Letters from Madrid – 5th Flamenco Show

Laurie dancing Alegrías in one the dresses she designed and sewed herself.

Sara Baras didn’t leave much of an impression in the fourth flamenco show. Belen Maya was much more interesting, but singer El Chocolate made the show in the 5th and last flamenco show we saw during our first three months in Madrid.

April 18, 1996

The fifth show included Chocolate and had a more modern dancer, Belen Maya, who was much more interesting that Sara Baras, but had too few moves and became quickly boring. Chocalate was excellent, but the guitarist who accompanied him and the other featured singer was totally boring. The other featured singer is not worth mentioning, as he did nothing extraordinary. What was extraordinary is that Fosforito and the young guitarist sitting in for Enrique del Malchor were special guests again. They seemed to have worked things out, because they were both great. A total change from Tuesday night. The guitarist had toned down his playing a bit, smoothed it out, and set himself to accompanying the cante. I hope he realizes that, his attention to the cante, and playing a slight more reserved, and in a more tastful manner, brought it home to the audience what a fine guitarist he is. It could be that the first guitaist was so boring that the new sound, lightning fast scales, and quick changes seemed fresh and fun in compairosn, where as Tuesday, he seemed busy and overpowering after Paco Cepero masterful playing. On Tuesday, Fosforito and his guitarist got a cool reception from the audience; but this night, they excited the audience, bringing gritos and applause for the great playing and emotionally, heart rendered words pouring forth from Fosforito’s pained, squinting face.

For the next several posts of Letters from Madrid…, I’m going to turn from music for a little bit and get into my observations and reactions to museums, architecture and planning, parks and open space, public restrooms, driving and tourists during our first three months in Madrid!

CHOCOLATE-JUAN HABICHUELA-FANDANGOS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_9Z2OAVaO0

Mayte Martín & Belén Maya during IV Dutch Flamenco Biennale – Amsterdam, 1 February 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Yv9CBch5U

FOSFORITO Alegrías de Cádiz – Tesoros del Flamenco 1990  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSpZjAzVqC0

22 thoughts on “Letters from Madrid – 5th Flamenco Show

  1. Such great memories and wonderful to have records like this of them. I concur with the previous comments about Laurie’so talents; she looks so elegant yet dramatic.

  2. Such a fabulous picture of Laurie!!
    Of today’s videos, the third is unquestionably my favorite. This has been quite an experience for this reader. I’m looking forward to the next series of posts.

    • Thanks, Susan! It’s interesting to go back a read these, because the descriptions bring them back like they happened yesterday.

      • You know, it makes me wonder how much will be lost from email as opposed to snail mail correspondence.
        I love so many things about email, ebooks, etc., but so many other things about the written word in letters, old books, etc.
        Of course what you are doing here is sharing your experiences preserved in one medium through a new medium!!!! Thank you again.

      • I only have these letters in old computer files. The only reason I can read the ones from 1996 is because the word processing program at the time put header info in the file and left the rest of the text as “clear” text so it’s fairly easy to extract. The files from 1997 through 1999 are a whole other story because of how the software upgrades treated the text.

  3. I enjoyed a lot this series. This kind of first hand experience is even more important in flamenco than in other genres.

    How is your relationship with music now? Do you still play the guitar, and perform somewhere?

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