Paula Comitre and Rafael Riqueni awarded the special prizes of the 2020 Festival de Jerez
Paula Comitre and Rafael Riqueni have been awarded the Revelation Artist Prize and the Guitar with a Soul Prize, respectively, awarded by the vote of flamenco critics for their performances at the 24th Festival de Jerez
Bailaora Paula Comitre has won the award given by the González-Byass Cellars for her show Cámara abierta, one of the premieres in this festival, performed at Sala Paúl on February 24th, as part of the series Savia Nueva y Universal. “A flamenco suite”. That’s how Paula Comitre defined her Cámara abierta in the press conference before performing the show. “A reflection about women’s dance throughout history”, she stated. This bailaora from Seville wanted to pay tribute to “those women who have contributed so much to the female language”. “Unique personalities” such as Carmen Rojas, Carmen Amaya, Matilde Coral and Pastora Imperio. A show “about flamenco and dance in itself, in all its codes and forms”
The premiere of Cámara abierta meant “a dream [come true] and an opportunity”, besides being a “step forward” in her fledgling solo career. She started with tarantos, bata de cola and a “contemporary language”, evoking Carmen Rojas. The second set had a “racial and powerful” character por serrana and por liviana with a personal nod to Carmen Amaya. Her particular tribute to Pastora Imperio and Matilde Coral por cantiñas was more “stately and Sevillian”. The staging director of Cámara abierta was Mercedes de Córdoba, who also contributed with the choreography, together with Rafaela Carrasco and David Coria.
On the stage of Sala Paúl, Paula Comitre was accompanied by the guitar of Juan Campallo, the percussion Paco Vega, and by a trio of cantaores of the stature of Antonio Campos, Miguel Ortega and Jesús Corbacho.
Riqueni: guitar with a soul
The list of accolades of the 24th Festival de Jerez also includes the unique toque of Rafael Riqueni, who won the Premio Guitarra con Alma (“Guitar with a Soul” Prize) awarded by Escuela de Flamenco José Ignacio Franco. In this occasion, the critics highlighted the recital given by this guitarist on February 22nd at the González Byass Cellars, as part of the series Toca Toque, where he presented his new album Herencia , a tribute to flamenco’s greatest, such as Paco de Lucía, Tomatito and Serranito, to name a few. “It’s a nod to their work, with my personal touch”, he stated before the media.
In the first part of that concert, Riqueni performed by himself, as the tracks of Herencia are for solo guitar. In the second half he performed other pieces from his repertoire accompanied by the guitars of Salvador Gutiérrez and Manuel de la Luz.
Image above: Paula Comitre (Photo: Javier Fergo – Festival de Jerez)