Home / Chronicles  / Joaquín Grilo shares his elegant “Alma” at the Festival de Jerez

Joaquín Grilo shares his elegant “Alma” at the Festival de Jerez

With dark, sober staging, Grilo commits his choreographic capers, and refreshes flamenco every time he steps on a stage, with his stylized, personal, elegant, I would even say perfect dancing.

Saturday evening at the Festival de Jerez, Joaquín Grilo, dancer and genius, aimed to make us feel the hidden language of his “alma”, soul, through the language of dance, as it states on the program.  The “inner voyage” thing.  But Joaquín, all artistic endeavours are, by definition and default, inner voyages.  You’re worth much more than that, your dancing needs no contrived explanations, nor do you need to play up to anyone or anything.  One day people will tire of conceptual dance, and when that happens, all that will be left is the aroma of flamenco, that which you so ably deliver, unleashing emotions as you say, yes, certainly, but words will be unnecessary, stage props, the oppressive blackness. You have excellent singers and guitarists backing up your product, the wonderful Luis Zambo, young Jerez patriarch who delivers his flamenco in a warm natural manner, in addition to Manuel Tañé and Londro, and the guitars of Diego del Morao and Francis Gómez.

The opening is fandangos without musical accompaniment, with the barebones Lebrija-style rhythm reminiscent of farmhand barracks and boiled chickpeas.  I’m trying to analyze the magic this Grilo commands, which is the objective of writing these few lines.  Many elements come together in him: intelligence, polished technique that makes difficult things seem easy, subtlety that becomes power.  Perhaps what I most see, the thing that triggers sparks, is the combination, always done just right, of perfect rigidity with equally perfect moments of wiggly rubber.  Hands, feet, legs, torso, neck…from one moment to the next surprising poses are adopted following the orders of a choreographic sense which is pure Grilo.  That’s where we see the hidden language the dancer manages to deliver so intelligently.  He appears to have a mirror inside his head that allows him to take a visual reading of his own dancing at every moment.

The title of the work is “Alma”, soul, a generic title that leaves no doubt about Grilo’s intentions.  The caña, a nearly obsolete flamenco form, is given due importance by Joaquín.  After all, it’s the same multifunction 12-beat rhythm that gives form to soleá, a “platform” that seems to have been invented especially for Joaquín, to judge from the variety and efficiency of his catalogue of moves.  The dancer slices time in bite-size portions, and fills each fragment with meaning.  But what a shame with the darkness, I really miss seeing the interpreters’ faces.

The farruca is fresh and original, accompanied by the Huelva group Planeta Jondo.  This is a form which tends to be somewhat heavy-handed, and which was in need of a new image.  Evolution without histrionics.

With dark, sober staging, Grilo commits his choreographic capers, and refreshes flamenco every time he steps on a stage, with his stylized, personal, elegant, I would even say perfect dancing.

 

Cast. “Alma” Teatro Villamarta. Saturday, May 8th, 2021, 8.30pm.

Dance: Joaquín Grilo. Guest artists: Diego del Morao (guitar), Luis El Zambo (voice) Guitar: Francis Gómez. Voice: Manuel “Tañé”, Londro.Rhythm: Carlos Grilo, Diego Montoya, Manuel Cantarote. Special collaboration: Planeta Jondo

 

©Javier Fergo

 

©Javier Fergo

 

©Javier Fergo

Comparte este artículo

Jerezana de adopción. Cantaora, guitarrista, bailaora y escritora. Flamenca por los cuatro costados. Sus artículos han sido publicados en numerosas revistas especializadas y es conferenciante bilingüe en Europa, Estados Unidos y Canadá.

1 COMMENT

POST A COMMENT

X