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Flamenco Certamen USA
October 15 | 7 PM
Bruno Walter Auditorium
The only event of its kind, the Flamenco Certamen is an annual competition that supports rising flamenco artists in the United States. Join us live on Friday, October 15th at 7:00pm EST for the Flamenco Certamen FINALS— where 8 artists from across the nation will compete for cash and other prizes.
Can’t make it in person? Purchase a virtual viewing pass! Virtual Viewing Passes of the competition will be available on Friday, October 22nd.
IT’S HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH!
Exploring the Meaning of this Month-long Celebration
Let’s be Real, it’s Complicated
The word “Hispanic” relates to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries. While many members of the Latin American community and their descendants prefer the term Latino or Latinx, others feel that none of these terms accurately represent the African and Indigenous sides of their identity. Where does flamenco fall in all of this?
Flamenco is a Spanish art form with multicultural influences, including Latin American and Africanist traditions. It’s also important to know that, much like jazz, flamenco is an art form born in response to oppression. Andalucía was a region where many communities suffered terrible poverty, discrimination, and hardship. The impact of these forces and the response to them can be seen in flamenco’s dynamic dancing, soulful singing, and complex musical compositions.
Musical influences from Latin America helped create many types of flamenco songs (categorized as de ida y vuelta) and continue today. This includes music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, as well as Argentinian tango and folk music. Flamenco’s recent adoption of the Peruvian “cajón” (or box instrument) is a great example of this ongoing exchange.
FROM OUR FRIENDS
Dime Quién Soy
Raised in the multicultural Bronx, Boricua* flamenco artist Nélida Tirado’s latest work, Dime Quién Soy, embarks on a triumphant and challenging journey of “dancing between cultures” in celebration of her authentic self— where music and dance transcend lines of politics, race, and identity. This video features former Flamenco Vivo soloist Nelída Tirado and current dancers Laura Peralta and Adriana Olivares!
*Boricua means of Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent.
What’s a certamen?
The term “certamen” means competition in Spanish, and flamenco competitions are extremely popular in Spain as a way to promote artists and renew and preserve the artform.
From 1860- 1910, cafés cantantes (cabarets) emerged that shifted flamenco from being performed only at intimate events like parties, weddings, and funerals to flamenco as spectacle- having a wider audience. This period is known as the “Golden Age” of flamenco. As flamenco’s popularity continued to grow, performances started to take place in larger venues, like theatres and bullrings, and were called Ópera Flamenca. This era is characterized by lighter happier songs, known today as fandangos, coplas, and songs de ida y vuelta (musical styles with Latin American origins). Flamenco became immensely popular, but also suffered from commercialism. In 1922, one of Spain’s greatest writers, Federico García Lorca, and renowned composer Manuel de Falla, organized the Concurso de Cante Jondo, a music festival and competition dedicated to cante jondo (deep song). They did this to stimulate interest in styles of flamenco that were endangered, because they were often considered too intense for the cafés cantantes. The jury for the Concurso included four famous flamenco performers: Antonio Chacón, Pastora Pavón (La Niña de los Peines), Manuel Torre, and Juana la Macarrona. Winners included El Tío Tenazas and a twelve-year-old cantaor named Manolo Ortega, who later became famous by the name El Caracol.
Today, certamenes and concursos continue to introduce us to flamenco greats, bringing new life to the artform while preserving tradition. Flamenco Vivo presents the only flamenco certamen in the United States, supporting emerging artists!