XV BIENAL DE FLAMENCO DE SEVILLA
‘EL FINAL DE ESTE ESTADO DE COSAS REDUX’
Text: Estela Zatania
Dance and choreography: Israel Galván. Artistic director: Pedro G. Romero. Staging: Txiki Berraondo. Guitar: Alfredo Lagos. Cante. Diego Carrasco, Fernando Terremoto, Juan José Amador. Dance, palmas and compás: Bobote. Percussion: José Carrasco. ‘Orthodox ‘ group: Marco Serrato, Ricardo Jiménez, Borja Díaz. Violin: Eloisa Sánchez
I’m of the opinion that when it comes to flamenco dance, the less libretto, the better. But the enigmatic title “El final de este estado de cosas redux” ('the end of the current state of affairs, redux'), which suggests a complex conceptual line for Israel Galvan’s latest work, is apt even beyond the original intention.
In English the Word “redux”, which comes from the Latin for “reduce”, has become fashionable in other languages in recent years, thanks to the 2001 film “Apocalypse now redux”, which was a reinterpretation of the original version. This new version of Galvan’s show, is a laborious rethinking of the original work which debuted at the last Bienal de Málaga less than one year ago. That version depended on an outsized cast not easily exported to other countries, and for many, it was too long (two and a half hours) and convoluted. Quoting from my review of that night: ”It looks like this time the genius just had too many ideas”.
Last night, those of us fortunate enough to occupy seats at the Teatro de la Maestranza, were able to contemplate the results of a dramatic, and no doubt difficult reworking and distillation of the original show. “Distillation” is the operative word. Elements have been eliminated that perhaps enriched the theater experience, without adding much to the diffuse apocalyptic message, not to mention the dance.
Needless to say, certain constants that run through all of Israel’s work continue to define his artistic personality. The use of contrasting speeds, the poses that are both surprising and familiar, the pregnant silences which come off as dance without movement…the spark of surprise at every moment. Now the dancing devours the theatre instead of vice versa.