From a tribute to fanfares to a drunken revel

Suma Flamenca 2011.

Estrella Morente / “Morente en concierto”
Madrid. Teatros del Canal. Sala Roja
Thursday 9 June. 20:30.

The 6th Festival Suma Flamenca, the first without Enrique Morente, began with a concert by Estrella Morente, paying tribute to her father. Under the title “Morente en concierto”, Estrella elegantly reinterprets with great passion some of Don Enrique’s most well-know cantes. She performed “La Estrella”, the beautiful song the master from Granada devoted to his first born child. On stage, his daughter, singing the song that her recently deceased genius father wrote for her. Pure flamenco, the saga continues …
Rocío Molina / “Vinática”
Madrid. Teatros del Canal. Sala Roja
Firday 10 June. 20:30.

With “Vinática, her new show, Rocío Molina shows off her old-style flamenco dance and her modern dance style wonderfully, with taste and sensitivity aged in a traditional barrel. Sketches, drafts, silhouettes and notes. This hugely talented dancer uses modern and traditional movements that make her a truly timeless legend. A huge and bare stage, full wine glasses held high in a drunken revelry of a dance full of future promise.
Niño Josele and Márta Sebestyén / “Flamenco en la frontera”
Madrid. Teatros del Canal. Sala Roja
Saturday 11 June. 20:30.

Niño Josele is almost at the peak of his talent. The guitar player from Almeria demonstrated he has the finest taste of the current flamenco scene, both by playing flamenco and when playing with other music styles. Either Bill Evans’s music or accompanying Márta Sebestyén, with whom he played a traditional Hungarian piece which sounded like a nana with hints of a fado. On the six strings Josele sets the rhythm. He speeds up and when he plays… He commands the rhythm and sounds beautiful. Can you ask for more.
Israel Galván
Madrid. Casa Patas.
Saturday 11 June. 0:00.

Well into the night, when flamenco really gets going, one of the truly memorable performances of this Suma Flamenca took place: the performance Israel Galván at the legendary Casa Patas tablao. There, on less than 10 meters square of stage, flamenco’s most modern dancer, charged with angled arms, swerves and feints in abstract forms. The voice of Juan José Amador and the beat of Bobote helped him deconstruct the avant garde. The gourmet flamenco showered with sweat a hen night looking for flamenco striptease in the front row of Casa Patas, what they found was a jolt of pure flamenco electricity.
Diego El Cigala and Fanfare Shavale /Flamenco en la frontera. Noche de gitanos
Madrid. Teatros del Canal. Sala Roja
Sunday 12 June. 20:00.

After a half hour wait, Diego el Cigala climbed on stage, at last, the prove his dominance over flamenco cante, “that I was born and bred in”. It’s been a while since the cantaor from Madrid has devoted himself entirely to flamenco, albeit in its most festive styles (cantiñas, romeras, tangos, bulerías), leaving to one side the boleros, Argentine tangos and coplas that have made him a hit. Impressive finale: From the always immaculately pressed suit of El Cigala singing a pataíta por bulerías to the electric blue underpants of the second percussionist. Pure surrealism Felini-style that was perfectly accompanied by a soundtrack in the Kusturica style by Fanfare Shavale. Trombones, drums and trumpets from Romania, proving that while flamenco is an open music, the audience isn’t so open. It was shameful to see how a sold out hall ended up practically empty halfway through the show. R-E-S-P-E-C-T