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Ibérica Festival Brings Starts of Flamenco Music and Dance

2/7/2015

With its 12th edition in a row, this year’s festival Ibérica will take place from June 30 to July 4 in Prague, Brno and Boskovice. Formerly dedicated to the culture of the Iberian Peninsula, the festival turns now also to other Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and thus becomes a festival of Ibero-American cultures. Most of the concerts and workshops will take place in the Moravian metropolis Brno. The festival focuses mainly on music, but dancers appear on its programme regularly as well – this year the festival will welcome representatives of flamenco such as David Pérez and Patricia Guerrero, who will also lead a dance workshop.

Ibérica Festival Brings Starts of Flamenco Music and Dance

The evening series of concerts and performances will open on June 30 in Brno based theatre “Husa na provázku” with a flamenco performance Puntal of the dancer David Pérez. Main guests of the festival are singer Arcángel and dancer Patricia Guerrero, who will perform on July 2 in Prague, Archa Theatre. Their common project Olor a tierra / Flavour of the Land is homage tothe home country and people, among who the singer lived as a child, and an appeal to introduce flamenco in the present-day world alike. This performance will take place once more in the scope of the closing concert in the premises of Špilberg castle in Brno.

Apart from the concert programme, huge amount of the festival schedule comprises dance lectures, not just the popular flamenco, salsa or tango, but much more. For the first time, the workshops encompass street dance (lecturers Endrewstyle and Kalo), where styles such as funky, hip hop or house wire up with Latin-American and flamenco rhythms. The festival also offers a special “self-development flamenco course” under the leadership of Spanish dancer and psychologist Carlos Sepúlveda. In this lecture, dance is a means of expression of the inner emotions. Salsa and Argentinean tango will be taught by Alvar Vargas and Rafael Busto. And both major stars of the festival, dancers David Peréz and Patricia Guerrero, will lead flamenco workshops. Virginia Delgado will be there with her lecture of elegant dance with a trail bata de cola. Experienced lecturers Lucia Čellárová Mansfeldová and Zuzana Čorejová will lead flamenco workshops for beginners. Musicians may look forward to cajón or flamenco guitar workshops. As singing is one of the main themes of the festival, the organisers decided to offer a brand new workshop of flamenco singing, as flamenco itself originates from singing historically. The programme also includes screening of Spanish and Latino-American films and much more.

Who are the main stars of the Ibérica festival? Patricia Guerrero, born in Granada, Spain, started performing publicly at the age of eight. When she was fifteen years old, she already won the first place in the dance competition “Flamenco de Ubrique” and two years later managed to win the most prestigious flamenco contest in the scope of “Festival Internacional de la Unión”. Few moths later, the then 17-year-old performed in the Czech Republic for the first time. The performance took not surprisingly place at the Ibérica festival in Prague and Brno (2007). Since 2010, Patricia has been cooperating with the iconic director Carlos Saura – she appeared initially in his theatre project Flamenco hoy and later in the film Flamenco, flamenco. In 2012, Patricia gained a notable prize of the “Bienal de Sevilla” for her cooperation with the singer Arcángelem and Accademia del Piacere company. Today she is a principal dancer of the famous Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía.

Patricia GuerreroSpanish singer Francisco Arcángel Ramos devotes himself in flamenco singing from a child. He drew major attention after his appearance at Bienal de Arte Flamenco in 1998, where he gained the main prize „Giraldillo mejor cantaor jóven“. His wide range of interpretative skills varies from cooperation with contemporary composers (Mauricio Sotelo) and old music ensembles (Accademia del Piacere) to projects celebrating traditional art of flamenco (Zambra 5.1) „Arcángel, who was among other nominated for Latin Grammy in 2001, can be described as an eternal seeker who moves between two basic approaches: respect for the flamenco heritage which has been anchored in his home Andalusia for hundreds of years; and discovering new paths and conjunctions that show flamenco in a new unexpected light,” sais Petr Vít, dramaturge and artistic director of the festival Ibérica.

 

Ibérica festival and flamenco in Bohemia

The first edition of the festival Ibérica took place way back in 2004. From an event of a regional significance it developed into a project that has surpassed this borderline long ago. Nowadays the festival is comparable with other major events taking place abroad. The first impulse for the origination of the Ibérica festival has arisen from the encounter of the two cousins – promoter Jiří Pištělák and guitar player Petr Vít, who then lived in Andalusia. For the emerging festival of Ibero-American culture the two pioneers chose a smaller town in south Moravia: Boskovice. For eleven years it became the main background for all those concerts and workshops. Festival Ibérica is mainly a showcase of music, flamenco dancers and music and dance workshops. The off-programme offers also wide range of other events: exhibitions, screening of Spanish and Latin-American films and more. The interest in the festival has an increasing tendency, last year the number of visitors went up to 3 700.

In recent years the popularity of flamenco has increased in Bohemia as well. The Spanish folk art of the Andalusia region comprises of dance and singing alike, but not surprisingly, flamenco is more popular as dance. Czech Republic is lucky enough to have professional lecturers who often study in Spain. For about 17 years, dancer and lecturer Jana Drdácká has belonged to the most prolific and professional advocates of this dance art, leading a dance studio Element in Prague (www.flamencheco.cz). In 2000 she founded a first Czech based dance-music flamenco ensemble Arsa y Toma. She is also creator of several theatrical projects (Color Flamenco, Tierra de Flamenco, Flamenco Element...) and often performs by the side of Andalusian guest artists.

A remarkable dancer and lecturer of Spanish origins Virginia Delgado working in Prague presented a flamenco performance called Mujeres last year, forming a small company of Czech and Slovak dancers and lecturers for this occasion. Members are Lenka Glässnerová, Zuzana Čorejová, Lucia Čellárová (co founder of the Slovak festival Flamenco Bratislava), Lola Karpenko and Jana Karfusová. Flamenco is mostly performed as a solo dance, and though it is suitable both for men and women, as a free time activity practised in our region, flamenco is a women’s “realm” (as well as many other dances). In a theatrical form, flamenco can be performed as a solo dance, partner dance or in various group formations. In an interview for one of the national daily newspapers in 2014, Jana Drdácká stated that the estimated number of active flamenco dancers may vary from one to two thousand.

More about the festival: www.iberica.cz

 

 

IBÉRICA 2015 FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

 

Brno 30. 6.

Vernissage of photographs by Petr Vít “Columbia beautiful, unknown”, Trojka Gallery, 18:00
Puntal, Theatre Husa na provázku, 19:30 (David Pérez – dance, Javier Rivera – singing, Manuel de la Luz – guitar)
Ibérica Cinematográfica, Kino Art, 20:30

Boskovice 1. 7.

Puntal, 19:30 (David Pérez – dance, Javier Rivera – singing, Manuel de la Luz – guitar)

Brno 1. 7.

Ibérica Cinematográfica, Kino Art, 20:30

Prague 2. 7.

OLOR A TIERRA, Archa Theatre, 20:00  (Arcángel – singing, Patricia Guerrero – dance, Dani de Morón – guitar, Los Mellis – singing, palmas)

Brno 2. 7.

Ibérica Cinematográfica, Kino Art, 20:30

Brno 3. 7.

Workshop of flamenco dance with Patricia Guerrero, Communal Hall of the town hall, quarter Brno Centre, 17:00
Ibérica Cinematográfica, Kino Art, 20:30

Brno 4. 7.

Closing fiesta of the workshop participants, court of the Špilberk castle, 14:00
Street Food Festival Ibérica, court of the Špilberk castle, 14:00 – 19:00
Closing gala concert OLOR A TIERRA, court of the Špilberk castle, 20:00

 

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