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The film Flamenco directed by Carlos Saura in 1995 may be more of a documentary rather than a Friday night film in the sense of having a plot but because of Saura’s approach each of the performances on this film has a narrative to it; I say this because Carlos Saura manages not only to present some of the finest flamenco performers of the time, but he also manages to capture their personalities in the moments before and after their performance; those little insights into their characters stay with you and make for a warm intimacy between the performer and the audience. 


The list of performers is impressive and now of course one is even more grateful that he preserved the work of artists such as the singer Fernanda de Utrera, who have since died – and sadly the list is quite long: the singers La Paquera de Jerez and Chano Lobato, the dancer El Farruco, Paco de Lucía’s brother the guitarist Ramón de Algecirasand the dancer Mario Maya.

Mario Maya’s performance is one that I replay in my mind often; he has a symmetry in and creation of line and form in the Martinete which he dances with Marco Antonio Vargas and Israel Galván, that is absorbing to watch. I also love Manolo Sanlúcar‘s alegrías and Carmen Linares singing a taranta accompanied by Rafael Riqueni

All the performances were unforgettable really, so excuse me if I seem to mention so few. How could I leave out Cristina Hoyos, Matilde Coral, Joaquín Grilo, Joaquín Cortés, Enrique Morente, Paco de Lucía, Moraíto, Ketama … and there are many more still! 

© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba