FLAMENCO FESTIVAL LONDON closes its 17th edition with more than 12,500 spectators
Consummate artists such as Tomatito, María Pagés and Manuel Liñán, and young promises of Generation Z such as Daniel Ramos & Víctor Martín, Ángeles Toledano and Yerai Cortés, have vindicated flamenco as a universal and socially committed art form in London’s main theatres.
“Flamenco Festival is one of the most groundbreaking and innovative initiatives to extend flamenco culture internationally”
—Julio Bravo, ABC.
More than 12,500 spectators have enjoyed a total of 20 performances between 21 June and 2 July in six different venues during the 17th edition of Flamenco Festival London, the largest flamenco festival organised in a city outside Spain in terms of its artistic and cultural programme.
For almost two weeks, in its long awaited return after the pandemic, Flamenco Festival London has brought together key figures of contemporary flamenco such as Tomatito, María Pagés, Jesús Carmona, Rocío Márquez & Bronquio, El Yiyo, Paula Comitre and Los Voluble, who have presented their works in the most socially committed edition of the flamenco event.
A total of 14 flamenco companies have broadened the horizons of this art in London, incorporating new forms and themes such as gender equality and diversity.
The Festival has taken place in four venues in the British capital, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the Lilian Baylis, the Rich Mix and the Cervantes Theatre, as well as the Instituto Cervantes in London and Manchester, all of which have been visited by thousands of spectators over the last few weeks, taking part in a celebration of flamenco that has become an essential part of London’s cultural calendar.
“We have been able to enjoy flamenco at the height of its creativity.
These shows are more relevant than ever because of the social issues they address”.
—Alistair Spalding, director of Sadler’s Wells.
The organisers of Flamenco Festival London are very satisfied with the response of the public and critics to these groundbreaking and avant-garde proposals. It is worth mentioning the many positive reviews that the London newspapers have given to the different shows programmed for this 2022 edition, especially to the works exploring the new paths of flamenco.
“Flamenco Festival London has become a window to the transformation that flamenco is currently undergoing.”.
—Miguel Marín, director of Flamenco Festival London.
After the emotional and successful closing of the festival, Miguel Marín, director of Flamenco Festival London, highlighted the relevance of the new themes for flamenco that are presented to us today, breaking and challenging tradition, and that have had a place in the performances of this edition of the festival. In particular, Marín has emphasised the universality of flamenco, but, above all, the “historic nights that we have experienced in London during this 17th edition, with a loyal audience, who have given each and every one of the artists standing ovations, specially in the avant-garde performances“.
Key figures of contemporary flamenco such as María Pagés, Tomatito, María del Mar Moreno or
Manuel Liñán have all performed at Flamenco Festival London.
The Sadler’s Wells Theatre has hosted shows by the great figures of the current flamenco scene, such as Manuel Liñán and his dancers who brought the audience to its feet in the two performances of this edition. The same happened with this year’s Gala de Jerez, “Mujeres de Cal y Cante”, by María del Mar Moreno’s dance company, which gained the recognition and ovation of the audience in the two performances. The same was the case of two great flamenco references: Tomatito, a master of the flamenco guitar who lived the opening of this art form to the world next to Camarón and Paco de Lucía, and the recent winner of the 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, the choreographer and bailaora María Pagés, who dazzled critics and audiences with “An Ode to Time”.
Ana Morales, Jesús Carmona, Rocío Márquez & Bronquio: from the “In Progress” creative residencies to the reunion with the London public.
On the other hand, Flamenco Festival’s director wanted to make special mention of the emotion experienced at Sadler’s Wells in the shows “Without Permission” by Ana Morales, “The Jump” by Jesús Carmona, or “Third Heaven” by Rocío Márquez and Bronquio, works that were developed in the ‘In Progress’ artistic residencies at Flamenco Festival London and Torrox respectively, and which the audiences have been able to enjoy.
“Flamenco Festival London’s audience has seen The Jump at its most expressive form… It has shown its greatest truth by exploring the emotions generated during my In Progress artistic residency.”
Under the motto “Creating in the present. Transforming the future”, Flamenco Festival London 2022 has placed special focus on the “future of flamenco”, looking from today’s creation to tomorrow through two fundamental pillars that are drawing a new horizon on the flamenco skyline: the new contemporary creative motivations of artists such as the aforementioned Ana Morales, Jesús Carmona, Manuel Liñán, Rocío Márquez & Bronquio or Los Voluble, and the incorporation of the vision of “Generation Z” young talents such as Daniel Ramos, Víctor Martín, Paula Comitre, Ángeles Toledano, El Yiyo or Yerai Cortés, heirs to tradition who are building new paths for the flamenco that is yet to come.
The flamenco dancer Paula Comitre has completed her “In Progress” artistic residency in London.
In addition, continuing with Flamenco Festival London’s commitment to creation, the young promising flamenco artist Paula Comitre has been the artist in residence of the “In Progress” programme. The bailaora, Revelation Award at the Festival de Jerez and Giraldillo Revelation at the Bienal de Sevilla, captivated British audiences at the Rich Mix in London and at the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester with her work “Named Body” and presented the final result of her residency with the multi-instrumentalist Sabio Janiac and the artistic accompaniment of Ivan Bavcevic at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre on the eve of the closing ceremony.
The key names of the Gen Z of flamenco have offered shows at Flamenco Festival London 2022.
Flamenco Festival London has proved its support to the “Generation Z” of flamenco, that group of artists born in the second half of the 90s, such as Ángeles Toledano, Paula Comitre, El Yiyo, Yerai Cortés or Daniel Ramos & Víctor Martín, who are changing the way of relating to this art form, transforming its future through new visions, themes and ways of expression.
“The performances by Ángeles Toledano, Yerai Cortés and the Ortega brothers at the Cervantes Theatre in London were unforgettable, magical. The audience, on its feet, finally knew what it means to have duende.”
—Jorge de Juan, Cervantes Theatre’s artistic director.
Miguel Marín expressed his happiness at being able to present “the work of some of these artists who make up Generation Z, who have lived days full of emotions, as their performances in London have been a real breakthrough in their artistic careers and ways of understanding flamenco“.
In the same vein, Jorge de Juan, co-artistic director of the Cervantes Theatre in London where three performances by this group of artists took place, namely Ángeles Toledano, Yerai Cortés and the siblings Irene and José Ortega, highlighted the importance of offering shows by this new generation of flamenco that “respects the past, is aware of the present and moves forward to the future of flamenco from new perspectives, opting for the avant-garde and fusion, exploring the boundaries between flamenco and other musical genres“.
Flamenco beyond the stage: the World Flamenco Congress of the Instituto Cervantes, a flashmob with María del Mar Moreno and masterclasses.
Flamenco Festival London has once again offered activities that promote flamenco culture beyond the stage, thanks to the celebration of the World Flamenco Congress organised by the Instituto Cervantes in its London and Manchester centres, with lectures by Luis Ybarra and Sara Arguijo, and concerts by artists such as Ángeles Toledano and Yerai Cortés. In addition to this multidisciplinary and thought-provoking programme, there was a flashmob with the bailaora María del Mar Moreno at King’s Cross Station, as well as masterclasses in Studio5 at Sadler’s Wells given by María del Mar Moreno herself as well as El Yiyo and Paula Comitre.
“Flamenco is moving beyond its traditional roots to become a thriving and relevant theatrical force, as seen at Flamenco Festival London”.
After the celebration of this 2022 edition, Flamenco Festival London has reached 300,000 spectators in its more than 300 performances in the British capital, with some of the most relevant figures and young promises of contemporary flamenco, positioning itself as a consolidated event in the British capital and in its theatre season, and becoming a space for the discovery of the paths that flamenco is beginning to build in search of new horizons.
Flamenco Festival London 2022 is a project of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Flamenco Festival, and the Cervantes Theatre in London. It is supported by the Instituto Nacional de Artes Escénicas y de la Música del Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte del Gobierno de España, the Instituto Cervantes as part of its World Flamenco Congress, and Jerez City Council (Cádiz) and Acción Cultural Española, through the Programa para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española (PICE). It also has the collaboration of Huelva City Council, the Andalusian Agency of Cultural Institutions of the Department of Culture and Historical Heritage of the Andalusian Regional Government and Murcia City Council.
The most important platform for flamenco worldwide
Throughout its 20 years of history, Flamenco Festival has taken over almost the entire world, having presence in 101 cities, presenting 129 companies, 1.225 shows and an audience of over 1,600.000 people.
The largest flamenco platform in the international scene
Operating since 1996, Flamenco Festival is the main international flamenco promoter in the world. Its mission is to promote and spread the richness and variety of flamenco art, from traditional flamenco to the most avant-garde proposals.