Congrats to Lisner Auditorium on its tenth year of hosting the Flamenco Festival! February 21, 2010
It's probably Sunday February 28th when you're reading this, but I actually wrote this blog entry a few days earlier and used a feature in Movable Type to automatically publish the entry a few days later. Pretty cool in a geeky way, no?
Anywayz, Lisner Auditorium's 10th annual Flamenco Festival has come and gone. I realize ten is just an arbitrary number to celebrate, but I still think it's something worthy of praise. It's not easy to fill-up a 1500 seat auditorium for all the festival concerts year after year. Kudos to the director and staff of Lisner Auditorium!
But while the festival presenters do have to strive to at least break even, it's not unusual to take a risk with performances to broaden the DC audience's exposure to flamenco. Dance concerts almost always sell well, but cante concerts are another story.
I can remember in February 2004 when singer José Merce came to DC and performed a cante concert with guitarist Moraíto and only half the seats were filled. Still a very good concert, but a little disheartening to see so many empty seats for such a well-known and respected flamenco singer. Same turnout with singer Rafael de Utrera in October 2004. The point is that as inspiring and important as cante is in flamenco, it usually doesn't sell very well with the DC general public—I can't speak for other cities around the USA, but I'm sure it's probably the same elsewhere, or not. (Flamenco aficionados from other locales, please feel free to contradict me and leave a comment below!)
Ginettte and Sara Hart dancing Sevillanas at Las Tapas. January 31, 2010 (photo by Rachel)
It's 5-something pm on Friday as I type these words. I know I'm behind schedule on my weekly-promised blog quota but I have this past week's Snowpocalypse (aka snOMG2) here in DC as an excuse! Nearly the whole metropolitan area shut down for a week, not to mention the fact that we broke the historical record for snowfall for DC!
Anywayz, most of my readers I imagine are from the Nation's capital so I don't need to rehash what went on this past week. Question is: how did it affect the flamenco scene?
Well...just about all the venues canceled their shows. Although some, like Cafe Citron and Vinoteca took a chance and stayed open on the weekend (despite the record-breaking snow accumulation), they canceled the flamenco anyway. And although I could've used the money and would've enjoyed getting out of the house and performing, I would've dreaded dragging 100 pounds of sound equipment in the snow.
Enough about the snow! Let's look at some flamenco pics!