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32nd Mont-de-Marsan Festival Arte Flamenco features a great lineup

After being cancelled in 2020, the Festival Arte Flamenco, held in Mont-de-Marsan (France), is back with a great program. The performing artists include Rafael Riqueni, Rafaela Carrasco, Pedro el Granaíno, El Pele and Rocío Molina, among others.

The Mont-de-Marsan Festival Arte Flamenco is one of the biggest flamenco festivals outside of Spain. It was first held in 1989 and has now become established as one of the major events in the international flamenco scene. Its 32nd edition will take place between June 29th and July 3rd, 2021.

This festival in France’s Landes department is an essential event in the flamenco calendar, not just for French aficionados but also for those in Spain and other countries. This edition will be somehow restricted due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, but flamenco cannot be stopped. All events will be held at the Mont-de-Marsan bullfighting ring at 9:30 PM.

The festival will start on Tuesday, June 29th, with the performance of bailaora Rafaela Carrasco. «From the traditional school of Andalusian art. Perfection and excellence, as a worthy heir of the great Matilde Coral, from whom she learned so much. Expressive and delicate, this choreographer personifies flamenco with her warm, conceptual vision», stated the organizers regarding Carrasco.

For the first time outside of Spain, Rafaela’s will perform her new show Al hilo del mito, where she confronts the myth of Ariadne, a flamenco trip in the context of a Greek tragedy. This shows features loneliness, love, dreams of freedom, betrayal, a stone wall and sunflower gardens.

This show will feature Rafaela Carrasco, Rafael Ramírez, Gabriel Matías, Ricardo Moro and Felipe Clivio in baile, Antonio Campos and Miguel Ortega in cante, and Jesús Torres and Juan Antonio Suárez Cano in toque.

The program continues with Pedro Ricardo Miño on June 30th, with his show Universo jondo, featuring Anabel Valencia and El Choro as invited guests. Pedro Ricardo Miño, from Triana, is a veritable prodigy of piano, being the recipient of several Giraldillo awards. Paco Vega will join him with percussion and Manuel Valencia and Manuel Cantarote will do palmas.

July 1st is the turn of Manuela Carrasco, Esperanza Fernández, La Tana and Zamara Carrasco in Aires de mujer. Manuela, one of the goddesses of baile, a living legend, will share the stage with her daughter Manuela Carrasco. Everything will be under the spell of Esperanza Fernández’s voice, the freshness of La Tana and the intensity of Zama Carrasco. Percussion by José Carrasco and toque by Joaquín Amador and Antonio Ñoño.

The second-to-last show, Voces, will feature El Pele and Pedro el Granaíno. It will take place on July 2nd,  the anniversary of Camarón’s death. These cantaores will perform a mano a mano, completed by Farruquito as invited artist. This is one of the most eagerly expected shows.

The festival ends on July 3rd with the show Inicio (uno), featuring two flamenco geniuses: Rocío Molina and Rafael Riqueni. «The master from Seville, an artist with the stature of Paco de Lucía, has created some of the masterpieces of flamenco guitar, from Juegos de Niños to Mi tiempo», stated the organizers. In turn, the bailaora from Málaga, awarded the Premio Nacional de Danza when she was 26 years old, «goes beyond avant-gardisme, when it comes to research, technical skill and precision, without forgetting her sensibility and artistic emotion», said the festival organizers.

Besides these shows, the festival will feature an exhibition titled Baila, baila con la luna at the Despiau-Wlérick Museum from June 30th to July 4th, from 10 AM to 7 PM, and from July 7th and August 29th, between 10 AM and 12 PM, and 2 PM and 6 PM. This exhibition evokes a sensible relationship between dance and the movements of the universe. The steps of baile, the movement of the hands in the air, the lines followed by the bodies, under the skies, echoing the movement and twinkle of the stars in a cosmic euphoria.

«Flamenco and the moon, fandango at dusk, whirling dervishes between heaven and earth, playful choreographies in the sweet nights, all these connections appear in the crossroad of works and contemporary sculptures of the museum’s collection», concluded the organizers.

The festival’s poster was conceived by the artista Hippolyte. The Andalusian Agency of Cultural Institutions, Extenda-Andalucía and the Ministère de l’Education nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports contributed to the organization of this festival.

You can see the full program and buy tickets in the festival’s website.




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