CULTURE

Magical flamenco

The Greek public has had plenty of opportunities to become better acquainted with flamenco in recent years through festivals, concerts, even operas, as was the case with a recent staging of «Carmen.» The latest incoming wave of Spain’s biggest musical export arrives this Sunday at the capital’s open-air Lycabettus Theater with «El Cante de las Minas,» a fancy-free, true-to-the-roots production organized by the local Cervantes Institute and the Culture Ministry-sponsored Hellenic Festival. Passion, substance, mysticism, and the magical union of body, movement, music and voice, all promise to be manifested by flamenco guitarist Paco Javier Jimeno, dancer Nadia Martinez and vocalist Rocio Bazan. The trio’s show incorporates various flamenco expressions such as the tarantos and soleas, styles linked to the Spanish art form’s more tragic dimension. Subsequently, concertgoers on Sunday will experience a less flamboyant form of flamenco but one closer to its roots, as was noted by the Hellenic Festival’s general director, Yiannis Karahisaridis, at a news conference. He added that more co-productions with the Cervantes Institute were being prepared for the future. The trio is considered among Spain’s finest exponents of authentic flamenco, and as a result they have developed roles as cultural ambassadors with frequent performances abroad. All three artists have made successful appearances at the long-running Flamenco Festival La Union held every August over the past 40 years in the Spanish town of Union. The event has working-class origins and began with local coal miners performing and expressing life’s bitterness through flamenco. Over the past two decades, competition has been introduced for flamenco guitar and dance.