Going to the Flamenco Festival in Rome

For about three months now, I’ve been going for Flamenco classes and have been enjoying every moment. It’s such a beautiful form of art – the passion, the grace and the sensuality. I can’t believe that I’ve discovered this love at such a late stage in life, but better later than never, right?

rinaz.net Flamenco

Coincidentally this month, Parco della Musica has organised the Flamenco Festival and I’ve managed to catch 3 of the 4 acts.

rinaz.net Festival di danza spagnola e flamenco Roma

The first one was Nova Galega de Danza which I got due to a mix up – mistakenly thinking that the tickets that I bought online was for that evening, last Friday, but it turned out to be for Monday instead. I was stunned, but not wanting to waste the trip, I another pair of tickets anyway and had a look.

“Son” was an interesting interpretation of the Spanish dance with a fusion of Galician and Contemporary dance. Because it was a last minute thing, I didn’t managed to do any research and when it started, for the first 15 minutes or so, I was confused because it appeared to be completely modern dance … I didn’t see any Flamenco dancing at all. But at length, the high energy appeared and it was fascinating to watch as the men poised and did their footwork.

It wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed myself in the end.

On Monday, we watched a musical group, lead by Alfonso Aroca – who instead of playing the guitar, uses the piano for his rendition of the Flamenco.  So there was the pianist, a guitarist, two percussionists, a singer and a dancer. It was unique. In the end, the ensemble sounded more like jazz – even the flamenco dancer, I feel did his own interpretation of a flamenco dance with a jazz feel.

Here is a segment of what I watched.

Yesterday, we managed to catch the final act with Manuel Linan, which in my opinion was the magnum opus of the entire festival. Which explained why it was completely sold out by the time we arrived at the auditorium and we were lucky to get our seats because of some last minute cancellations.

Manuel Linan does traditional flamenco but the act that we watched yesterday had a twist as the title of the act was “Reversible”. Which explains why he wore a bata de cola and a shawl  and danced the female roles while the female player did vice versa.

The entire performance was a feast for the eyes and I was enthralled from the beginning to the end. It wasn’t hard to understand why it was a full house last evening. It was completely mesmerising and the entire ensemble was perfect. I loved the music, I loved the dance, I loved the singing.

I don’t believe that Manuel Linan wanted to be a female while dancing, the way he moves, even in the skirt and the shawl was still very masculine. But his intention was probably to show that even men (and women) can do each other’s roles even in something as traditional as Flamenco.

I had an amazing time these past days and I feel very cultured. Flamenco is probably going to drain me out of my funds, nevertheless, I feel very rich inside. :p

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