think of him as the
new “Camarón of dance”. And it's no joke, his fame outside Spain
is greater than that which he enjoys in his own country, and his
approach is completely revolutionary and surprising. Oddly enough,
he has no need to resort to novelty and simply presents a vision
of flamenco “as it is”.
The mere presence of
Farruquito on stage, even without dancing,
is imposing and inspires respect.
Elegance and passion at the same time. His grandfather, the great
maestro Farruco, told him even before his debut on Broadway with
Fernanda de Utrera at the age of five: out of respect for the audience
and the art, go on stage dressed elegantly, with your shirt tucked
in and a neatly tied neck scarf. And true enough, the mere presence
of Farruquito on stage, even without dancing, is imposing and inspires
respect due to his charged personality. His dancing breaks the mold
and astonishes the audience.
Farruquito is destined
to make dance history
just as his grandfather did.
Farru's turn for the finale
At the edge of the stage, between the floor and the first row,
you could see a large portion of Madrid's flamenco celebrities.
Flamencologists, writers, singers…Diego el Cigala was so overwhelmed
he eventually left his seat, next to him Javier Limón and Niño Josele
didn't miss a single nuance. At the other end of the stage an excited
Luisa Ortega cheered continually until she ended up on the edge
of the stage keeping rhythm. Just behind her, Pepe Torres kept shouting
out to the dancer, Salomé Pavón was as overwhelmed as Diego el Cigala,
and all those present made it to the heavens depicted on the ceiling
of the theater. What a way he has with the cane, how he moves the
air…a way of dancing that leaves you speechless and without adjectives,
to such an extent that the experience is nearly impossible to explain
or review. The ovations are multiple, art is carried to its highest
level of expression until even the singer plays with a scarf in
compás, the strings of Cadiz gutarist Román Vicenti blending perfectly
with the entrance of brothers Farru and Barullo…and for an unforgettable
moment, time stands still bringing tears of joy to the eyes of most
of those present, and we all have the sensation of having witnessed
a historic moment. Farruquito is destined to make dance history
just as his grandfather did.
Photos: Rafael Manjavacas
23th june: La Chirigota de las Niñas,
Rafael Riqueni, Diego Carrasco, Rafael Barón:
24th june: Niño Josele, José Menese,
Eva la Yerbabuena