XX FESTIVAL BANKIA FLAMENCO 2012
Text: Isaac Rodriguez
Cante: Rancapino, Guitar: Fernando Moreno
SIXTY-SOMETHING GYPSY ART
Second night at the Price theater, with a program bursting with gypsy artistry through and through, and I don’t say that it in vain…to such an extent that Manolete fell through one of the side exits of the stage. We sincerely hope and expect he suffered no serious injury, for his own good and ours, because his level of talent is rare these days.
Rancapino opened, video cheerful and jovial on this cold February night to offer his regular cantes (he was never much of a studious person since he believes that flamenco is written with “bad speling”): soleá, alegrías in the style of Chano and dedicated to Chano, malagueña, the seguiriya of Torre and bulerías of Cádiz. Everything correct and full out, but without much emotion.. (A few days ago at the Casa Encendida we had the pleasure of hearing his son Alonso with soleá apolá and some fandangos de Toronjo that were absolutely excellent. I think Alonso senior is mostly thinking of himself as the father of Rancapino junior). Getting back to this performance, I would only add that the guitarist, Fernando Moreno, “talked” a lot with his guitar, but seemed to have a “cold” in his hands.
And from Chiclana to Jerez, with the powerful authentic singing of Manuel Moneo, video expertly accompanied by a group of seasoned professionals who know the business of flamenco inside and out. The singers began with a round of martinete…Pepe Jiménez, Juañares and Leo Triviño…each one better than the next. And without blinking an eye, the maestros star disciples came on to dance. To the compás of bulería por soleá, Kelián Jiménez and Jesús Carmona proved they fully deserve to be alongside their tutor from Granada. At times dancing together in unison, at times doing solo bits, both showed tremendous artistry and command. And it was an impeccable preamble to receive Manolete who began his dance in an immaculate white suit, seated, majestic, solemn. After this interlude, he gave us an expansive alegrías which kept us on our toes throughout. It’s clear his sixty-something years don’t allow for jumps and whirling turns, but his hands and his steps, the body statements are so elegant they kiss our souls and allow no distraction to interfere. You don’t need to be young, and these three artists are the proof, to show that flamenco is still alive and kicking.