I live and write about Seville, the clue´s in the title of the blog. I feel pretty at ease writing about cute bars or out of the way secrets, but get me on the subject of Flamenco and I feel utterly out of my depth. You see, I am a flamenco dullard. I have no idea of compas (flamenco rhythm), I cannot differentiate between a bulerías or a soleá and don´t even get me started on the art of ´tocando palmas´ (the effortless clapping in time that accompanies most flamenco performances). I´m also not that savvy about jazz either. I like it on the whole, apart from the more experimental kind which to me seems more like musical masturbation, but I don´t really understand the nuances.
So last night it was with some trepidation that I found myself at the Jose Torres Trio’s latest Project, ´La Suite del Reloj´ at Teatro Quintero on Calle Cuna; a contemporary flamenco show with heavy shades of jazz.
Kicking off proceedings were the aforementioned trio: Jose Torres on guitar, Jasio Velasco playing the viola (and later on the very atmospheric, musical saw) and Karo Sampela on drums. Also on stage was Carmen Mori, who I only realised after the fact was interactively operates the lighting as the show unfolded. The performers entered stage, stood around, gazed into mid distance, Carmen stirred a coffee and then they all sat down. Any flamenco/jazz confusion I might have had prior to this, had now reached panic attack inducing levels.
But anyway, I hadn’t come to the wrong place and it was in fact a concert. With just the trio playing to kick off, it was a gradual start, but a few songs in, invited artist Cristian de Moret entered stage and blew the audience´s socks off with some serious ‘cante’. Soon fellow invited guest, flamenco dancer Asunción Peréz, ´La Choni´ assumed her position, prowling like a tigress, before exploding into action.
In the show´s publicity it promises to suspend time and normally I´m very suspicious of such assertions. But weirdly time seemed to speed up and slow down at will as the intensity and rise and fall of the performance lulled the audience into a state of calm, concentration before whipping us into a state of frenzied, excitement.
As someone who doen´t fully understand the technical aspects of dance, I really loved the moments when ´La Choni´ vibed off her fellow artists, with a wantonness and humour not usually seen in a straight flamenco performance. Probably for an aficionado of the art, they were the least choreographed and demanding sections, but for me they were by far the most exhilarating.
´La Suite del Reloj´ continues for two more nights at the Quintero Theatre (1st and 2nd November). If you´re at a loose end in Seville and want to experience what the experimental flamenco folks are up to, then this is just the ticket.
Find details online at http://www.teatroquintero.com