The dancers of ‘Zambra’ are local girls. :: M. C. J.
Flamenco is an art that was classified as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. Mijas can boast a wealth of every form of flamenco, but without a doubt dance is one which is greatly appreciated by Spanish people and foreigners alike and it is practised by numerous local residents. In a top quality tourist area such as Mijas, which already differs from other places because it is so traditionally Andalusian, flamenco shows of this type are an important part of the image that the local authority wishes to portray, and the Tourism Department has worked hard to increase the number of flamenco shows which can be enjoyed by visitors and lovers of culture and dance in general.
Until now, the Plaza Virgen de la Peña in Mijas Pueblo has been the principal venue for the free shows that have been performed for visitors for more than a decade. Every Wednesday at 12 noon, two flamenco groups put on their heeled shoes and boots to demonstrate the magic of ‘bulerías’ and ‘fandangos’. Now, with the arrival of summer, more shows of this type will take place in different areas and on more days of the week.
A few days ago, the Víctor Rojas Flamenco Company performed a one-hour show in another lovely part of Mijas, the Plaza de la Constitución. This square in the historic centre of the village became the setting for a free performance by three young dancers, who demonstrated different styles ranging from the classic to the rumba and including ‘sevillanas’ and ‘bulerías’. These shows will continue to take place every Saturday from 12 noon.
The Víctor Rojas Company was formed in Mijas 14 years ago and is named after its founder. At present there are more than 70 members of the group, ranging in age from three to 32. While never ignoring the most classic and pure forms of flamenco dance, the group also aims to introduce its audiences to new interpretations through fusion. The way the performances are structured means that those watching can enjoy something different each time, because the company intends to change the content of the show as the summer progresses.
Art at nightfall
The second new show of this type is performed by the Aznar Valverde Dance Company. In this case, the frilly flamenco dresses and traditional Andalusian music will be at the theatre in the Town Hall building in La Cala de Mijas every Thursday evening from 9.30pm. Tickets cost just 10 euros each and it is advisable to book them in advance by phoning 685 850 422.
With a repertoire of more than eleven shows, this group will be performing in Mijas after having appeared in numerous other places on the Costa del Sol. They have also performed in other parts of Spain and all over the five continents.
Choreographers and dancers Javier Valverde and Paloma Aznar, who have more than two decades of experience, lead a group which is renowned for adding its own personal touch to the essence of this Spanish art form, without forgetting the fusion that attracts dance lovers of all types in this day and age.
As well as these new shows, the original one which takes place on Wednesdays at 12 noon never fails to attract a large crowd to the Virgen de la Peña square in Mijas Pueblo. Here, two different groups alternate: one is the Arte Cordobés Company from Mijas, which is directed by Francisco León, and which presents the ‘Zambra Ballet’ - a troupe formed by four local girls who trained at the Universidad Popular - in a display of flamenco and classic Spanish dance.
The other is the ‘Jaleo’ flamenco troupe which consists of three dancers, a singer and a guitarist, most of whom are from Mijas, and whose performance includes dance and live music.