Madrid Report: Flamenco Insanity 2017!

Nine days since my return to Madrid. Its always like coming home. I had to leave Minnesota before the president-elect (NO capitals!) took office. I admit to feeling a little guilty being here while the US crashes and burns. My first time ever in Spain was under similar circumstances—it was 1968, I was way-too-young, seeking to avoid my 5 year prison sentence for resisting the Viet Nam war. 48 years later and we’ve come full circle, my 3 children are taking up activist positions, especially my daughter, Grace. I’m so proud of her, worried for her, 100% supportive,trying not to feel overly disillusioned.

I’ve seen several nice shows already since my arrival. Three stand out. Jose Merce (19 January): was in great voice, reflecting a deeper maturity in which he does not over sing. Despite his affection for a larger band and salsa-laced catchy ditties; despite missing the late Moraito Chico’s guitar; he projects a warmth and a personality that is touching. He sang richly por fandangos, solea’, malguenya, bulerias to the fine playing of Alfredo Lagos.

TR3 Flamencos: huh? I don’t get it either. (21 [email protected] Nuevo Apolo). Farruquito, Farru, and Carpeta all together providing a 3 ring circus of non-stop fast, furious, overly dramatic, virtuosic mostly bulerias. I left afterwards completely exhausted.

Compania Marcos Flores (24 [email protected] Teatro Alcala): hipster flamenco at its best! What does that mean, you ask? I’m not sure, but it provided a breath of fresh air. Lots of really old-school references, tastefully blended with cutting edge, simple costuming, minimal production, really great dancing.