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Melancholy Cádiz-style

María Moreno "Alas de Recuerdo"
Monday, March 6th, 2017. 7:00pm. Sala Compañía, Jerez de la Frontera
March 7, 2017
Text: Estela Zatania
Photos: Ana Palma


Special 21 Festival de Jerez - All the information


Dance: María Moreno. Voice: Enrique el Extremeño, Pepe de Pura, Matías López “Mati”. Guitar: Joselito Acedo.

In flamenco, to speak of “Cádiz” is to speak of light, gaiety and good humor to the beat of “tiriti trán”.  But Cádiz also has its dark side, its siguiriyas, and the opportune mixture of these extreme mental states was on view last night at the Sala Compañía, within the series “Solos en Compañía” of the Festival de Jerez, from Cádiz dancer María Moreno and her work “Alas de Recuerdo”.

I’ve had an eye on this artist ever since her dancing fascinated me in a Jueves Flamenco show in Cádiz in 2010.  On that occasion I wrote: “María Moreno makes a show of her reverence for classical flamenco, while maintaining a contemporary perspective. [her appearance] speaks  of the past, but the force of her personality, and the choreographic richness are of the new millennium”.  That was seven years ago, and the most obvious evolution since that time, is a greater tendency towards modernism.

“Alas de Recuerdo” is a work that was conceived out of mourning for a loved one.  At times the choreographies appear to be in slow-motion, all the more poignant.  A lyrical vidalita with the sweet voice of Pepe de Pura sets the tone for the entire work: sadness which is assimilated and transformed into sweetness, because flamenco has that range of possibilities.  The vidalita leads into siguiriyas, and inevitably, the more light-hearted alegrías with polkadot bata de cola, shawl and all the Cádiz feeling María Moreno has to offer, which is considerable.

The dancer defies the laws of nature and the specific limits of her spinal column with a surprising cambré, she ably employs a repetitive hypnotic movement of her shawl to evoke the fluttering wings of a seagull…the “alas”, or wings referred to in the title of the work…and dances a classic taranto ending with tangos.  Her style is marked by the influence of Eva Yerbabuena in whose company she danced on numerous occasions, by her command of subtlety, by a large collection of clever moves that are well-executed and by the expansive flamenco gestures she so credibly reproduces.

In addition to Pepe de Pura, the singing team includes young Matías López “El Mati”, and the grand veteran Enrique el Extremeñño: thank you Enrique for those stylized jaleos.  And on guitar, the young but experienced Joselito Acedo.

“Alas de Recuerdo” is a strangely beautiful work that ends with the melancholic sound of a harmónica that evokes the sea, the luminous quality of Cádiz and the darkness of certain human emotions we all live through at some time or other.

Maria Moreno - Festival de Jerez

Photo gallery  María Moreno "Alas de recuerdo" by Ana Palma