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HomeNightlifeIssues to Do in Miami: José Almarcha's "Alejandra" at Miami-Dade County Auditorium

Issues to Do in Miami: José Almarcha’s “Alejandra” at Miami-Dade County Auditorium

José Almarcha’s Alejandra is a real labor of affection from considered one of Spain’s most promising younger composers for the guitar. Alejandra started as a malagueña, a single tune devoted to Almarcha’s then-living mom. When she died all of a sudden in 2015, Almarcha says he noticed his world flip round.

“After which I assumed, ‘Why only one tune, why not a complete report?'” Almarcha remembers.

The tune “Alejandra” grew into the album that Almarcha ultimately formed into the full-length live performance. Being introduced as a night of music and dance, its United States debut is on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6 on the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. It’s a part of Miami-based cultural incubator Fundarte’s ongoing dedication to bringing cutting-edge flamenco to South Florida.

“Sooner or later, I spotted that when she was alive, I performed in a method,” the guitarist explains. “And when she died, all the pieces modified — my approach of enjoying in addition to my approach of composing.”

Almarcha has carried out in additional than 30 international locations and performed and written for a few of the most progressive dancers in Spain — performers like Olga Pericet, Mariana Collado, and Karen Lugo.

He was in Miami final Might with yet one more chief of flamenco’s vanguard, Marco Flores. The 2 carried out Milonga, Sonata y Plata, an beautiful and emotionally daring work of utter creative abandon that married Almarcha’s music with Flores’s dance.

Alejandra strikes a special observe, albeit an equally tender one. Firmly rooted in household and place, the work references Tomelloso, the small metropolis in Castilla-La Mancha the place Almarcha grew up. An necessary grape-growing area, it’s also house to many passionate flamenco followers. Almarcha defined that flamenco’s begin was within the vineyards: “The Andalusians would come as much as work the fields, and later at evening after work, they’d eat collectively and they might sing their songs.” Peñas, intimate neighborhood flamenco golf equipment, ultimately sprung up round city, offering one other creative outlet for itinerate aficionados.

The environment was sufficient to ignite the curiosity of a budding adolescent guitar participant. As soon as bitten by the flamenco bug, the artwork kind grew to become Almarcha’s all-consuming ardour. “I grew to become critical concerning the guitar at 13 or fourteen,” he says, happening to obtain his diploma within the instrument from the distinguished Conservatory of Music in Córdoba.

The musician sees the guitar as considered one of Spain’s nice presents to world tradition. Traditionally, the piano or the violin have been classical devices that have been inaccessible to the widespread individuals, he says. Low cost and moveable, the guitar performed a vital function in bringing the enjoyment of music to the plenty.

“The guitar is the instrument that’s most accessible to the pueblo, not simply to individuals of a bit increased standing. It introduced tradition and music to the working individuals… A household that may not have cash to eat may decide up their guitar within the night and neglect their troubles for some time.”

click on to enlarge

Choreographer and flamenco dancer Lucía Ruibal, the daughter of singer-songwriter and flamenco guitarist Javier Ruibal, with José Almarcha in Alejandra.

Photograph courtesy of the artists

Flamenco’s DNA is woven of many musical influences: It blends Romani strands that stretch again to northern India with Moorish and Sephardic Jewish roots, in addition to imprints from the most of the different teams which have made the Iberian Peninsula their house all through historical past. “There has all the time been such quite a lot of peoples in Spain… Musically and culturally, all have left their mark — particularly in flamenco,” says Almarcha.

Accompanying Almarcha in live performance is a small cadre of first-class musicians. Amongst them is percussionist Epi Pacheco, one thing of a mad scientist whose bag of tips contains devices seldom heard in flamenco that nonetheless lend an earthy, grounded taste to the music that feels excellent for the style.

Singer Fabiola Santiago hails from a small city in Málaga, the place her father noticed to it that she was steeped in flamenco custom from early childhood. Blessed with a robust pair of lungs, she will be able to sing conventional palos “por derecho,” as one can think about they have been heard when aficionados like Federico García Lorca or Manuel de Falla first fell in love with the shape. Violin virtuoso, sound designer, and actor Fernando Clemente, from Sevilla, rounds out the group.

The live performance additionally options Lucía Ruibal, the daughter of singer/songwriter and flamenco guitarist Javier Ruibal. Almarcha calls her one of the crucial musical dancers he has labored with. She additionally occurs to be his romantic associate, and theirs is the opposite love story that permeates Alejandra. When Ruibal dances her farruca, Almarcha says, the stage is empty however for the 2 of them. “You see an unbelievable dialogue, a caring, and respect onstage. It’s the most intimate second within the present.”

Lastly, he says, there are fond reminiscences of his hometown and area that permeate the piece. These are most strongly felt in a composition devoted to essentially the most celebrated of La Mancha’s fictional residents, Don Quixote. Many are satisfied that the well-known scene through which Alonso Quijano is “knighted” was impressed by a Sixteenth-century inn not removed from Tomelloso, “la Venta de Borondo.” A bulerías by Almarcha imagines that scene, the protagonist’s interior battle, and the newly minted “knight” lastly setting off on the primary of his adventures.

“Within the Quixote,” Almarcha says, “there’s an ongoing battle between actuality and Don Quixote’s creativeness… I attempt to have my toes on the bottom, however whenever you compose or create music, your creativeness must fly, so perhaps that is once I turn into extra quixotic. However I attempt to land on the bottom.”

– Helena Alonso Paisley,

Alejandra by José Almarcha. 8 p.m. Saturday, November 5, and three p.m. Sunday, November 6, at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-547-5414; Tickets value $35 to $40 through



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