FLAMENCO EN ESCENA
“Flamenquita, La niña que perdió el compás”
Just when some quarters are clamoring for the disappearance of summer flamenco festivals, the movement continues to evolve and expand at its own good pace. The recipe of sultry Andalusian nights and other tourist attractions, combined with good music and theater, results in a nearly irresistible product, both for foreign and national audiences. On Thursady, in Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz), one of the most beautiful spots in Spain, another festival was born. At 12 midday mayoress Josefa Caro cut the virtual ribbon at a press conference with the presence of the media and several main artists. Over the course of four intense days, the first Encuentro Flamenco en Escena is offering sixteen shows at different venues, in addition to a progrram of parallel activities.
According to festival director Curro Velázquez Gaztelu, Flamenco en Escena is a pioneer in the field, with a program that is “midway between flamenco and modern dance”, with the objective of “separating folklore from theater”. The festival aims to support experimental projects related to flamenco, including the most avant-garde shows. “Dance, theater, music, performance art, circus, puppets and lots of flamenco” explained Velázquez Gaztelu, the nephew of another great pioneer, José María Velázquez Gaztelu, who was responsible for the the legendary series Rito y Geografía del Cante. In Arcos, past, present and future join hands at this showcase where international programmers have the opportunity to discover a wide range of the most contemporary shows tinged with flamenco.
In the afternoon, painter Antonio Valentín inaugurated the exposition of his very interesting work, based mainly on portraits of famous flamenco figures. A nine in the evening, the program of performances got underway with a light-hearted show designed for children. In the line of similar shows, the content was both interactive and educational. At half past ten in the large plaza del Cabildo, the work “El Gitanito Esquizofrénico” was presented. The absence of the main actor, David Pielfort, was covered by Luis Lara in a series of brief TV-style skits brilliantly backed-up by Javier Barón’s dancing and the voice of José Valencia, top professionals who are always a sure bet. Javier Patino provided the guitar accompaniment.
At eleven thirty at the San Pedro plaza, Asunción González offered “El Duende no Tiene Nombre de Mujer”, a lengthy monologue sprinkled with singing and meant to represent the inner life of Pastora Pavón “Niña de los Peines”. In three acts, the versatile artist conjured up Pastora’s infancy, maturity, senility and death.
This first day of the festival wound up with the main dish “Chanta la Mui”. In this work, three magnificent dancers, Daniel Doña, Olga Pericet and Marco Flores, a native of Arcos, danced together and individually with a certain robotic aesthetic, developing concepts that were both dream-like and intellectual, but the most impressive element was the technical brilliance of the three young dancers.
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