Text: Estela Zatania
Photos: Ana Palma
Saturday, February 25th, 2017. Jerez de la Frontera
GRILO AND CANALES, CANALES AND GRILO… AND IT’S FLAMENCO TIME
Dance: Joaquín Grilo, with the singing of Carmen Grilo and Makarines, the guitar of Juan Requena and the percussion of Ané Carrasco. Dance: Antonio Canales, with the singing of El Galli and Gabriel de la Tomasa, the guitar of Paco Iglesias and the percussion of José Carrasco. Artistic direction, choreography, original idea: Joaquín Grilo, Antonio Canales.
Many works make use of flamenco elements to develop concepts or tell stories, another way of expressing eternal themes of the human condition through art. Then…there’s Grilo and Canales.
On Saturday night, February 25th, at the Villamarta Theater in Jerez, these two great dancers shared a stage and a show, with no story-line or conceptual ambitions beyond flamenco itself, in its most abstract expression. “Soniquetazo”. The title is a reference to the fact that this is a rhythmic journey, the soniquete that has a life of its own with no need for contrivances. More than complete, well-defined dances, it is the compás of bulerías, tangos, soleá, alegrías and siguiriyas that give form to the presentation.
In the press release it says we’re going to discern “the differences and similarities of Jerez and Seville”, an allusion to the birthplace of the two dancers: Joaquín Grilo from Jerez, and Antonio Canales from Triana (Seville). But no. Nothing of the sort. There was no Seville dancing or Jerez dancing. What we saw were two flamenco-ready inspired dancers, surprisingly on the same wave-length, half improvising their way through the compás, summoning up the flamenco feeling with the greatest of ease. At the press conference Grilo also said it was going to be “a memorable night, a magical night”. You got that right Joaquín…with your art and good taste you made sure it happened. And Canales, the seasoned veteran, still has important things to say. Both men have their own glossary of moves, and the technical prowess to pull them off. This is no facing-off of titans, but rather a perfect joint venture. A contemporary quality without grating, a flamenco habitat with no expiration date. All that, in addition to good singing, good guitar, and an audience that reacted with genuine enthusiasm.
At seven in the evening, at the Palacio Villavicencio, we attended the acoustic recital of young singers from two eminent Jerez families. Manuel Moneo Carrasco interpreted styles and forms of the Plazuela neighborhood with Fernando Carrasco, son of Fernando de la Morena on guitar. The second part of the recital, another singer from one of the principal families of Jerez, Manuel Soto “Maloko”, grandson of the great Manuel Soto “Sordera”, was noteworthy in the bulería por soleá popularized by his grandfather.
At midnight, the González Byass winery was filled to overflowing with crowds at the door hoping to pick up a ticket. Such is the box-office pull of Mayte Martin’s talent and personality. A singer for all audiences, able to cross barriers of normally unmovable taste: her singing is sweetness with something more. She came accompanied by the guitars of Salvador Gutiérrez and Pau Figueres, and the percussion of Chico Fargas.