Text: Sara Arguijo
Photos: Antonio Acedo
Opening of “Septiembre es Flamenco”. Teatro Lope de Vega de Sevilla. 8 de septiembre de 2015. Series: Septiembre es flamenco. Full house.
Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía (Directed and choreographed by Rafaela Carrasco); El Lebrijano (Guitar: Pedro María Peña, Chorus and rhythm: Raúl Moreno Aguilera and Sergio Moreno Aguilera); Manuel Valencia; Antonio Reyes (Guitar: Antonio Higuero Palmas: Diego Montoya and Tate Núñez; Farruquito (Voice: Antonio Villar and Zambullo. Percussion: Antonio Moreno “El Polito”. Guitar: Román Vicente); Guest artists: Soleá Morente, Esperanza Fernández and José María Gallardo.
Reaping the fruits
People were anxious to see and hear some flamenco, and the excitement of coming together again. Seville, with all its chauvinism and false steps, has become accustomed to receiving the autumn season with the artform that best defines it, displaying the cultural heritage of which it yearns to be the universal capital. Because if nothing else, the city can be proud of again bringing together top of the line artists because, after all, this is the month for picking the sweetest fruits, even though the leaves begin to fall from the trees.
In this atmosphere, the series “Septiembre es Flamenco”, given the nickname “La Bienalita”, got underway on Tuesday, honoring the winners of the Giraldillo prizes of the last Bienal in a well-planned gala show not only aimed at paying tribute to these artists, but to the city honoring them as well. “What Seville gives, no one can take away from you” said El Lebrijano upon receiving his award, and these words become the motto of the event.
There were some moving moments, such as in remembering Rafael Riqueni who could not be present (winner of the Giraldillo Maestría), by way of Amargura interpreted by the sensitive guitars of José María Gallardo and Miguel Ángel Cortés (winner of the Giraldillo for guitar-playing). Or the heartfelt siguirya sung by Esperanza Fernández from a balcony, and who was expertly accompanied.
We also especially enjoyed the depth of the soleares of Juan Peña Lebrijano (winner of the Giraldillo City of Seville) who managed to warrant a standing ovation. And the depth and sound of the guitar of young Jerez guitarist Manuel Valencia (winner of the Giraldillo for the best young hopeful). The delicacy of the gypsy sound transmitted by Antonio Reyes (winner of the Giraldillo for singing) in the zambra and the polo. And of course, the strength, magnetism and decisive style of Farruquito from the very moment he made his entrance through the audience area.
Once again, the tribute paid to the other winner of the Giraldillo City of Seville conceded to Enrique Morente was unfair: one verse of tangos in the voice of his daughter Soleá. Nor was the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía (winner of the Giraldillo for best show) up to par. Their isolated piece lost all meaning in the program.
In any case, the show served to highlight the communication between the past, present and future of flamenco, and its various tendencies. It also was a time to extend congratulations that hopefully Seville will now be able to convey to the world.