Category — Flamenco Dancer Andrés Marín
Translator’s note: I’m one of the many admirers of the flamenco dancer Israel Galván. And even though I’m often rightly accused of being a rigid traditionalist or worse yet, a “purist” in most flamenco matters, I somehow think Galván’s very experimental and even shocking newer works are not just brilliant but also somehow very flamenco.
The other male dancer who seems almost as radical and remarkable as Galván is Andrés Marín. In fact, some of my trusted dance info sources insist that Marín is the guy who best captures flamenco essence in works that simply demolish flamenco’s allegedly necessary rules.
Below is a translation of an admiring critique of Marín by a critic I admire. Manuel Bohórquez. He is one of many experts who delight in ridiculing people who share my traditionalism (his well-researched revisionist portrait of the very early flamenco singer El Planeta is translated elsewhere in this blog). The link to the original appears at the end.
Andrés Marín: The Maturity of an Innovator
by Manuel Bohórquez
I have a weakness for Seville’s dancer and choreographer Andrés Marín. It’s best not to admit that since objectivity is a virtue for a critic, but I’ve had it up to here with that notion. I think I was the first critic to write positive words about him, saying that he brought some new and revolutionary notions to the Seville dance tradition. And I wasn’t mistaken. Each of his productions has been a bet on the future, but with sense/sensitivity/sensibility, always bringing in new elements without losing sight of the past.
Creating is what creators do, and Andrés is a true creator. And it’s not easy to create something new in an art infested with self-appointed vigilantes of so-called purity. This artist has known since the start of his career that he must have his own discourse, his personal stamp, even if, as the singer Juan Valderrama has said, it’s just a stamp from the Post Office.
Marín’s new work, OP.24, debuted last night in Seville’s Teatro Central, is one of the best things I’ve seen in all of his now extensive career. And one of the most flamenco, too, although there will be those who insist it’s not flamenco at all, but something else, If anyone has any doubt, in this interesting work of dance and flamenco music – Andrés is always very careful in his choice of music – we hear farrucas, siguiriyas, natural fandangos and fandangos de Lucena, the caña and songs from the Eastern regions, such as tarantas, among other things.
Of course, if anyone goes expecting to see the farruca as it was danced by Manolete, or the siguiriyas as Mario Maya did it, they’ll leave frustrated, because Andrés has created his own farruca and his own siguiriyas, which are the two great dance pieces in this work. Two pieces from a choreography that emerges from his laboratory, but with impressive aesthetic and musical beauty, sung by a pletórico [abundantly gifted] Jesús Méndez [a fine young flamenco singer from the family of the immortal La Paquera de Jerez], played by Salvador Gutiérrez who has grown by leaps and bounds as a guitarist, and with percussion by a phenomenon, José Carrasco.
But speaking in general terms, OP.24 is a well-rounded work, in which everything is connected, and in which Andrés is a master of ceremonies who puts at the service of his dance everything that’s onstage: the song, the playing, the percussion, the lights and the scenery, a simple and austere mis-en-scene that doesn’t distract the viewer in any way.
Andrés sings, marks the compás (rhythm) on a clay vase and on a platform, with his hands. His footwork, perhaps somewhat abusive and repetitive, is incredible in its precision and all of his movements reflect an aesthetic that sobrecoge. It’s no exaggeration to say that works like this, that are not easy to understand if one does not know Andrés Marín well, serve to justify a major dance performance cycle like Flamenco Viene del Sur. Tradition and avant-gardism with the personal stamp of a unique dancer, of an extraordinary talent, with astounding faculties and an enormous capacity to create beauty within the natural beauty of dance itself
His name is Andrés Marín and he’s from Seville. And he is an innovator who has matured and who always knew what he wanted to do: To dance out his fantasy.
End of review by Manuel Bohórquez. The original page on his marvelous blog is at:
March 5, 2014 No Comments