Flamenco dancer Sarah Louisa with guitarist Miguelito at Plaza del Sol in Bethesda. December 23, 2011 (photo by Hélène Lozina)
It's 1pm on Wednesday as I type these words. For a change, I'm working on my blog in the upstairs WiFi lounge of the National Portrait Gallery. Unlike Starbucks, my usual "office," there's no coffee here, but at least it is pretty quiet with the added bonus of being surrounded by inspiring art!
So this past Friday was the second time flamenco dancer Sarah Louisa and I performed at the recently opened Plaza del Sol in Bethesda, Maryland. We're loving it so far. The food is pretty good, the staff is friendly and attentive and general manager Gerber González treats us performers like royalty.
Dancer Carlos Menchaca in soleá por bulerías. December 3, 2011 (photo by Daniel Martínez)
It's 11am-ish on Monday as I type these words, a little more than a week since I attended the Friday December 2nd world premiere of Edwin Aparicio's "Flamenco Men" at GALA Theatre in Washington DC.
Showcasing an all-male cast is nothing new of course, but it's something that's not done very often. So for someone like me who sees flamenco shows all the time, I'm always in the mood for something a little different.
Aside from the all-male cast, there was no gimmicky storyline or special costuming to tie the show together. Wasn't necessary. It was simply a program featuring soloists who could easily headline a concert on their own. I have to give credit to Edwin for taking that risk. Of course one would want to put together a cast of high-calibre artists for the sake of presenting a high-quality show. At the same time one runs the risk that the guest artists could possibly upstage the star of the show.
The "Flamenco Men" included:
- Edwin Aparicio, the well-known internationally-acclaimed dancer based here in Washington DC
- Sergio Aranda, from Málaga, Spain making his Washington DC debut
- Norberto Chamizo, born in Germany, based in Madrid, Spain. He has performed in DC many times as a guest of Edwin Aparicio
- Carlos Menchaca, from New Mexico where he studied at the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts
The musicians of course were equally outstanding, but I'll mention them at the end. Let's talk about the program...
Edwin Aparicio (photo by Paulo Andrés Montenegro)
It's me Miguelito, yet again keeping you up-to-date on what's going on in the DC flamenco scene. However, I failed you my readers. I meant to write an article about Edwin Aparicio's upcoming latest production "Flamenco Men" but just never got around to it—hey, please remember that I don't just write blogs, I'm a busy flamenco guitarist myself! Anywayz, at the very least, here's the press release with some photos to give you an idea of what to expect. "Flamenco Men" opens at GALA Theatre tomorrow Friday December 2, 2011 and continues through Sunday.
From the press release:
GALA's crowd-pleasing and acclaimed flamenco festival is here for its seventh year with Honorary Producers Lynne and Joseph Horning! Fuego Flamenco VII is an exploration of the diversity and depth of flamenco and its contemporary expressions. The festival is made possible with generous support from Lynne and Joseph Horning, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, and Spain’s Ministry of Culture.
The third and final weekend of Fuego Flamenco VII presents the world premiere of "Flamenco Men," choreographed, directed, and performed by Edwin Aparicio with featured artists Sergio Aranda from Málaga, Spain, Norberto Chamizo from Granada, Spain and Carlos Menchaca from San Antonio, Texas. Performances are on Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd at 8pm and Sunday, December 4th at 3pm.
"Flamenco Men" explores the masculine energy and style of flamenco and features the unique qualities and stylistic range of the four accomplished flamenco male artists who are featured. With their fiery footwork and muscular grace, Aparicio, Aranda, Chamizo and Menchaca promise to raise the roof at GALA Theatre.
Other artists performing in "Flamenco Men" are singer Amparo Heredia "La Repompilla" from Málaga, Spain; singer Javier Orozco "Yiyi" from Barcelona, Spain; guitarist Richard Marlow from Washington, DC; and cellist Gonzalo Grau from Caracas, Venezuela.