LIVE Artist Talkback
Thursday, December 10
Hear from Sintonía Artistic Director Fanny Ara in a live Q&A on Thursday, December 10th immediately following the performance broadcast of Tattooed.
The performance begins at 7:00 pm EST.
Artist Talkback begins approximately at 8:15 pm EST
Available to all festival pass holders.
Why this choreography? Why now?
I was concerned since I had not done any group choreography for two years and I was feeling I needed to do something. Then the pandemic hit and it pushed me to start working again. I was watching some folklore videos and saw what they did with spoons so I went to the kitchen and tried it out with metal spoons, not wooden, and it was a lot of work but I accomplished it.
I dance in a “modern” vein but I don’t forget the past and this choreography takes us through the most significant moments for me. The Fandango de Francisquita was the first dance I ever did with others and El Vito and Café de Chinitas are works I have done in various companies. Although my movements are somewhat modern, I keep the character of each palo (form) that I dance. I chose the palos (styles) that have been part of my trajectory as an artist.
This is the first solo choreography I began in 2013. There is no through line, no story. It shows my love of the old cante (song) and how we use it nowadays. The technique today is different: the way one uses their body used to be more “folkloric,” more of the family, now it has changed. The words to the songs are the same, but I let each singer interpret as they felt they needed to. The toque (guitar playing) has changed dramatically but they maintain the feeling of the tradition.
The costumes are new but based in tradition, I wear an enagua (petticoat) in the Tangos and my bata de cola is very traditional long heavy material with many ruffles. In the very beginning of the video there is a separation of the artists which then unite— a representation of how we unite the modern with the traditional. To inspire me before I go to the studio I watch videos of Carmen Amaya, Manuela Carrasco and other elders to get inspired…they carry me along in my work.
I was out of Spain working in Europe and started to think about myself as an artist and where I was going. This is my first choreography and I wanted to show my training. Although I am trained in Spanish classical, flamenco is my strongest and what I like the best and I wanted to do something traditional. People were doing works with themes and going modern. I wanted the opposite. Añejo means old but also means “richness” – something that improves with age like an old rum, Ron Añejo. I chose the Trilla, a music that is not often heard but very old. I also found a Farruca Terrible, a piece that was recorded by Sabicas maybe 80 years ago. I worked that in as the beginning of my farruca where I do take liberties and do some contemporary movements.
Doing this choreography has helped me to understand many things about myself and my process. I started to write down thoughts and ideas and I had not done that before. I began to think about lights and stage transitions and as I was working through my thoughts I had to verbalize them and explain to the musicians so it was an important step.
What do you want the public to take away with them?
I would like to take them back with me to the traditions and hope they experience the joy in reconnecting with the past. I hope this piece helps the public to know me a bit more – my persona – that I am happy and positive towards life and although there are dark spots I try to look at the positive.
I would like for the public to see the importance of the “fountain” from which we come. That we admire the traditional artists but we are free to interpret within that tradition. I want the older artists to understand that we younger people respect the traditions but we also need the freedom to feel differently. When I performed in Jerez, Juana La Pipa (a very famous older artist) came and congratulated me. I believe she saw and felt what I was doing. Often the elders say the young ones don’t know what they are doing and the young people criticize their elders. I want both groups to appreciate and understand each other. I believe that without tradition there is no vanguardia (vanguard) – without the tradition to root us there is no way to lead to the development of new ideas.
I want people to see and feel the tradition of flamenco – the good cante (song), the good toque (guitar playing), the good baile (dancing). People have said the piece goes by very fast and I believe that means they enjoyed it!