Photos: Daniela Incoronato
Dorantes, Tremendita, Belén Maya, Patricio Hidalgo, Amparo de Triana… Review and photos.
“I DON'T WANT TO FORGET ANY OF IT”
Right in the world capital of contemporary dance, the Flamenco Festival of Berlin bursts on the scene, precisely with the main objective of positioning flamenco as a stage art. Those of us who follow and report on the world of flamenco, know it's an art-form that already enjoys that status, but perhaps the concept is not as clear for theater-goers who know little about this genre, particularly abroad. Interpreters Tremendita, Belén Maya and Dorantes took on this challenge.
There was a great deal of expectation in the hopes that Berlin would find the flamenco festival it deserves. With institutional support, including Marca España, Secretaría de Estado de Cultura, INAEM, Instituto Andaluz del Flamenco, Turismo Andaluz, Festival de Jerez, flamencoArt Berlin and Deflamenco.com among others, the initiative came to fruition.
The result was an intense week of shows, debates, happenings with live painters, screenings and of course plenty of artistry on the stage. La Tremendita was the first to defy clichés with her innovative compositions and original staging. She has tremendous energy, and no spectator is left unmoved by her work.
Dancer Belén Maya took her most traditional material to Berlin, although this is not the way you would normally describe her work. Even in this more conventional territory, Belén Maya was able to create her own natural aesthetic. She was accompanied by José Valencia, Rafael Rodríguez, Vanesa Montero and Laura González, and had a truly magical night in which everything clicked in at the right moment with the energy and artistry typical of this dancer.
Nor will Dorantes' performance be soon forgotten. His accomplices were Leonor Leal and Javier Ruibal. Three artists with different approaches, but who knew how to adapt and complement each other in a natural way that would seem to suggest weeks of rehearsal, although this was not at all the case. This is an improvised show, based on freedom of expression. Even the two encores had to be improvised to please an overwhelmed audience that just couldn't get enough.
And thus ended a festival which also aimed to pay tribute to Berlin flamenco artists such as Almut Dorowa Ballhaus, Adela Rabin, Pedro Carreño, Amparo de Triana and Manuel Moreno. The show “Berlin in Flamenco”, directed by Michael Schuldt, honored these artists for whom the famous Berlin wall was no impediment to understanding flamenco. It's surprising to note that there are over two thousand people in Berlin actively related to flamenco.
Painter Patricio Hidalgo had several presentations: two shows, and two live happenings with painting. The guitar was also represented by Antón Jiménez, and there was a noteworthy tribute to Amparo de Triana, while journalist Manuel Moraga spoke in honor of Mario Maya.
The Berlin Flamenco Festival has managed to reconnect this city with the elite of flamenco. In these difficult economic times, the imagination and cooperation of the organizers has made it possible for this art-form to continue winning over audiences throughout the world.