Flamenco figure and father to Belén Maya, Mario Maya (1937-2008) pushed the art form forward in innumerous ways, not the least of which was staging his work Camelamos Naquerar which bravely confronted Spain’s rife anti-Roma history.
“It was one of Maya’s greatest works of art, in which he used all the expressive richness of flamenco together with his modern scenic vision to do something entirely new – denouncing the anti-Gypsyism that had been expressed for more than five centuries in a series of laws and measures aimed at persecuting and exterminating the Roma people.” [RomArchive.]
Belén Maya speaks proudly of her father’s work:
“Artists would often come and tell me anecdotes of what they had experienced with him, and every day more Gitanos and Gitanas would remind me that he was a revolutionary – someone who spoke of oppression and discrimination during a period when that could land you in jail.
In works like Ceremonial and Camelamos Naquerar, based on poems by José Heredia Maya and Ay Jondo, based on verse by Juan De Loxa, my father expressed his concerns and his visions in a blend of new approaches, music, anger and a lot of hard work.”