Bernardi Gómez’s students are performing in Las Lagunas. :: M. C. J.
Mijas has a strong focus on art in all its forms and the new generations of local residents have not been slow in carrying on with this tradition. When it comes to flamenco, it is not only the well-established dancers who are worth watching; there are also some very promising youngsters and this weekend will be a good opportunity to see them in action because more than 200 students from the dance schools of the Universidad Popular will be presenting flamenco shows in the municipality.
The first of these shows will be on Saturday at 9pm in the Miguel González Berral Municipal Auditorium in Mijas Pueblo. Entry is free, and this 14th edition of the Flamenco Dance Festival, featuring dancers led by the young Victor Rojas, will last for just over three hours and will display the different elements of this type of dance. More than 70pupils aged between three and 32, divided into seven groups according to age, will show off to the public the progress they have made during the past year of classes.
The programme for this show includes everything from classic flamenco to surprising new versions of themes which are normally attributed more to rock but which acquire an Andalusian accent thanks to a combination of styles and elements such as castanets, fans and shawls. Despite the youth of the participants and their choreographer, the technique and the effort will be obvious on stage during an evening which is not only planned for their families and friends, but also for flamenco lovers and tourists who want to see the way in which this important intangible heritage of humanity is interpreted in this village on the Costa del Sol. “We want the audience to experience what, for me and for my pupils, is the principal objective of this festival: what it means to live flamenco. We want to surprise the public, whether or not they have any previous knowledge of this type of art”, explains the director of the dance company.
On the same day, Saturday, but two hours earlier at 7pm, the doors of the Theatre in Las Lagunas will open for this year’s show by the students of Bernardi Gómez. Of the current flamenco teachers at this school, which is run by the Town Hall, she is the most veteran artiste and performer.
Her 31 years of experience are obvious in every one of the turns and pirouettes completed on stage by the 140 pupils who this year have studied under this lady, who is truly passionate about flamenco. As with the show organised by her colleague in Mijas Pueblo, this year the audience will be able to enjoy, free of charge, performances of a variety of dance styles including ‘bulerías’, tango, ‘sevillanas’ and ‘alegrías’.
This week’s shows are just the beginning of a series of activities which have been organised by Mijas council to welcome the start of summer and fill the calendar with events which will attract not only residents but also the many tourists of different nationalities who decide to spend their holidays in the area. For example, on Saturday 21st, students of Remedios Fernández will be performing their dances at the municipal auditorium in Mijas Pueblo.
Meanwhile, numerous activities lie ahead for the enjoyment of tourists and local residents this summer in public areas such as the Plaza Virgen de la Peña in Mijas Pueblo and the area around the Torreón tower in La Cala de Mijas. These will be just two of the venues where people can experience for themselves the high quality and the variety of the art and culture in the 147 square metres of this municipality.