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Joaquin Cortés in Marbella   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 2481
Joined: Jul. 30 2007
From: Marbella

Joaquin Cortés in Marbella 

The great thing about summer in Spain is that there are concerts everywhere. From my days of seeing 2 or 3 concerts a week in Granada Im equally spoiled for choice on the coast. The only difference is that the names are bigger and the tickets are more expensive. Last night I had the opportunity to see Joaquin Cortés new work "Gitano" before the show embarks on a lengthy world tour.

Its been a long time since I last saw Joaquin Cortes live on stage. The last time was about 17 years ago in the Albert Hall in london for the launch of the phenomenal "Pasion Gitana" which totally blew my mind and firmly set Cortés into the realm of flamenco superstardom. This new work has been well advertised all over the coast and in the press as 2 hours of "pure music and dance" and a "fusion of flamenco with other styles"

From a production point of view this is one of the most expensive flamenco shows that I have seen. The stage has huge LED screens for imagary during the performance. A cast of 17 top musicians, 2 bailaoras and 7 bailarenas all dressed in Armani grace the stage. Cortés is described by his own lavish web site as "one of the top 10 international dancers in history" Does he still live up to expectations?

The show started with the two Bailaores dressed in red with an impressive unison choreography at the stage front. The lights changes to white as the ballerinas danced a very sinuous and sexy routine.
Cortés entered the show dressed in black trousers and trenchcoat and danced a siguirillas with some amazing footwork. Then there was a musical number and the bailaoras each danced a solo. Pretty much the first half of the show done and so far very little Cortés.

Later he returned for a much longer buleria with a lot of improvised remates and percussion. ...and then proceeded to play Djembe at the back of the stage while the horn section took turn doing jazz solos for the next 10 minutes. He switched to cajon before doing some more tacon to finish the number. At this point I had really started to become diasappointed and really did not understand the artistic direction of the show. The 2 guitar players spent much of the second half playing tapeado while the flamenco "song" was played on trumpet and trombone.
Why was one of the top dancers in history not dancing?

After a break to chat to the audience, Joaquin started the 3rd act with a footwork solo that reminded me of his old self. It was stunning...I just watched transfixed while he played around with contras, double and triple redobles at incredible speed. There can be no doubt that he is still one of the most virtuoso footwork artists in the flamenco world. He has lost non of his public appeal or natural showmanship. The show was ended by complex choreographies with the ballerinas to rumba and even latin rhythm.

So overall I enjoyed the night but I expected an evolution from pasion gitana that didnt come. Maybe the name "Gitano" was not best picked for the show since the only gypsy element seemed to be Joaquin himself. If we remove the dancing girls and the video screens and the Armani I did not come away with the feeling that I had witnessed the evolution of an artist, but a show that struggled to find cohesiveness between a flamenco virtuoso and Contemporary / Jazz styles.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 26 2014 15:44:47
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