The new flamenco is not only consolidated, but on the rise, and the people involvedinthis hybrid trend are proud to see itspopularity increasing. As a product of our time involving fusions, multifaceted inspiration from all kinds of dance, and even art forms, it comes with the tools strong enough to tear down walls and conventions. This new tendency is even coming of age. Its presence is habitual in the most important circuits and plazas for international contemporary dance. This makes it the most important Spanish contribution to mainstream dance around the world. There is an abundance of creators with proposals that have successfully moved along this path.
Marco Flores is one of them. Being an artist of a consolidated language, he positions himself to address flamenco from his own personal angle. He belongs to a prodigious generation along prominent performers such as Manuel Liñán, Olga Pericet, and Daniel Doña. In 2010 he founded his own company with the successful proposal De Flamencas. In his new creation, Rayuela [‘Hopscotch’], he searches for inspiration from Julio Cortázar and the character of his famous novel, Hopscotch. In essence, it is about a man in search of something he needs, without really knowing what it is.
Born in 2002 and a resident in Galapagar, Madrid since 2009, MalucosDanza have developed their own language from the base of flamenco, but without being impermeable to input from contemporary dance, folklore, or even Spanish dance. Always under the direction of Carlos Chamorro, they now have a score of choreographies to their repertoire. Lady Mambo, the most recent, draws upon mimics and prioritizes gestures to engage the audience in an intimate adventure involving three characters spellbound by live music.
Some look introspectively whereas others search for answers from above. The outer space has been the inspiration for Los cuerpos celestas [‘The Heavenly Bodies’], the most ambitious creation by Marco Vargas & Chloé Brûle to date. This Sevillian tandem has also received support from the composer Miguel Marín in their proposal encompassing the amplitude of the universe to focus on five minuscule human beings. These people seemingly care only about dancing and associating with one another, yet they are pivotal to the sustainment of everything.
There are also those who look back to reflect. The flamenco dancer and creator from Malaga, Manuel Roldán, has studied flamenco since he was five years old. By now, he has come to realise that he has not been educated only in the topics of flamenco but also in matters of society. Thus, he asks himself to what extent his life and dance have been influenced by these clichés, which on so many occasions have proved to have no bearings on his emotions and desires. Tópico [‘Topic’] is his dance offering an answer to these concerns.
Similar motivations drive the flamenco dancer, choreographer and philosopher Fernando López in his new creation ¿Y después? [‘And Afterwards?’]. This proposal revolves around themes such as identity, tolerance, and acceptance. These are now constants in his work, which is always influenced by philosophy. On this occasion, he has participated actively in the conception of the proposal by the renowned creator Belén Maya, both in terms of texts as well as in some segments of the choreography.
Born in Germany but Sevillian by heart for more than 25 years, Carina La Debla has trained with some of the maestros of flamenco in its purest sense. Manolete, Antonio Canales and the more avant-garde Galván and Molina have all helped her configure her own way of doing things. This is evidenced in her proposal Flamenco telúrico [‘Telluric Flamenco’], which is a celebration of femininity and, as its name implies, earthly life per se.
Originally from Malaga but residing in the Canaries, Obdulia Bustos is a researcher, lecturer, and creator interested in therapeutic dance. She has been developing a line of personal work with her company Flamencurías Obdulia Bustos.
This search for a flamenco experience bearing her own identity has brought about her new creation Dancing with my Shadows. In this avant-garde proposal dance coexists with the Andalusian songs by Nieves Hidalgo and the music by the composer Ignacio Fernández.
Alba Lucera has intentionally broken away from the chains of the formal music structures of flamenco. This has enabled her to explore a universe of her own, which has materialises in El hombre que camina [‘The Man Who Walks’]. In this adaptation of the homonym novel by Michèle Ramond, we witness to the sound of music by Tino van der Smanthe vicissitudes of a woman running after an elusive man.
In her new creation Aspid, the flamenco dancer and creator from Jaén, Vanesa Aibar, continues her research and concerns from her former work, Sierpe, in a reflection about femininity in mythology. Her new creation is now focused on analysing the validity of the most ancient female archetypes, and everything they imply, including the romantic representation of the flamenco dancer, and the stereotypical vision of their art.
Avant-garde and tradition live and coexist on the national flamenco stage. Without being disconnected from their own time, there are creators who champion tradition in defence of a legacy. These artists who drink directly from the fountain are of the utmost necessity because they remind us of the origins of flamenco.However,their strict adherence to tradition does not mean they are devoid of creativity. They are capable of dealing with very diverse themes and very sophisticated forms.
Carmen Cortés has focused on Lorca when stagingthe new proposal by her flamenco company Gira corazón, Bailando Lorca en la Edad de Plata [‘Revolving Heart, Dancing with Lorca in the Age of Silver’]. She contemplates Lorca as a multifaceted figure, exalting him equally for his music and laughter as for the tragic and obscure character behind the artist. Born in Barcelona, but with Andalusian roots, Carmen Cortés is a veteran flamenco dancer and creator, who has as always found a rigorous way to give flexibility to the canons.
Amazonas flamencas [‘Flamenco Amazons’]. This is the explosive mix from Amazonas, the third creation by Juana Casado for her company AndanZas, appointed to the Sevillian TNT. In this creation she follows her idea of delving into the drama possibilities of flamenco. Her new choreography reinvents the legend of the ferocious warrior women from a current perspective of female vindication. The creation contains elements from theatre, music, as well as other art forms.
Anabel Veloso innately knows of the link between Andalusian flamenco and Portuguese fado as she carries both art forms in her blood. Born with an Andalusian mother and a father from Lisbon, this creator from Almeria is celebrating her ten years in this career by creating De Cabo a Fado [‘From Cabo to Fado’]. This musical, choreographic and poetic journey takes her from Cabo de Gata to Portugal, in a performance where dance moulds into new expressions derived from either of the two places.
The flamenco dance company Rita Clara is born from the encounter between the flamenco dancer and the guitarist Jesús Rodríguez. They advocate in favour of a fusion between dramaturgy and avant-garde from the classical flamenco in performances for all audiences. La Dama Blanca [‘The White Lady’], with her message of warning against drugs, is a scenic proposal that aspires to reach especially the young and the adolescent.
Moreover, on the Canary Islands, the creator and flamenco dancer María Juncal makes use of her family legacy, the Borrull. Although they were pioneers of the same flamenco tradition she follows, she maintains a more current artistic outlook. As evident in La vida es un romance [‘Life is a Romance’] she is a creator quite capable of making her own contributions to the art form. This performance supposes a point of inflection and higher sense of freedom, and makes an emotional roundtrip from evocation of the elements: land, sea, air, and of course, fire.
In Fuerteventura, the leading flamenco comes from Anna Villacampa’s Deloflamenco. Her project is the only one showing flamenco to the islanders as well as the numerous tourists visiting the place. Her new creation, Ritual a III, connects four musical pieces of ritual character from the compositions by Aceysele Chacón, the voice by Sheyla del Valle and Villacampa’s dance.
The experience that the flamenco dancer and teacher José Galán had in Danza Mobile, the relevant and inclusive Sevillian contemporary dance company, was decisive. He learned a lot about dance, but it was the human dimension of this work that led him to become a driving force for a more inclusive flamenco. Since his company’s foundation in 2010, he has given space on stage for performers with varying degrees of disabilities, as well as to artists of all races, creeds, and colours. Cierra los ojos y mírame [‘Close Your Eyes and Look at Me’] has been the first production of his group.