By Cris Franco
The City of Angels will host Spain’s top flamenco musicians, singers, and dancers as they grace two local stages in mid-March of 2018. Fanáticos have long waited to see these dynamos, many of whom are performing in the Southland for the first time.
On March 15, the Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival proudly presents Andalusian Voices – Tempo de Luz featuring an all-star concert of Spain’s premier talents, in a virtuosic display ranging from flamenco’s gypsy roots to modern innovations. The evening’s card at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre (mid-Wilshire area) stars: Carmen Linares, the legendary vocalist of flamenco’s cante jondo (deep song) who’s been celebrated worldwide for the extraordinarily expressive power of her voice. Marina Heredia’s mercurial, impassioned tone, moving between tragedy and exultation, is considered one of the foremost female flamenco singers of today’s generation. Versatile singer Arcángel, is leading a new age of cantantes with his innovative renditions of the classical cante jondo repertoire. His smoky tenor honors the art form’s heartfelt roots while transcending flamenco’s borders via his highly original interpretation.
On the following night, March 16, the festival presents Del Fuego y La Memoria a special evening of intimate visceral flamenco at the El Portal Theatre in the Valley’s trendy NoHo (North Hollywood) Arts District. Starring the living legend Rosario Montoya, known as “La Farruca” – daughter of the iconic bailaor (dancer) Antonio Montoya Flores “Farruco”. “La Farruca” comes from an illustrious flamenco dynasty, raised in an artists’ colony surrounded by the preeminent dance figures of the late twentieth century. Sharing the stage will be Natalia Delmar “La Serrata”. A dance prodigy, she left her native Spain to earn her classical dance degree from London’s Royal Academy then moved to Madrid to launch her flamenco career. Since then Ms. Delmar’s artistic trajectory has taken her to the world’s greatest stages. Both she and Ms. Montoya will perform their soulful interpretations accompanied by elite músicos Juanilloro de Jerez, El Quini and Raul Vicente.
To nascent flamenco audiences, these two galas will offer a profound education in the history and future of this most ancient of arts. And to the aficionado, it will present a glorious display of the passion and power of flamenco puro. Highly recommended!