Unstoppable passion: Flamenco performance to blend virtual and live artists - Albuquerque Journal

Unstoppable passion: Flamenco performance to blend virtual and live artists

Casa Flamenca transformed its outdoor space into “Tablao al Aire,” which has performances this weekend. (Courtesy of Casa Flamenca)

Flamenco and passion are two terms that coexist.

Working together, both are unstoppable.

Which is why Valeria Montes has worked night and day with Casa Flamenca in re-imagining flamenco in the pandemic.

“In these new times of the pandemic, nothing is easy,” Montes says. “There have been several roadblocks since it began. But we wanted to find a way to present flamenco following all health restrictions.”

Welcome to “Tablao al Aire.”

The first performance will kick off at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. There will also be performances on Saturday, Aug. 8, and Sunday, Aug. 9, at Casa Flamenca, 401 Rio Grande NW. The performance will also be live streamed on Casa Flamenca’s YouTube page.

A tablao is a place where flamenco shows are performed and the word tablao is a term also used to describe the platform floor on which a flamenco show is performed.

“The pandemic has forced performing arts organizations to get creative about uncovering new paths forward during a time of extraordinary financial and artistic challenges,” Montes says. “It is our love and dedication to the art of flamenco that has given us the strength to persevere. We are more than ever committed to presenting live performances as we have done in the past. Live music. Live dance. Live flamenco!”

Montes is artistic director and an entire season was planned for this summer. Casa Flamenca’s tablaos have become part of the summer draws in Albuquerque.

“Tablao al Aire” will feature some of the finest flamenco artists from Spain who will give virtual performances throughout the season.

Montes says the roster of world-class flamenco performers includes flamenco singers David Lagos, Miguel Rosendo, Sebastián Sánchez, Alejandro Silva and El Cañejo de Barbate, as well as celebrated flamenco dancer Helmo Cortes.

The artists, as well as Casa Flamenca’s musical director Juani de la Isla, are from the province of Cádiz in southern Spain.

Montes says Albuquerque artists Micah Hood and Javier Saume will join Montes and de la Isla on stage.

The performance will consist of lots of multimedia elements.

“We are projecting the videos that the singers have prepared for us,” Montes says. “There will be live dance and music, and it’s all paired with the videos of the singers.”

Casa Flamenca transformed its outdoor space into a theater.

A mural was painted by Noé Barnett.

“We took on this project to fulfill Casa Flamenca’s vision of connecting local performers and audiences with the flamenco community in Spain, despite the distances imposed on us by the pandemic,” de la Isla says. “We also want to keep our audiences safe. That is of paramount importance.”


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