summer flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera, Viernes Flamenco 2003
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Summer Flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera 2003

Viernes Flamenco

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Here is a visual record for the summer of 2003.

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Hot summer flamenco every Friday night throughout the month of August 2003 at the open air cinema called "Cine Astoria" along Calle Francos in the centre of town.

August 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

leaflet viernes flamenco 2003 jerez click here to see programme sandra rincon singer  sandra rincon singer

melchora_ortega_singer

jose_ignacio_franco_guitarist

singer

 

Carmen Herrera danced on the night of 8th August

bailaora_Carmen_Herrera2003 bailaora_Carmen_Herrera_face

guitar accompaniment quini_singerpalmero grupo_Carmen_Herrera


 

Jessica (Yéssica) Brea dancing por Solea

 

 

 

The atmosphere on the second night Friday the15th was heavy and restrained. There was an uncanny stillness in the air. Perhaps everyone had suffered enough sunstroke from the heat of the day (some record temperatures are being recorded across Europe this month.) The singers appeared very "so-so" as one non-Jerezano Andalusian put it, until the young dancer, Jessica Brea, brightened the mood with an emotional yet elegant Solea, quickly leading onto a lengthy Buleria (no doubt to please the Jerezano audience.) Everyone tells me that the Buleria is special in Jerez, yet even an informed audience would find it hard to distinguish it from say Seville, within a particular dancer's choreography.

bailaora Yessica Brea  bailaora_JesicaBrea_face

Part of the evening was marred by a customary lack of attention to the sound quality. At one point I noticed one of the two guitarists (in the dance number) try to signal to an inattentive technician to turn up the volume on his microphone. A technical hitch no doubt, but it meant that only one guitarist was heard by the audience for a while. This can be offputting when you see a fast strumming rasgueado but no sound to accompany it.

 
guitarists

flamenco puro...
but at a price

 

el_pescailla_singer

ripoll singing por seguiriyas

I have to admit that I am a hardened flamenco maniac (aficionado is a better word), but singing a long drawn out Seguiriyas leaves an audience heavy with sadness. Even the guitarist engaged on this particular night to accompany the singers hardly varied the droning two tone lament por Seguiriyas. I appreciate the need for purity and a simple falseta (guitar variation), but there must be a balance musically as well. My Italian friends were not the only ones to suffer on wooden slatted seats..."I am bored with this guitarist"...one of them whispered to me sotto voce.

Perhaps the organisers should consider varying the constant formula of each evening, namely two singers followed by a short interval before the dance group, then ending with the "top" singer. It is ofcourse geared towards the Jerezano audience who look for a perpetration of the purist line of Jerezano song (such as from the singer Terremoto or Tio Borrico). Consequently each singer has a tacit obligation to sing the more hondo styles, though varied occasionally with a cante por Alegrias or a "natural" Fandango (in this context not rhytmically played like Fandangos de Huelva.) It would be nice to hear some of the lighter side of flamenco as well (the cante chico) such as a Colombiana or Garrotin.... but no chance in Jerez, the seat of purity! Still for 5 Euros a ticket, you will not find a better night out.

 


What is the Buleria de Jerez?

 

 

 

 

This is difficult to answer unless you know what Bulerias is all about. Some point to a slower pulse, but perhaps more than anything it is the feel of the Buleria, shaped by the particular artist who sings. The "swing" of the guitarist is also integral. It can be a subtle distinction. I shall deal with this topic on another occasion as it requires more discussion.

As regards the dance, there are certain conventions that make it Jerez style. For example at the end of a singing session (fin de fiesta), the convention in Jerez is to be short and to the point in your "pata de Buleria". That means no extended footwork, just marking steps to a llamada (a call) then something suitably impressive to make your exit across stage. Frequently you can be amusing since Bulerias is used to show off and just have fun at the end of a show.

 

the programme for

8th August

15th August

22nd August

29th August

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Content "Summer Flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera" and photographs © Simon Zolan 2003

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