45th FESTIVAL DEL CANTE DE LAS MINAS DE LA UNIÓN 2005
goes from strength to strength”
Carlos Sánchez. La Unión
(Murcia), August 2005
La Unión becomes the epicenter of world flamenco
for the forty-fifth time. Artists of the ilk of Chano Lobato,
Belén Maya, Mayte Martín, Estrella Morente,
El Torta, Capullo de Jerez, Diego Carrasco, Tomasito, Arcángel
and María Pagés, among others, made up an intriguing
program spearheaded by the most universal of all guitarists,
de Lucía. The artist from Algeciras put the icing
on a cake made with the finest flamenco ingredients. The Festival
paid tribute to the legendary film director Carlos Saura.
A well-deserved homage in recognition of his invaluable contribution
to the promotion of the flamenco arts and spreading of the
gospel, via his prolific cinematic and photographic work.
Mayte Martín and
Belén Maya. La Unión 2005 (Photo: José
The public market of the town of La Unión in Murcia
province, the work of the Eiffel school, played host once
again to the crème de la crème of the modern
flamenco scene. A extensive selection of élite artists.
From the youthful wisdom of Belén Maya or Arcángel,
right through to the legendary Paco de Lucía, and taking
in Jerez cornerstones such as El Torta and Capullo de Jerez.
A balanced selection which never strayed from its mission
to reveal the current directions in flamenco. The understanding
between Mayte Martín and Belén Maya, the charm
and grace of Chano Lobato, the angelical melodies of Estrella
Morente, the idiosyncrasies of Jerez, Arcángel's
journey from to new heights or the majesty of Paco de Lucía
were reason enough to raise this festival to a new pinnacle.
And as El Torta himself said: “La Unión goes
from strength to strength”.
5th August. The show ‘Flamenco de cámara’,
by Mayte Martín and Belén Maya, was chosen to
kick off the proceedings, the first of six flamenco gala evenings
scheduled for this year's festival. An intimate offering,
oozing feeling and mutual understanding, that has traveled
across the stages of the major festivals around the world
with resounding success. An almost perfect combination of
flamenco dance and vocals, between Belén
Maya and Mayte Martín. A show where the deepest,
most intimate feelings are unleashed. Smattered with a contemporary,
cutting-edge approach. Looking for beautiful patterns, moments
of sweetness, feelings of joy, with an air of melancholy.
Beginning with a soleá. Belén Maya is a clear
exponent of flamenco in motion. Incredible arm movements.
Enviable use of her waist. With limitless resources for expression,
she adopts seemingly impossible postures. She moves on to
a concentric fantasy with the alegrías, after a taste
of tientos tangos. As for Mayte Martín, she demonstrates
the poetry of her vocals, her voice as sweet as honey. The
Latin American influenced 'ida y vuelta' cantes emanate from
her lungs with velvety smoothness. Vidalita and guajira. Their
performance was rounded off with a taranto.
Chano Lobato. La Unión
2005 (Photo: José Albadalejo)
In Cadiz there's a special term for charm and grace: Chano
Lobato. The eternal artist from the "little silver
cup" as the city is known, continues to demonstrate his
talents in every corner of the country. He did a little of
everything. In his own inimitable style. From the most upbeat
palos - tangos, cantiñas and bulerías - to the
sobriety of the soleá, passing through cartageneras
and tarantos to the well-trodden terrain of the bulería.
Little snippets taken from here and there, all tinged with
the cheerful personality of this Cadiz-born artist. The Seville-born
cantaor Manuel Cuevas, who two years ago won the ‘Lámpara
minera’ award, brought the first evening's proceedings
to a close.
Estrella Morente. Las Minas
2005 (Photo: José Albadalejo) |
On the evening of Saturday 6th August, the presence of Estrella
Morente was awaited with impatience. The artist from Granada
stepped into the “Cathedral of cante” ready to
give her all. And that intention showed through… Her
beauty radiant as always, flamenco through and through. She
began with alegrías. She made the lyric her own, giving
it her own personal touch. She moved on to the 'cantes mineras'.
A delicate territory that must be carefully trodden. Por taranta.
The guitar of Alfredo Lagos provides faithful accompaniment
at every moment. The artist from Granada starts to feel more
at home with cantes from her homeland, moulding them to the
tessitura of her voice. Por granaínas. With sweet overtones.
And directly on to tientos-tangos. She's already more than
proved herself as a soloist. Now it's time for some members
of her family to appear on stage. Aunts, cousins and even
her brother, Enrique Morente Jr. The second part of the show
begins. She opens the way to bulería with a bulería
por soleá, before dabbling in the major key of a bambera.
And that's it. “Anda jaleo, jaleo”.