A: Covid-19 has not only affected the flamenco industry but the arts in general. Dance studios, theaters, tablaos, and art spaces closed at the beginning of the pandemic taking away the work of dancers, musicians, teachers, as well as all those who work on production and backstage. As artists, we are used to living with uncertainty but this time the situation went beyond rational limits. Within days we had to become “experts” in the digital world, learn how to teach online, make live presentations on Social Media to talk about our work, and find new ways to share our art, without necessarily having any economic return. The lack of financial aid that could compensate for the loss of so much work, at least in Spain, pushed flamenco artists to found an association that would watch over their rights and demonstrate that this group deserves recognition in the society. The union of the professional flamenco artists in such difficult times was a vital necessity and a milestone that will definitely mark the future of flamenco in a very positive way.
The pandemic has “forced” us to stop and question who we are, the stories we want to tell, and how this situation has marked our identity as artists. Covid-19 will affect the future of flamenco because artists are not, nor will be, what we were before the pandemic, so art cannot be the same as it evolves with the artist. The pandemic has pushed us to think out of the box and find new ways of creating art, which provided an opportunity for many artists to find their true essence and create art “in their own personal way”. However, traditional flamenco will continue to exist in its purest form because of its cultural roots and also because, now more than ever, flamenco artists have come together to fight for it.
I personally believe that the pandemic will mark a before and after in the way we look at the world, relate, communicate and exist, and this will be reflected in the future of the arts in general and flamenco in particular.