Pursuing Flamenco

In Isaaki Lacuesta’s film La leyenda del tiempo, a Japanese woman travels all the way from her country to La Isla de San Rafael, a small island off the coast of Cádiz, to learn to sing like Camarón. This is a lovely idea! I mean, who in their right mind would think in the first place that a woman could sing like a man? And what are the chances of a woman ever succeeding in singing like Camarón… the inimitable, the unique, the one and only Camarón?

If the film struck a chord, it was because it made me realize that this is what flamenco is all about… not merely performance for the sake of performance, but performance as a kind of search…. Performance as a way of seeking out some imaginary touchstone of genius in art. I think many of us are indeed like this character in the film. We travel down flamenco routes in the hope of  experiencing that flash of magic, however momentary or transient.  So much of flamenco is in the head. And so much of it is not necessarily about getting there, but about what happens along the way.

January 4, 2010 Post Under General - Read More

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