Letters from Madrid – 4th Flamenco Show

Laurie dancing

The third flamenco show we saw ended with guitarist Moraito Chico dancing a sassy bularias as everyone left the stage. The fourth flamenco show ended with polite applause for the dancer and the house lights coming on the user her group off the stage. 


18 April 1996

The fourth flamenco concert was Rancapino and Chaqueton accompanied by Paco Cepero. I think I now understand the difference between being in compas and having a mastery of compas. Paco Cepero was delightful in accompaniment of Rancapino and Chaqueton. He proved to be a masterful accompanist, who left large spaces for the singer, brilliantly followed their cante, and filled the voids between versus with astonishing acts of rhythm with such mastery of the compas that he many times set the crowd roaring with gritos and applause, and delightful looks of approvals from the singer. He was not in the least a flashy player as we generally know them. He only had occasional burst of lightning picado, and his aso pura (a thumb technique) seemed slow by most standards, but his thumb work was very strong and accurate. His flashiness was in the compas. He was so comfortable with it, and so accurate about it, that he made the guitar sing like I have never heard. His accompaniment was soft, and airy during the cante, leaving ample space for the singer to impress upon the audience the full intention of his art in expressions, emotions, and vocal achievement. In some instances Paco would tastefully play the cante along with the singer emphasizing the intricacies and complexities of the compas so masterfully he about brought the house down. There was no better rhythm for Paco to show his superior sense of compas than bularias. He would leave so much space, play so many complex rastiados, and supported the singer so beautifully that his masterful jesting had everyone on the edge of their seats, bringing roars of approval and amazement from the audience, and even slight looks of approving astonishment from the singer. Everybody was amazed by the performance. Both singers were excellent; however, I liked Rancapino best of the two.

Fosforito and the young guitarist, who sat in instead of Enrique del Malchor, were quite a contrast to the masterful playing and great compass of that previously mentioned. The guitarist was an excellent player, very fast and modern. He was not as good an accompanist that night, however. There was a constant tension between the guitarist and singer, the compas was often funny, but not really off, between them, and the guitaist was always busy and overpowering of the singer. The many long, lightning speed scales, and modern chords did not seem to belong as part of the accompaniment, and were really more distracting and overpowering than complinentary to the cante. I could have done without both of them that night.

Sara Baras danced a lame Alegrias. She did not have one interesting move, her hands were ugly, she looked down most of the time, her neck was lost in her raised shoulders, she did all her taconeo with very bent knees, which she insisted on showing us, as she spent more time pulling her “butt hugging” dress up over her butt, exposing her overly bent knees, than she did dancing. I really could of done without her. I saw several members of the audience get up and walk out with disgusted looks on their faces during her performance. The audience was cold to her (refreshing to be among people who know a bad dance when they see it) and luckily she did no more. At the end of her dance, there was a polite applause from the audience, and then the house lights were brought up before the group had left the stage.

Next the fifth and final flamenco show I described in the April 18th letter
Actuación Paco Cepero y Rancapino Chico en los Claustros de Santo Domingo Jerez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYT9wdTmX9U

CHIQUETETE – TE QUIERO NIÑA ( AL TOQUE PACO CEPERO ).wmv https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir-M2L56CWQ

Fosforito – Cantiñas y Soleá https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yav46gr7mm0

Alegria, Sara Baras Flamenco Flamenco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNcKVJsUkUI