Text and photos: Estela Zatania
Viernes Flamencos, July 22nd, 2016. 10:30pm. Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera
And old Farruco gazed down with pride
Dance: El Carpeta, La Farruca. Voice: Ezequiel Montoya, Juan Fernández «El Negro». Guitar: Raúl Vicenti. Electric bass: Melchor Borja. Percussion: Fali del Eléctrico. Guest artists: Farruquito, Farruco.
On Friday evening, July 22nd, 2016, in Jerez de la Frontera, province of Cádiz, Spain, planet Earth, at half past ten in the evening, the forecast was for clear skies, winds from the southwest, 82 degrees Farenheit and the possibility of violent seismic tremors in the packed patio of the Alcázar, courtesy of the Farruco family. If in recent weeks we've seen an outstanding Farruquito at the Potaje de Utrera, and a superb Farru at the Gazpacho de Morón, the encounter of Carpeta, Farruco and Farruquito, the three brothers, along with la Farruca, mother of the trio, promised a nearly mystical experience.
Speaking in literary terms, which I normally avoid, this family holds the key to the secret of the crux of the flamenco question as expressed through dance. In simpler terms, you could say that Antonio Montoya Flores (1936-1997), old Farruco, created a flamenco personality, and such a powerful way of delivering it, that it gave rise to a school that shows no signs of losing its validity.
The machine-gun footwork, the menacing glance, spontaneity, presence, millimetrically executed details that send an electric charge to all observers… It would be unfair to attribute all that to the «blood». These are great artists and dedicated professionals who have known how to preserve and cultivate their heritage, making no concessions.
And within that family line, each one exhibits a unique personality. Carpeta, speed and intense silences, Farruca, the femenine feline side of Farruquism, Farruquito, dark elegance, Farruco, impish and brave.
Last night they delivered the magic in small doses with two dances by Carpeta, now all grown up, one by la Farruca, as interesting as it was brief, short spots by Farruquito and Farruco and a series of cantes offered by back-up singers who were not up to the usual level this family tends to bring.
On this occasion, the wise custom of including beloved local artists, gave us the opportunity to see Antonio Agujetas share the stage with the legendary family, although he didn't really sing.
The anecdote of the night, two pairs of books Carpeta managed to break while dancing, and Farruquito who jokingly referred to his brother as «the boot breaker» in a fiesta finale where we missed seeing a bit more of la Farruca. And all the while, grandfather Farruco, whose projected image filled the backdrop, looked down smilingly, pleased with his work.