“To Wander For Eternity” Flamenco Event Comes to Peralta
By Peter Ramsey
Poet Frederico García Lorca called flamenco the most gigantic creation of the Spanish people. In 1922 he said, “Each day another leaf falls from the admiral tree of Andalusian lyrics, the old carry off to the grave the priceless treasures of past generations, and a gross, stupid avalanche of cheap music clouds the delicious folk atmosphere of all of Spain….”
Flamenco was born of a nomadic people with cultural connections, like a nervous system, into deepest Asia. But the beating heart of flamenco has always been in Southern Spain. The Gypsies arrived during the Inquisition after expulsion from India. Persecution of this underclass and genocidal terror fueled powerful self-expression.
Gypsies were mostly itinerate ironworkers. The flamenco form martinette is from the word martillo, or hammer. The rhythm of the blacksmith shop, hammer on steel, represented the first shots of the rebellion. The flamenco term jaleo, the verbal involvement of the audience, is from the Hebrew word jalel, which means “to encourage.” The earliest cantes, or songs, were playeras, to play, from explayarse “to unburden oneself freely and at length.”
The canto jondo, or deep song, is a struggle to summon the duende, or the spirit. The physical language resides in the senses, not the intellect. The performance dazzles the senses but obscures unknown forces. Although it is the language of the dead, it is not a dead language; it is forever changing and growing. It is a collective consciousness, yet fiercely individual.
In order to live, first you must die. Flamenco “artists” create a moment. They reach back into the distant past while plunging into the future, using elaborate hand gestures that beckon the spirit. The casting of the skirt and the wave of the shawl, like a sower in the field or a fisherman casting a net, summons the audience inside the moment to feel the presence of the duende before it wanders away, forever wandering, transcending life and death, time and space. Light from its load, the spirit flies.
There will be a special performance of flamenco Tuesday, October 30, at 7pm at the Ángela Peralta Theater. Dancers Ángela La Yerbabuena, Alfredo Enriquez, and the Cuadro de Baile, will perform with Gerardo Amador (guitarra) and Victor Monterubio (percussion). We invite you all to come and pay witness to the spirits that will wander through.
Flamenco Dancing, Music, and Singing
“Muerte Que Te Quiero Muerte”
Tue, Oct 30, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta, Mesones 82
Luneta 400 pesos, palcos 200 pesos, galería 100 pesos
Tickets at the theater box office