Manuel Liñán revolutionizes the Festival de Jerez
While the show of Sara Baras was brilliant from beginning to end, the production of Manuel Liñán was the most acclaimed up to now. With ‘¡Viva!’, Liñán, together with his outstanding ensemble, earned the loudest ovation ever heard in the theater.
Manuel Liñán has been acclaimed at the Festival de Jerez with ¡Viva!. When we say “has been acclaimed”, we mean “has made history”. Perhaps time will put in its rightful place what happened at the Villamarta Theater on the evening of Friday, February 28th, Andalusia Day. Those of us who were able to enter this venue and watch this performance came out deeply moved by a show overflowing with good baile, wrapped at all times with a clear and sensible message: equality. This bailaor from Granada avoids trivial and empty discourses, giving a twist to everything that has been experienced in the twenty-four years of this Festival. At the end of the performance, with Bambino as musical background, there were Japanese people crying, Frenchmen shouting and locals clapping palmas por bulerías.
Although Manuel leads, we can’t help but admiring and enjoying the performances of the rest of his company, from Manuel Betanzos and Hugo López to Jonatán Miro and Miguel Heredia, the latter from Jerez. We must also highlight the artistic profiles of Víctor Martin and Daniel Ramos, (both borrowed from the Ballet Nacional de España). All of them spin a courageous tale, committed to their own values, affecting all of us. They dance as well as ever but wearing women’s dresses. It’s something that doesn’t seem particularly surprising, but it managed to impact locals and foreigners alike. The matter is to allow ourselves to be carried away by the essence of art that emanates from the stage, no matter who does it, how they’re dressed or how their hair looks like. Scenes with rhythm, fun touches and a little dialogue, accompanied by the cante of David Carpio and Antonio Campos, the brilliant guitar of Francisco Vinuesa, the violin of Víctor Guadiana, and the percussion of Kike Terrón.
«At the end of the performance, with Bambino as musical background, there were Japanese people crying, Frenchmen shouting and locals clapping palmas por bulerías»
Despite the fact that this show has already been performed in different theaters all over the world and it now lacks shock value, the live performance is truly enjoyable and at every moment we can witness the highest skill of these bailaores who dare to venture into the world of showbusiness into the late hours. It’s a must-see.
The previous evening, Thursday, February 27th, it was Sara Baras who earned the warm acclaim of the public. She performed Sombras, a well-seasoned show rehearsed to perfection by every and each of its participants. It was another great success for Sara who left her mark and silky aesthetic in Jerez. Let’s remember our notes about her performance in Algeciras on occasion of the Encuentro Paco de Lucía.
Two Good cantaores from La Plazuela
On both Thursday and Friday, the González Byass venue once again opened its doors to host two great recitals by cantaores who often perform for several companies of baile but were given this the well-deserved opportunity to be the protagonists. The first of them was David Carpio, who showcased his most raw essence, without the need for any script but just enjoying his singing, also enjoyed by all present. This cantaor from La Plazuela district of Jerez sang ten different styles, being outstanding por malagueñas and por seguiriyas, accompanied by the guitars of Diego del Morao and Manuel Valencia. In this performance, Carpio left no doubt regarding his solid knowledge and talent. He’s from a renowned family of cantaores of Jerez with a unique personality, and while he upholds their legacy, he also innovates, revealing a previously hidden repertoire. Manuel Liñán also performed as invited artist, dancing a dreamy Tres puñales for David.
The following day, Miguel Lavi presented Viejos Retales, his first album. Also from La Plazuela (San Miguel), he’s able to find his own self in his cante. He closes his eyes, ponders and soulfully expresses each verse. Manuel Parrilla accompanies him with indescribable restraint. Great Manuel! The album includes nine tracks, mirroring the recital where a highly expected Gema Moneo added to the party. While a few days ago we could see Miguel perform in the show of Olga Pericet dressed as an astronaut, in this occasion he wore a dark suit with vest and tie. He excelled in the seguiriya, elevated the cantes de compás and added the weight of history to his bulerías de La Plazuela. Miguel is one of the most relevant voices of his generation and it’s time to say it out loud.
Image above: Javier Liñán (photo by Javier Fergo)