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Jerez Festival: dance as the only argument | Culture

by News Room
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In an event like the Jerez Flamenco Festival, dedicated to flamenco dance and Spanish dance, the predominance of works in which the dance exercise occupies the leading place above other arguments is understood as something natural. There are, however, occasions in which this line is shown with greater centrality and strength, something that has happened notably with some of the works presented in the first week of a cycle that has already reached its halfway point.

We could start with two works united by the common link of offering dance alone, with no other company than singing or music, whether that of the guitar or other instruments. We are referring to the works presented by Fuensanta la Moneta from Granada and Joaquín Grilo from Jerez. Works of very different inspiration in which both artists assumed absolute prominence, with a permanent stage presence and without fainting, and with successive changes of dance registers, in which, it is necessary to emphasize, they never lost the personality that defines them.

First of all, La Moneta looked to the compositions of Mauricio Sotelo, such a lover of flamenco in his brilliant works, to build a show with which she traveled through the main styles without losing her status as a gypsy artist. The opposition of her dance, so ethnic, to the music of contemporary overtones, which accompanied her, constituted an eloquent plea for the strength of an art that can maintain its identity in dialogue with a culture and musical accompaniment that is not especially traditional. .

Joaquín Grilo during his show. TAMARA PASTORA (Sherry Festival)

Joaquín Grilo, on the contrary, looked to tradition to develop his dance syntax with commendable generosity. He likes deception, a feigned decomposition of the figure, to show his mastery of time and compass. On this occasion, he resorted to the trades that have been related to flamenco (the field, the forge, the mine…), which served as a vehicle for an exhibition of styles that followed one another without rest, with the willing involvement and complicity of the members of the team that accompanied Grilo. Everything can be danced, even a saeta, within a scenic approach that, within its austerity, was more than effective for the purpose.

The transition from personal and free dance to shared dance involves some commitment and perhaps more than one added difficulty, let’s say choreographic; the same ones that Alfonso Losa and Patricia Guerrero solve with audacity, ingenuity and a lot of art in a work perhaps destined to grow, given the openness of its approach and the dancer solvency of its protagonists, who exhibit a certain and even complicit understanding that, deliberately, they pose from an initial game of opponents. In what we could consider as a prolonged and constantly evolving pas de deux, both protagonists exhibit their individuality to, little by little, walk towards an encounter that pretends to be difficult and is staged with the sole sound of their steps and evolutions. When the confluence occurs, they play to blend in with a synchrony that is only appearance, because after the conjunction will come the joy and the celebration of freedom that, after some tangos, materializes in the festive and differentiated dance of the guajira. An endless number of images remain impressed on the retina in what represents an explosion of energy that floods the bare box of the theater and is projected onto a feverish stalls.

The Sinsombrero, flamenco inspiration

Mercedes de Córdoba says that when she discovered the group of creators from the generation of ’27 Las Sinsombrero, whom she confesses that she did not know, she was in the middle of the creative process of a new project that she was forced to abandon. From that group, she fell especially in love with the painter, sculptor and writer Marga Gil Roësset, and she has immersed herself in her person and her work to prepare what she calls an essay that, in addition to honoring her and making her known, pursues, above all, , to convey his infatuation with this artist of great precocity and a very disturbing inner world: she committed suicide when she was only 24 years old. Her diaries revealed that it was because of an impossible love, the one she felt for the poet Juan Ramón Jiménez.

Mercedes de Córdoba, at the Jerez Festival. TAMARA PASTORA (Sherry Festival)

For the presentation, the dancer chose a space in line with the rehearsal condition of her work, an empty warehouse, with the audience standing, in which she installed a stage space designed to project Roësset’s work. He had the presence and poems of his niece, the writer and photographer Marga Clark, with whom he spoke in the middle of a show that he proposed framed by her dance, which is of strength and essence, and which, on this occasion, goes beyond of the tribute: in the evolutions of her dance one perceives how the artist is transfixed by the person of the creator of 27, who inspires and moves her.

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