From 7 to 28 November 2021, the eight edition of the Flamenco Biennial Netherlands will bring the international vanguard of flamenco to the Netherlands, including big names like Israel Galván, Rocío Molina and a new generation of female dance makers such as Ana Morales, Vanesa Aibar, Sara Cano and María Moreno. An international cast of musicians and dancers from Spain, Morocco, Cuba and the United States will appear in the world premiere of Flamenco Criollo, FBN’s own creation about the global melting pot which is flamenco. Together with Dutch pianists Daria van der Bercken and Gerard Bouwhuis, dancer and choreographer Israel Galván will take on Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. The final weekend will feature scintillating jazz with a touch of flamenco and latin. Top musicians like Pablo Martín Caminero and Daniel García Diego will connect the different worlds like no one else can. After a dazzling start at the beginning of the year with an online program from Madrid and Seville, FBN will bring musicians, makers and audiences together again live this November, in Belgium as well as the Netherlands.

Flamenco Criollo

FBN proudly presents its own creation Flamenco Criollo, a search for the roots of flamenco. Led by New York based Cuban pianist Aruán Ortíz, a colourful musical ensemble of musicians from Morocco, Palestine, Cuba, Spain and the United States will bring melancholy sounds from Al-Andaluz and dynamic rhythms from Africa, translated into modern compositions. Listen how original Moorish melodies travelled to colonial Cuba by way of Spain in the 17th and 18 centuries and returned enriched by rhythms. With rising stars María Moreno (dance) and Ismael de la Rosa (singing). Flamenco Criollo’s seven-day tour of the Low Countries is at the heart of this Biennial. The production was created in collaboration with the Dutch contemporary music festival November Music.

1 Aruán Ortíz - afbeelding rechtenvrij - fotograaf Eliseo Cardona

Le Sacre du Printemps

Dancer/choreographer Israel Galván made his breakthrough in the Netherlands at FBN’s first edition. The one-time “enfant terrible” has become world famous, but still likes to probe the boundaries of the art of flamenco. Following in the footsteps of legendary Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) he will present, with renowned Dutch pianists Daria van den Bercken and Gerard Bouwhuis, an exciting percussive reinterpretation of Stravinsky’s masterpiece Le Sacre du Printemps. “It’s a journey from my Spanish tradition to European and Russian modernity,” says Galván, known in some quarters as “flamenco’s Nijinsky”.

Physical poetry

Rocío Molina, the “Madonna of modern flamenco”, is back. After recently becoming a mother, the idiosyncratic dancer from Málaga reinvents herself in her new creation Al Fondo Riela (At a Sparkling Depth) in which she dances “from scratch”. With two young ace guitarists, Eduardo Trasierra and Yerai Cortés, she explores the relationship between the flamenco and guitar bodies and, in doing so, the limits of her own capacities and of the genre. Down to the bone. And with incredibly physical poetry. You can leave that to “La Molina”: “While creating this performance, I actually thought that the whole dance should disappear. That I myself, as a dancer, even as a person, should disappear. I just wanted to listen, with my body, to every single note on the guitar, to become a vibration even, just like the instrument’s.” In addition to her performance, Rocío Molina will be giving a public master class from the OBA public library’s auditorium in Amsterdam.

3 Rocío Molina - afbeelding rechtenvrij - fotograaf María Agar Kopie

A new generation of dance makers

On the Tightrope | En la Cuerda Floja is the latest creation by dancer/choreographer Ana Morales. Conceived in pre-corona times, but more relevant than ever. A performance about losing balance and finding a new equilibrium. “A stunning essay about movement and the limitations of the body. As well as a reflection about the state of paralysis in which we find ourselves and a call to action,” wrote one Spanish newspaper.
The female, the subconscious, often associated with the night, is the starting point forTodas las Noches by Vanesa Aibar & Sara Cano. These two Spanish dancers/dance makers impressed before in the Netherlands and will now, in November, share the stage for the first time in this new creation (European premiere). Rafael Estévez & Valeriano Paños will present Silencios, a duet they created, inspired by an essay from A Year from Monday by John Cage.

4 Ana Morales - afbeelding rechtenvrij - fotograaf María Agar Kopie

The Art of the Jazz Flamenco Trio

Flamenco and jazz form a happy marriage. It is a relatively new genre developing rapidly, particularly in Madrid, with lively young bands and musicians from Cuba and Andalusia making a name for themselves. The cream of this new crop can be seen in The Art of the Jazz Flamenco Trio with pianist/composer Daniel García Diego, who will be making his debut in the Netherlands with his own Cuban Trio and performing his album Travesuras.

5 Daniel García Diego - Cuban Trio - afbeelding rechtenvrij - fotograaf Ernesto Cortijo Kopie 2

Artist in residence
In his new program Al Toque, bassist/composer Pablo Martín Caminero, Artist in Residence, gives a jazz salute to the flamenco guitar (as he does on the CD by the same name). The trio will play jazzy arrangements of flamenco guitar classics by Paco de Lucía, Sabicas, Moraíto Chico and Manolo Sanlúcar. Musical jack-of-all-trades Caminero plays across all genres and can be heard in various formations and several programs during the festival.

6 Pablo Martín Caminero Trio - afbeelding rechtenvrij - fotograaf Clara Ares Kopie

In Tiento, Spanish baroque guitarist and lute-player Enrike Solinís, a Jordi Savall protégé, breathes new life into old 16th and 17th century scores, turning old music into new flamenco with his quartet.

Dutch Flamenco
The best of Dutch flamenco guitar is represented by Tino van der Sman and Arturo Ramón, who will give three performances with up-and-coming talent Joes Wieggers. Tino and Arturo have dominated the Dutch flamenco scene for years and are making their mark in Spain as well. This is the first time they will be on stage together. The strings and styles of three Dutch flamenco guitarists will combine in what promises to be a memorable guitar recital: Guitarra Pura. One for the connoisseurs.

FBN presents two new family shows created especially for this edition. In Takatá Takatá (5+) kids are taken along to the wonderful rhythmical world of flamenco. Singing, playing, clapping, stamping and shouting, they travel through Spain, Cuba, West Africa and India. In Flamenco Fluisterstad (2+) a girl follows a thrilling sound. She ends up in a glistening world full of mysterious sounds where she finds her destination and becomes a flamenco dancer. A musical fairy tale by director Simone de Jong and dancer Jessica Achten.

Fotos: Aruán Ortiz: Eliseo Cardona, Israel Galván: Jean-Louis Duzert, Rocío Molina +Ana Morales: María Agar, Daniel García Diego: Ernesto Cortijo, Pablo Martín: Clara Ares. Text: flamencobiennale nl