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FarruquitoBlood on the dancefloor

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#1 Alexandra


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Posted 27 January 2004 - 12:32 PM

I saw this link on ballet.co and read the article with great interest. I'd seen Farruquito a few years ago, when he was still a teenager, and he's one of the most interesting dancers I've ever seen. I'm thrilled, of course, to read a young dancer who honors his grandfather (also a great Flamenco dancer) but his own dancing makes its own case.

If anyone sees this, I hope you'll write about it -- and if you have the chance to see him, please take it!

His group is called Alma Vieja. I saw him when he was a guest with a "street flamenco" group, which I also found very interesting. I am by no means an expert on Spanish dancing! But some skills cross boundaries of styles, and power is power.

Blood on the dancefloor

Yet while Baras prides herself on taking her art into the future, Farruquito is making waves because he is looking determinedly to the past. In fact, when I meet him in Barcelona, where his show Alma Vieja has just finished a run, he tells me that he doesn't even feel "part of the 21st century. I am more interested in learning from my elders." His gods are the dancers and musicians who worked with his grandfather, the great El Farruco. They embody for him "the one way, the truth of flamenco". It's not that Farruquito wants to ape the way that generation danced - "I have my own body and my own heart and my own life," he insists. It's that he aspires to the spirit they embodied: duende.

It was the poet Federico Garcia Lorca who famously appropriated duende as the defining term of flamenco, identifying it in the "jet of blood" in a singer's voice or the knife blade in a dancer's feet. While some performers used to induce it through drink or drugs, in its pure form duende is identified as a state of possession - a spirit of ancient lawlessness, passion and pride that passes from flamenco's Gypsy ancestry into the performer.

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