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Seville, flamenco and commercialism

I watched that girl’s performance and it was embarrassing to witness such a bad and tasteless choreography, trying to pass something so plastic and fake as flamenco. In Seville, no less, which is teeming with true artists

Can you imagine if Seville, one of the cradles of flamenco, would take advantage of a great musical event like the one that took place Sunday night — the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards — to promote true flamenco and not some monstrosity? No, you can’t imagine. Today there are great stars of flamenco and copla congratulating that singer from Barcelona for her performance at the FIBES Conference Center with an astonishing amount of adulation, with hopes of being called by that artist for some show collaboration in the future, I suppose.

These are the same artists who then grumble about how badly neglected traditional cante is, revealing their great hypocrisy. I watched that girl’s performance and it was embarrassing to witness such a bad and tasteless choreography, trying to pass something so plastic and fake as flamenco. In Seville, no less, which is teeming with true artists. Back to imagining things, can you imagine if this would have taken place in Barcelona and Esperanza Fernández or Isabel Bayón had performed?

«We have great young artists here in our own land, but then we go nuts for whatever comes from elsewhere wrapped in nothing but commercialism»

I’m baffled when renowned flamencologists insist on how important it is that the ‘flamenco’ lie of this singer from Barcelona be watched by more than five hundred million people around the world. “Perhaps a new Tomás Pavón will come out of this”, said Faustino Núñez. No master, no new Tomás will come out of this, and there’s no need for it anyway, because the great Tomás is already renowned all over the world. Just among a minority, it’s true, but renowned, nonetheless. Yet, that other girl is just show business, not art, and we should care about art, not showbiz. Flamenco art, I mean, which is what concerns us.

Since she claims to be flamenca, Rosalía at least could take advantage of these opportunities to do something more flamenco, instead of giving us so much rubbish, no matter how much praise she gets from flamenco masters, although not all of them. It’s always the same story. We have great young artists here in our own land, but then we go nuts for whatever comes from elsewhere wrapped in nothing but commercialism.

Photo: MTV EMA Sevilla 2019

 

 

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Crítico de flamenco, periodista y escritor. 40 años de investigación flamenca en El Correo de Andalucía. Autor de biografías de la Niña de los Peines, Carbonerillo, Manuel Escacena, Tomás Pavón, Fernando el de Triana, Manuel Gerena, Canario de Álora...

1 COMMENT
  • Martha Tryers-Goral 14 November, 2019

    What a brilliant man! Speaking the truth straight from the heart, unafraid of offending the intelligencia of Flamenco. Real Artists are rare, very rare nowadays with the international appetite for commercial material under the guise of Flamenco this and Flamenco that, with the result being Flamenco tat! Felah Mengus, my friends, the “ wandering peoples…the gypsies…” who 3,000 years ago migrated northwards from India, Middle East, N.Africa – some settling, some travelling – the wandering peoples with their histories, cultures and Arts. Their music and song and dance the very embodiment of expression of the soul, the deepest form of human communication of feeling.
    Felah Mengus – Flam – en-cos! Claimed by the gypsies, still marginalised, ignored, despised and exploited wherever they are throughout Europe even today. We ignore true duende at our peril. We as a species are doomed without it in a commercialised, consumer driven, materialistic World, because true duende in Flamenco remains the authentic connection between our God(s) ourselves and our fellow man. Tiberiu Gogoanta is one such rarity…as yet ignored, a Roma gypsy, a linguist, a brilliant exponent of Flamenco Guitar, Arts and traditions, but marginalised as a gypsy! His wife, his co-spirit on this journey, Pilar Diaz Romero – superb Artist, but because she is Gypsy, because she married a Roma, she too pays the price. http://www.flamenco-gogoanta.com – chillingly reminder of what real duende, real Flamenco, real Felah Mengus actually is!

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