A flamenco round table in Jerez
The Festival de Jerez has become well-established and it’s now perhaps the best flamenco festival in the world, at least when it comes to the way it can be experienced.
On Wednesday, February 19th, at the ExpoFlamenco Jerez Shop, on 2 Corredera Street in Jerez, a round table about the Festival de Jerez was held, attended by the festivals’ director, Isamay Benavente, the veteran cantaora from Sanlúcar, María Vargas, the local bailaora María del Mar Moreno, the guitarist Javier Patino, also from Jerez, and the journalists Estela Zatania, Fran Pereira and Juan Garrido. It was a matter of discussing this event in its 24-year history, and I was pleased by how well everyone at the table seemed to get along, always giving positive opinions and highlighting the fact that the festival is now a well-establish event with a bright future.
I bet that if we organized a round table in Seville about the Bienal, sparks would fly, because that festival is a different story. We’d held one, probably, if the director agrees to come like Isamay did, willing to hear criticism, which I really doubt. In ExpoFlamenco we want to go beyond information or opinions about flamenco. We want to organize round tables, have conferences and, if possible, one day hold a festival with the name of our website. A website with almost six years of history, run without any public or private subsidies, something that gives us great independence when it comes to voicing our opinions.
Back to the festival, I admit that I was one of those who doubted that it would be successful, due to the peculiarities of Jerez. It wasn’t easy for a festival focused on baile to be welcomed in a city renowned for its cante. Particularly with so much fusion of dance and flamenco. Yet, as everyone around the table agreed, the fact is that the festival has become well-established and it’s now perhaps the best flamenco festival in the world, at least when it comes to the way it can be experienced.
Today, the curtain rises and from ExpoFlamenco we’ll do everything possible so our readers all over the world are able to follow its shows with the perspectives of our contributors Juan Garrido, Teresa de la Cruz y Luis Pérez. We would like to have been able to provide a more extensive coverage, but we have our limitations.