At the beginning of the year, we stopped into a cafe in Jerez to get a soda, when we saw long time friend and fellow artist Maria del Mar Moreno. This happy reunion would lead to an extension of our stay-Maria exclaimed that she could not premier her newest show ‘Cal Viva’ with out the artistic collaboration of Luis de La Tota.
Although, staying wasn’t a piece of cake-we left my American family waiting 3 more months to see our son Miguel. Baby’s wellness checkups were put off, as well as filing the paperwork necessary for residency of myself and Miguel. That was the easy part too, we didn’t have enough work lined up here in Jerez to support our household–we survived 2 weeks without water, we almost lost our home, garbanzo beans and rice became a staple food.
Ay madre mia..turning the leaf over, we found angels in disguise, helpful hands and acts of grace that made it all worthwhile. Coming home we have a signed contract for Luis and the family to go to a prestigious festival in Switzerland (a gig we never would have gotten if we had left for the USA), we have hours of precious time passed with Jerez family and friends, we have inspiration from the new wave of flamenco students we met at the festival and from the existing artists and legends that crossed our paths daily in this small town.
Last but not least we have the honor to be apart of a show that won the vote of the Public for the award of Festival Favorite show! Maria del Mar Moreno’s show ‘Cal Viva’ had so much to say about women in Flamenco. The show was edgy, it was dark, it was honest, it took a lot of courage to put it together, for the men and the women that participated. Maria del Mar, Antonio de La Malena, Tomasa ‘La Macanita’, Luis de La Tota, Antonito ‘El Big Foot’, Ale de Mateo, Jose de Los Camarones, Santiago Moreno, David Carpio and so many more artists made this show the public’s favorite!
‘As one of my first flamenco maestras, dancer Maria Bermudez ‘La Cha Cha’ taught me years ago, ‘Flamenco is about journeys-it’s never a means to an end.’ Reflecting on this life, I found her words surfacing to conscious thought. Turning the word over in my mind I find that Flamenco cycles, it has a phoenix way of throwing itself into the flames to be reborn again, it’s a mode of transportation through life..and death. I digress..
The journey continues, we are on our way back to the USA. Don’t miss out on classes with Luis de La Tota in the USA! Check the our workshop/performance tour to see if we will be near you here.