Ciclo Flamenco Viene del Sur
Text: Gonzalo Montaño Peña
Dance: Joaquín Grilo; Guitar: Juan Requena; Cante: José Valencia y Carmen Grilo; Bass and mandoline: José Carmona; Percussion: Paquito González: Palmas: Los Melli.
Nowadays, flamenco performers have a hard time presenting a show without a story line. A plot to give form to the various numbers. This is a double-edged sword, because if you want to lay out a story, you have to take great care so the show doesn’t end up being a crashing bore. Although there may be times when the lead character’s part is far and above any mediocre script. This is the way it is with “Leyenda Personal” based on a story that doesn’t seem to connect or have any message worth communicating, and yet, the artistic components manage to save and amply justify the trip to the theater.
Leyenda Personal shows us the life of Joaquín Grilo as told through his dancing. The story has a few original twists now and again, such as when he turns into a marionette moved by the unavoidable strings of money and power. There are also other moments that say nothing, such as the number of the rocking chair, or the book of memories. Nevertheless, the important thing about this show (fortunately) is not the story itself, but the backdrop for the entire show, in other words, the star’s dancing, his personal touch, his rhythmic concept, and the guitar-playing and singing that motivate him and which are of a high level.
Grilo’s dances with the grace of Jerez fiesta dancing elevated to the category of a professional virtuoso, the characteristic artistic concept and the modern surrealism that his personality exudes. His dancing is not based on technique, but rather he uses technique to bring his own personality to light, both in its dramatic and more rebellious aspects. On this occasion, the dancer seems to have achieved a balance between these diverse facets, making him a weightier performer with greater depth.
Noteworthy is the role of José Valencia in this show. He gives impressive dimension with his delivery, redoubling the lines and seeking out personal paths for the melodies and resolving them as he pleases. He sees to it that it’s not just an exercise in power, but puts his knowledge and melodic and rhythmic capacity to good use. The singing and dancing in the closing of siguriyas with the cabal of Sernita de Jerez, were simply magnificent. The vented energy and emotion got the audience out of their seats.
Carmen Grilo was also in good form with a wonderful bulería in which she made use of her excellent faculties. Joaquín’s dancing combined well with his sister’s singing.,
Generally speaking, this is a fine show with a solid flamenco base and contemporary feel. Rich in strength and compás, with a Grilo who is more concentrated and controlled, extravagant at times, but without abusing his ability, two voices that on their own justify a show and a well-chosen repertoire.