Fiery Spanish Music and Dancing from Compaña Flamenco José Porcel
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The last date listed for Compaña Flamenco José Porcel was Sunday November 20, 2011 / 2:00pm.
Currently at Jacobs Music Center
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A flamenca performance gives the spectator an overwhelming sensation of happiness, a joyful and sensual mood that no other form of dance is capable of evoking. Because flamenca is an explosion of rhythms, colors, and emotions that contains all of the vitality, sunniness, and passion of the Spanish people, it is a folkloric celebration where, even when “theatre art” is being provided, irresistible erotic appeal and irrepressible energy remain intact.
The origins of flamenca are still uncertain, and they have been lost through the centuries in a tangled web of influences and contributions from various civilizations. It is highly probable that flamenca singing and dancing originated in Andalucia toward the fifteenth century, during the Gypsies’ encounter with the inhabitants of southern Spain. It continues to be extremely difficult to trace the origin of these wandering populations who, when they arrived in the region of Andalucia, were bearing with them a culture that was a mixture of Arabic-Egyptian, Jewish, and Indian (which is obvious, for example, in the gentle and voluptuous movements of the dancers’ bodies and arms) influences.
The oldest form of flamenca is cante jondo, an intimate and deep-felt song that recounts the sorrows and hopes of the Gypsies as a people. Originating as a rhythmic form of accentuation for singing, flamenca dancing was enriched over time by constantly increasing expressive possibilities, along with indispensable accompaniment by guitars, thereby becoming the source of a vast repertoire of cuadros (one can consider the solemnity of soleares or the contagious festiveness of sevillanas and alegrias), where the intense and passionate nature of Mediterranean peoples bursts forth.
As a “theatrical performance,” flamenca only developed in the past century, through a constant effort involving stylistic experimentation, refinement of expression, and technical codification that gave this form of dancing a true artistic dignity of its own, albeit without causing a loss of its strong identity as folk dancing that is indissolubly bound to the Gypsy spirit. Among the dancers and choreographers who have elevated flamenco to the realm of “theatre art,” one cannot overlook Antonio Ruiz Soler (or, more simply, the “Great Antonio”), who was a superb interpreter of such masterpieces as El sombrero de tres picos, and Antonio Gades, who, more than anyone else, succeeded in infusing flamenco dancing with a form of narrative richness (such as his Bodas de Sangre and Carmen).
The Compañia Flamenca José Porcel was founded in Madrid, Spain and is among the premier dance troupes that exhibit this exciting art form. The Company brings this tradition to life vibrantly and colorfully with live musicians, vocalists and of course dancers, and has delighted audiences around the world for many years. “With this new production ‘Gypsy Fire’ I would like to present to you the purest and the oldest part of flamenco from Andalusia, by reviewing the most famous styles of this racial dance. Preserving the style and the forms of traditional flamenco, customs and experiences of the Andalucian people is my primary goal. Enjoy the guitar playing and the dancing, without any added effects, only the pace and the passion of the gypsy.” – José Porcel