Sara Baras – Sombras

Finally, the London Flamenco Festival has started!

Who else could be the first artist to perform on the festival, than the internationally celebrated and known, Sara Baras.

3rd of July, was her second day of performance out of the six. She and her show ‘Sombras’ (Shadows) occupies the first half of the festival. Sara Baras, the “showman”.

I haven’t seen her for years, but she hasn’t changed much. She still has the same smile, young and fresh. She still has that cheekiness of the south of Spain; she plays on stage with the public, winking, joking, throwing kisses, involving the audience fully.

Her shows haven’t changed much either. She still loves playing with lights, colours and her dresses. She still brings many musicians, I was happy to hear live for the first time Rubio de Pruna and Israel Fernández (and what hair, wow), but also saw some new faces I didn’t know, together with some new instruments I didn’t expect!

The footwork of Sara is still fast and impressive, but too much for my taste. Technique is not all, the heart has to be there. And I’m sure she puts all her heart in her shows, but it must be difficult (if not impossible) to give the same each and every night over a week.

The game with light and shadow, sound and silence, and the stage design are definitely still her strengths! Just like the musicians she has with her; beautiful solos from the percussionists and the saxophonist!

Unbelievable for me to realise how her arms can be recognised from a million. Always the same, strong, straight, moving up and up and up. Missing the soul though. Interesting how the arms of María Pages and Sara Baras are so different, yet so recognisable both.

The mariana “Yo vengo de Hungría” is dear to my heart for obvious reasons (I’m Hungarian!), so was nice to hear parts of it in the show! And always nice to find little hints and gestures to artists like Paco de Lucía and Enrique Morente.

But the best of all, is that my friend Mirawa came with me, and I got to show a little piece of flamenco to someone new!

Someone who didn’t know flamenco before.

Someone, who still has the entire world of flamenco ahead of her to discover.

Lucky her!

The festival continues and I will be back with more updates soon…

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

 

 

 

Did you know…

… that Paco de Lucía spent the last few years of his life living between Mexico and Mallorca?

Did you know that the singers La Niña de los Peines and Tomás Pavón were siblings?

Did you know that Israel Galván and Pastora Galván are siblings?

Did you know that Pastora Pavón has not recognised her husband, Pepe Pinto at the end of her life due to her illness?

Did you know that the guest artist in the dancer Sara Baras’ shows is always the same, José Serrano, because he is her husband?

Did you know that the father of singer María Terremoto, the singer Fernando Terremoto died at the age of 40, and his father, also singer Terremoto de Jerez died at the age of 47?

Did you know that the National Dance Award winner, Rubén Olmo and former dancer of the Ballet Nacional de Andalucía, Eduardo Leal are a couple?

Did you know that the pianist Dorantes is the nephew of the singer El Lebrijano?

Did you know that singer Rocío Márquez and viola player Fahmi Alqhai, who recently published an album together, are neighbours?

Krisztián Nyáry has become famous in Hungary within a few months in 2012, when he started publishing to his friends on Facebook short stories about the personal life of famous Hungarian poets and writers. His stories became so popular, that a publisher offered him to publish the stories in a book. One book followed another, and today he is the author of six books about famous Hungarians and their life stories. The intention of bringing closer to us the already well known figures of literature, fine arts and Hungarian history is utterly brilliant, and I am a devoted fan of Krisztián. I truly respect his idea and all the work and research he has done to help us understand better the people we tirelessly learn about in school.

My intention is similar. Bringing closer to everyone the flamenco artists and the art of flamenco by sharing stories, interesting facts, upcoming events and my experience and opinion.

I have started this blog in 2018 to share my flamenco love with the world and if time allows, I would like to continue in 2019 too. So if you did not know some or any of the above things, I invite you to join me on this journey throughout the world of flamenco in this coming year. Let’s get 2019 started!

Hello Flamenco

This story starts on the 29th of February 2008: the day I took a plane and moved from Budapest to Madrid. With all my savings  hidden in a bag of tissues (a thousand euros…), I wanted to find out whether the burning love I felt was true love or just a flame that may be put out by the next big wind (as the good old Hungarian saying quotes). I could go back even further in time and start with the glorious old days of the European Union when smoking was still in fashion and we all believed in a better future together, and I could tell you about how as an exchange student in Paris in September 2005 I was introduced to Antonio from the south of Spain; a place called El Puerto de Santa María. But that’s a different story. This story starts on the 29th (!) of February 2008 when I arrived in Spain.

I first heard about flamenco when A. played songs of Camarón in our tiny flat in Lavapiés but I only started to find more interest in it when we went to see Sara Baras dance in her show ‘Carmen’. Spectacular. I believe everyone would find the flamenco dance moves, rhythm and energy fascinating. I also think that the production behind the shows of Sara Baras have exactly this intention: to amaze the non-professional audience. The stage, the lights, the choreography, the dresses, the colours are simply astounding but leave little for improvisation or for personal touch. The same show is repeated over and over again during weeks or sometimes months in one location. Mass production for the mass, says my mind now. However, it serves perfectly the purpose of introducing people to flamenco all around the world (may this be her purpose or not). It shows the essentials of flamenco.

In my new Madrid life I soon found myself with plenty of free time in the evenings. I was interested in flamenco and in ballet at that time, but I knew little about both. So I asked my sister-in-law, C. -who knew both  art forms well- what should I do. Shall I start taking flamenco lessons or sign up for beginner’s ballet? Most politely she said that starting ballet at the age of 25 may not result in much success, but I might enjoy flamenco. So I signed up for classes in ‘El Horno’ in Tirso de Molina and started to learn about compás, contratiempo, moving my arms and legs in different directions at the same time…

Years passed by since those hot afternoons in ‘El Horno’. I have listened to lots of flamenco since, have been to many concerts, participated in many classes learning to dance alegrías, bulerías, tangos, guajira (or tried at least…) and my admiration and love for flamenco is still going strong.

I would like to share my passion for flamenco with all of you out there who still read blogs and are interested.