A beautifully written article by Judith Mackrell of The Guardian places Rocío Molina at the helm of flamenco’s development, carrying the tradition forward and anchoring the art form in ideas and concepts once considered far beyond the scope of Flamenco culture.
Mackrell shares fragments of Molina’s montage of influence: She admires the films of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and she’s interested in the new generation of dance theatre that includes the likes of Belgian company Peeping Tom. One of her early works, 2005’s El Eterno Retorno, was based on texts by Nietzsche; a later work, Danzaora, was inspired by the painting The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel, an image of disintegrating classical order, in which Molina saw her own embrace of tradition and the avant garde. She did a duet with Korean hip hop dancer, Honji Wang, as well:
These sources of inspiration and the skills she has been developing since the age of 3, in Málaga (Spain), have taken her far. By the age of 30, though the purist school of flamenco may not support the claim, Molina was considered to be one of Spain’s most talented flamenco dancers, “with the power to still an audience with her staccato footwork and spiraling turns. As a choreographer, her ambitious ideas have earned her respect across dance.”
Molina served as artistic associate at the Theatre de Chaillot, performed at the Dance Umbrella. In eight days, she will be in Boston, part of World Music’s 2016 Flamenco Festival at Berkley Performance Center. Here she will be performing the Boston premiere of Danzaora & Vinática.
Speaking on the flamenco tradition and her search for new trajectories, Molina states, “I do consider myself a flamenco dancer… I’m inspired by the old traditions, dancers like Carmen Amaya, Mario Maya and El Farruco. But I’m also interested in the world outside flamenco. I’m trying to work outside the normal flamenco box.”
Yet working outside this “normal flamenco box,” at least as she will presumably do here in Boston, the ingenious programming of World Music seems to suggest lines of continuity despite ruptures and new searches. Farruquito, of the Farruco family who Molina has credited as an inspiration, performed only a few days ago her in Boston, setting the stage for Molina on the 19th. On the 20th, just a day after the Flamenco tradition takes on new formations through Molina, this art form birthed from the Romani, Islamic chants, North Africa Berber, Catholic chants, and Sephardim gets back to its traveling core with the evening’s theme, “Qasida: Flamenco meets Persian classical music.” Rosario “La Tremendita” Guerrero and Mohammad Motamedi
“Qasida is an extraordinary musical encounter between the young Spanish singer Rosario “La Tremendita” Guerrero and her Iranian peer, Mohammad Motamedi. Renowned for accompanying flamenco dancers Belén Maya, Rocío Molina, Rafaela Carrasco, and many others, La Tremendita explores the roots of flamenco in the richly varied poetic songs and improvisations of Motamedi, the young rising star of Persian classical music. They will be accompanied by six musicians on guitar, Iranian kemanche (a bowed string instrument), percussion, and palmas (hand clapping).”
Qasida is originally an Arabic word (قصيدة) meaning “ode” and implying “intention.” It is a form of poetry and became part of the Persian poetic tradition. The intersection of Qasida with incredible flamenco singer Rosario la Tremendita is a re-encounter of Spain’s history, particularly in Andalusia.
Mohammad Motamedi, born in 1978, is an Iranian singer and Ney player, self-taught since adolescence. He influences are Seyed Hossein Taherzadeh and Hamidreza Noorbakhsh, and, a follower of the Esfahan song school, his musical influences also include Taj Esfahani and Adib Khansari. He is a predecessor of the late Dr. Hossein Omoumi and Aliasghar Shahzeidi.
Singer and composer Rosario La Tremendita Guerrero, born in the neighborhood of Triana in Seville in 1984, is the Great grand-daughter of Enriqueta la Pescaera, grandniece of La Gandinga de Triana and daughter of José El Tremendo. Triana is a cradle of Flamenco and it was there that she began to sing in the peñas central and she has sang for the great dancers Belén Maya, Rocío Molina (re-connected, or course, through this World Music tour), Rafaela Carrasco, and Andrés Marín. The last name ‘Marín’ gets to the core of our work and we will look at this legacy of dancers that Rosario has collaborated with when we share our impressions of the event. More to come!
Make sure to buy your tickets for Rocío Molina (March 19, 8 PM) and for Rosario la Tremendita & Mohammad Motamedi (March 20, 7:30 PM) soon! The venue for both events is Berklee Performance Center: 136 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA.
Sirocco Blue will be at both performances so please stay tuned for our review!