13 August: Juan Carmona Habichuela “nieto” (guitar). dance: Luis de Luis
Text & photos: Antonio Conde.
The best gift for a performer is the warmth of the audience, but other expressions of gratitude are also welcome. Much to our surprise last Wednesday when young guitarist Juan Carmona “Habichuela”, third generation, was presented with a guitar made by Pepe López. But there was more to it: the guitar was given to him on stage by his grandfather Juan Carmona “Habichuela”. The legendary guitarist thus passed the torch to his descendent, and the young man wasted no time breaking it in to let us enjoy the sound of his playing.
The young Habichuela delighted the audience with harmonies of granaína that evoked the Moorish and Andalusian aromas still present in the Albaycín quarter of Granada. In the guajira that followed he showed the dominance of harmony and avant-garde guitar-playing you hear in young guitarists, with a personality sure to make people sit up and take note. Maya’s violin worked a zapateado full of scales and picados. This coming-out party was well-attended and received by those who weren’t about to miss the historic occasion. María Toledo accompanied Juan’s alegrías with her cante. A sweet, full voice heavy with emotion. There was a certain excess of harmony in the closing bulerías that subtracted strength. The expectation generated by this flamenco series was satisfied by the guitar-playing of this young hopeful who is progressing by leaps and bounds.
The intense second part was given over to dance, with Luis de Luis. The martinete and taranto with long tangos ending showed a dancer anxious to please, but little more. Trying very hard, he wanted to communicate, but his dancing lacks a touch of sophistication. A farruca guitar solo gave him time to change for siguiriyas. Again, he displayed plenty of energy but a lack of substance. Perhaps the problem was the choreography itself.
Edu Lozano always surprises, and is worth his weight in gold. Waist, hips, knees, so flamenco, and the rest is all authentic. Constant bulería closings, plenty of power. He calmed down for the siguiriya, and his expression fit the weightiness of the form with aromas of tragedy. The tango ending he shared with Estefanía Cuevas, was an elegant courtship. Cuevas joined the taranto and tangos with grace and elegance, raising dance to a high level.
The closing fiesta of “Los Veranos del Corral” had everything. One of the best moments was provided by a star of Granada dance, winner of the dance prize of La Unión in 2003. Fuensanta la Moneta’s career is developing nicely. The cante of Manuel Osuna, a long series of fandangos, the guitars of Miguel Iglesias and David Carmona, the added cante of Miguel Lavi and El Galli in the soleá that Fuensanta bestowed upon us. The drama in her dancing is unsettling, pure through and through, sincere and truthful. It doesn’t seem like a choreography, she feels what she does, and you can tell. Pure energy. After David Carmona’s taranta, Moneta digs into farruca, and again, the drama. Her facial expression almost inspires fear when she looks straight ahead. Contained anger that comes out in her feet and arms.
Malagueñas gives a little down time to the dancer who returns for siguiriyas, powerful and radiant. The audience reaction was deservedly warm for this young star on the rise.