VI Festival Flamenco de Sevilla
Text: Gonzalo Montaño Peña
1st part : El Pele and Patrocinio Hijo; Manuela Carrasco and her group.
The Flamenco Festival of Seville is included within the parallel activities of the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla offering summertime previews of the huge autumn festival to begin in September. This time the program included three heavyweights: El Pele, Calixto Sánchez and Manuela Carrasco in a pleasant setting that made for an attractive evening’s entertainment.
Pele opened with the guitar of Patrocinio Hijo. The Cordoban’s classic repertoire with a Zambra in the style of Caracol where he employed those peculiar notes and scales that add so much personality. He then interpreted siguiriyas of Marrurro with his mature but well-tempered voice. Soleá de Alcalá, Juaniquín and Triana, twisting the melodic line and with a tremendous rhythmic sense that let the singer adorn the cante in a way that fit perfectly into compás with a delivery that was more spoken than sung. He closed out the recital with alegrías and tonás.
It’s incredible how El Pele manages to improvise, leaving you with the feeling that he’s gone to the edge but found a graceful way out, always with great rhythmic resolution. The best thing of the evening as far as I’m concerned.
Manuela Carrasco then came on with her group, with Enrique Extremeño´s tangos canasteros to introduce the tientos Manuela then danced.
The second part opened with a minute of silence in memory of singer Luis Caballero, and we join here and now in honoring the artist.
Manolo Franco’s brilliant guitar-playing por solea was a prelude to the malagueña of singer Calixto Sánchez. The jovial cantaor remembered anecdotes about Luis Caballero, and strung the memories together with tientos. He then interpreted a milonga, and ended with bulería cuplé.
The evening was topped off with what we were all waiting for; Manuela Carrasco’s soleá dance, that special way of marking the compás and the cante that always leaves such a good impression.
Three stars of flamenco who gave us their best: Pele’s improvisations, the carefully constructed forms of Calixto Sánchez and Manuela Carrasco’s soleá.