Patricia Guerrero – Catedral

The last show on the 2019 London Flamenco Festival. The show that won the Critic’s choice Award (Giraldillo) on the Bienal of Seville in 2016. Reason to go already. Plus I’ve never seen Patricia Guerrero before, so there I was in Sadler’s Wells on 14 July. To see the award winning show, but also to say farewell to the Flamenco Festival until 2020.

Without knowing what “Cathedral” was about, I found the concept interesting to bring flamenco in the Church. Flamenco & religion? Not something I have in my head closely related. So I was impressed to recognise the smell of incense in the theatre as the show started and nuns appeared on stage. The second surprise came from suddenly listening to voices of the Church: two gentlemen dressed in red as priests, singing chants. The atmosphere was created. How does flamenco come here?

Patricia describes Cathedral as reflection on freeing from religious and social barriers of life. The struggle of a woman with her demons, in a world of phantoms, light and shadow. The “moment to let go of the dogmas that sometimes make us forget who we are”.

Flamenco was her way of expressing this emotional battle, to show us her “insight on freedom”. I liked her dance in general, but I missed everybody else. There were 3 dancers, 2 percussionists, 1 flamenco singer, 2 tenors and 1 guitarist, yet, I had the feeling that it was only about the main dancer. Which is fine, of course, it’s her own show. On other shows though you get to see the musicians perform alone or have their little solos, the dancers normally have a few dances without the principal dancer. Not here. The dancers had one short dance without Patricia, this was probably the only time during the 90 minute performance that she had left the stage for a few minutes. Incredible strength to dance through the entire performance though.

Excellent musicians accompanying her;  I only recognised Agustín Diassera on percussion, and José Ángel Carmona singing.

It was not the most traditional show all in all, it was focused on a very specific topic in a very specific setting, but receiving huge applause from the audience.

 

The festival finished with Patricia Guerrero after two weeks of flamenco packed programme in Sadler’s Wells and the Lilian Baylis studio, and it will be greatly missed. The director of the festival Miguel Marín expressed his doubts in an interview about changing the date of the festival from February to July after 15 years. Well, Miguel, although I don’t know the sale numbers, the theatre seemed pretty full to me every single day, and I have to say, I loved going to see flamenco when it’s not cold and dark, but hot and light, just like it would be in Spain.

So see you all again next July on Rosebery Avenue!

Hasta la próxima!

This is the final countdown… tirititiiii

The countdown has started…. there are 3 days left until the London Flamenco Festival!

From 2 -14 July the festival is on and I have so many tickets, I can hardly believe it!

London peeps, it’s still not too late to get your tickets!

Come and enjoy flamenco in the London summer!

Here is the program again:

Sadler’s Wells

2-7 July     Ballet Flamenco do Sara Baras: Sombras

8 July        Miguel Poveda: Recital de cante

9 July        Rocio Molina: Fallen from heaven

10 July      Dorantes, Tim Ries, Adam Ben Ezra, Javi Ruibal with guest artist Jesús Carmona: Flamenco meets jazz

11 July      Olga Pericet

12-13 July Gala Flamenca: Mercedes Ruíz, Eduardo Guerrero, María Moreno

14 July       Patricia Guerrero: Catedral

Lilian Baylis studio

6 July  Shubbak festival – Amir ELSaffar Ensemble: Luminiscencia

12 July David Carmona

12 July Kiki Morente

13 July Jesús Carmona

13 July Sergio de Lope

Note: our friend, Javi Ruibal will be playing on the festival with Dorantes on 10 July, and (!) he has recently released his first album “Solo un mundo”, available on www.losuyo.es. With each CD purchased, he plants a tree, so even more motivation to get it!

London? July? Flamenco Festival!

After almost 20 years of the London Flamenco Festival organised in February, this year, for the very first time, the festival will be in July! Miguel Marín, the director, organiser and inventor of the festival has recently been to the radio program Nuestro Flamenco (Our Flamenco), and talked about the past, present and future of the festival.

In 2019, the Flamenco Festival celebrates its XIX. edition, and Miguel shared with the audience how the goals of the festival have changed and evolved throughout its almost 20-year-history, constantly adjusting to the changing musical taste and music world. It started with the initial idea of supporting the “inventors” in flamenco, like Israel Galván, and continued with aims like making the Carnegie Hall a permanent space for flamenco performances. Then they wanted to bring flamenco to the more underground theatres, trying to reach a new and different public; always having in the back of their minds to provide opportunity for the flamenco musicians to meet other musicians from around the world.

In 2018, 45,000 people attended the concerts of the festival, which says a lot about the dimensions the festival has grown into during these two decades. Miguel admitted that he has never dreamed of this, when he first started… He said it’s the merit of flamenco to bring all these people to the festival: “flamenco is able to move, touch and attract the public to the theatres, because even though many say that “flamenco sells itself”,  tickets are sold one by one every single time, depending on the country, the theatre and the public”. The presenter of the radio program, José María Velázquez Gaztelu pointed out, that it’s also the merit of Miguel and everyone in his team, who make the festival happen year after year, and I absolutely agree with that.

The festival has constantly grown and evolved, and I think they have now gotten to the next level in terms of size, program and reach. This year, besides the original Flamenco Festival shows, they have expanded the program in the United States (not in London, unfortunately) and brought the Flamenco Eñe Festival to the US. In the past, the idea has always been that abroad dance sells best, and the festivals outside of Spain have been dominated by dance shows. In 2019, from the Eñe festival’s 9 productions 8 will be musicians (not dancers). The festival’s inspiration is the sounds of flamenco: what does flamenco sound like? Artists like Israel Fernández and María Terremoto give an insight into traditional flamenco sounds. I could not agree more with Miguel that Israel and María, both representing the younger generation and traditional flamenco, are the perfect proof that traditional flamenco has a bright future ahead. Among the other artists, you’ll find Miguel Ángel Cortés guitarist, Chano Dominguez pianist, Antonio Rey guitarist, Sergio de Lope with his flamenco flute, and Diego Guerrero with his project of fusion with Cuban music. 24 different shows in New York, Miami and Chicago throughout the month of March.

Us, Londoners will have to wait till July for the original Flamenco Festival to arrive. Exciting change in the timing, no change in location though, as always the dance theatre, Sadlers Wells will host the festival.

The program is spectacular, already available on the Sadlers Wells website, together with the tickets. I already have mine, of course, and highly recommend to everyone to come and see the shows.

Program below.  See you in July in Sadlers Wells!

2-7 July     Ballet Flamenco do Sara Baras: Sombras

8 July        Miguel Poveda: Recital de cante

9 July        Rocio Molina: Fallen from heaven

10 July      Dorantes, Tim Ries, Adam Ben Ezra, Javi Ruibal with guest artist Jesús Carmona: Flamenco meets jazz 

Note: our friend, Javi Ruibal  has just released his first album “Solo un mundo” and it’s available on www.losuyo.es

11 July      Olga Pericet

12-13 July Gala Flamenca: Mercedes Ruíz, Eduardo Guerrero, María Moreno

14 July       Patricia Guerrero: Catedral

Lilian Baylis studio: 6 July  Shubbak festival – Amir ELSaffar Ensemble: Luminiscencia