flamenco festivals Sanlucar de Barrameda 2006 Primeros Encuentros Internacionales de Flamenco
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flamenco festivals

Primeros Encuentros Internacionales de Flamenco de

Sanlucar de la Barrameda 2006

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Flamenco festival Sanlucar
21st to 30th July 2006





Sanlucar flamenco- 2004
Cadiz flamenco - 2006, 2005
Jerez flamenco - 2004

other festivals

First International Flamenco Meeting with performers from 14 countries in song, dance and guitar

In homage to the father of guitarist Manolo Sanlucar: Don Isidro Muñoz Raposo Isidro "Sanlucar"

flamenco dancers Sanlucar2006/JuanPolvilloGirls_Encuentros Internacionales

Remi Del Sol  Japanese dancer


Juan Polvillo flamenco dancer
Juan Polvillo was accompanied by the gutsy gypsy singer Carmen Montoya from Seville and Emelio Cabello

Presented by the Town Council of Sanlucar and Jean-Paul Ferrand (director of Planète Andalucia), the performances were given in the open air of the beautiful gardens behind the Moorish palace - los jardines del Palacio Orleans-Borbón de Sanlúcar.

Dancers and guitarists were an assortment of nationalities, also with varying levels of performance ability, but in general the entertainment value was very high, given the ambiance of the venue, the well placed stage and for a change a quality sound system. What a shame the Town Council did not advertise it more. Only half the seats were occupied, even at weekends.

It is a sad fact that flamenco is arranged with more respect abroad. I suppose it is tied up with an attitude in Andalusia that flamenco should be free because it is of the people (it is our culture.) The tickets at 15,- Euros each may have restricted attendance, but quite frankly the Sanlucar Town Council should have subsidized it more.

It was indeed a luxury to have a proper sound system with monitors for the musicians and singers. I have experienced so many ramshackle stages in Andalusia that performers suffer unnecessarily in their quest for experience before an audience. Even the dancers footwork was amplified this time. ¡Bien! All too often the majority of an audience will miss seeing footwork, let alone hearing it properly.

Throughout these nightly performances I noticed that the Spanish girls had developed their upper body, arms and hands much more than the foreign girls. This is a frequent error among aspiring dancers from abroad. In some ways all you need is a minimum of footwork (but clearly executed) and very good braceo. Also, some of the dances were far too long. My view is that the male dancer must present a stronger and drier approach, less flowery than the women, even if the movements or sequence follow a similar choreography. But the females must have elegant and developed postures in the upper body as women. This is after all part of the essence of the female form of flamenco dance, something that is almost forgotten today, given the busy and machine-gun footwork that many artists strive for instead.



The performer who made the biggest impression with her dancing was Yasi de Cuba, a small and compact girl from Cuba, full of fire and expression in her presentation of Alegrias. She got one of the few standing ovations.

flamenco dancer Yasi de Cuba


flamenco dancer Cristina Aldon



The only other two girls I enjoyed watching as developed dancers were the teenager Cristina Aldón (from Sanlucar) and the more mature Raquel Villegas. The musical accompaniment was well developed and well rehearsed (including an oboe and flute at times).

flamenco dancer Cristina Aldon   Raquel Villegas  flamenco dancer



Flaco De Nerja (guitar) Yasi De Cuba (dance)

Among the foreign guitarists who played, the Slovak "el Flaco de Nerja" gave some interesting renditions on solo guitar, clearly much influenced by Vicente Amigo. However the others seemed lost when it came to accompaniment, probably just a lack of experience or exposure to flamenco song. Foreign guitarists often underestimate the importance of the song.





Content and photographs © Simon Zolan 2006

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