El Carrete (r) with Jorge Peña during the filming of Don Quixote. SUR
Arroyo de la Miel becomes the centre of flamenco during week-long festival

Arroyo de la Miel becomes the centre of flamenco during week-long festival

The event offers recitals and the screening of a new film about one of Malaga's most celebrated dancers

Tony Bryant


Friday, 10 November 2023, 10:39


Benalmádena will host the 11th Semana Flamenca festival between Friday 10 (today) and Friday 17 November, an initiative that will coincide with the 13th anniversary of the Unesco declaration of flamenco as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The festival will present a cycle of recitals, and the first screening of a new film about one of Malaga's most celebrated flamenco dancers, at the Casa de Cultura in Arroyo de la Miel.

Organised by the Peña Flamenca La Repompa de Malaga and the town hall, the flamenco week will serve as a showcase for dancers, singers and guitarists, and will represent both the pure and the new trends within the world of flamenco.

The festival kicks off on Friday at 9pm with the show, Poesía y Flamenco, a tribute to celebrated poet Salvador Rueda, considered the precursor of modernism in Spain. The show will feature Granada singer Juan Pinilla, who will put the poet's words to flamenco music.

Lela Soto Sordera and Malaga guitarist Rubén Lara will offer a performance of traditional Gypsy flamenco on Monday. Lela Soto is a gypsy singer from a large dynasty of artistes from Jerez de La Frontera that includes her father, singer Vicente Soto, and grandfather, Manuel Soto El Sordera, one of the most formidable singers of the last century.

Other performances include internationally renowned guitarist Daniel Casare's latest work, Homenaje a Picasso, on Tuesday, a show that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the death of the Malaga painter; while Wednesday will be the turn of several local singers in the show Jovenes Flamencos.

The highlight of the week will be the screening of the film, Quijote en Nueva York, a documentary about the flamboyant dancer El Carrete. Don Quixote in New York, in which the 83-year-old dancer portrays his own interpretation of Don Quixote de la Mancha, is directed by Jorge Peña and it narrates El Carrete's rise to stardom within the flamenco world.

Born in Antequera in 1940, El Carrete, known as the Gypsy Fred Astaire, has dedicated his whole life to performing, teaching and promoting the art of flamenco dance. The film reveals the dazzling career of a Gypsy whose life-long dream was to have his name illuminated in neon lights in New York, a dream he fulfilled while performing on Broadway last year.

The festival will close on Friday with a show by another popular Malaga dancer, La Lupi.

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