• Mar 11,2013
  • In Review
  • By Abundant Art

Q&A with Miguel Marin Producer of Flamenco Festival London 2013

Born in Córdoba (1967), Miguel Marín is an internationally recognized producer of flamenco and Spanish cultural events.

In 1996 he founded Miguel Marín Productions, his own production company, and has presented festivals and events in the United States, UK, across Europe, China and others. The Flamenco Festival founded in 2001 with headquarters in New York, Washington DC, Miami and Boston, is today the main showcase for flamenco outside Spanish borders, having more than a million viewers worldwide.

In 2003 he added the Sadlers Wells Theatre in London becoming an unmissable annual event in the British capital, which has now grown to be the largest flamenco festival staged anywhere in the world outside Spain. Since then every year the festival has been conquering new cities around the globe, including Japan (2005), Paris (2006), Beijing (2007), Brussels (2008), Buenos Aires (2009), Shanghai (2010), Moscow (2011), Sao Paulo (2011).

Flamenco Festival London has seen an interesting line up every year. What is different in this year’s festival and is a surprise?

First of all, this is the 10th anniversary of Flamenco Festival London so we wanted to have some of the most outstanding artists who have appeared at the festival over the past decade, as well as some new surprises!

The festival will open on 15th March with a world premiere, by flamenco super star Eva Yerbabuena.  It is her first performance since she had her first child, which makes her decision to present this exciting new work all the more exciting.

We continue with the new show by Farruquito; the international premiere of the new album of Estrella Morente; and other shows that have been outstanding in the flamenco world this year, like the show of Israel Galvan La Curva.

New to the festival this year, we have created a series called Beyond Flamenco that will showcase some of the most experimental and cutting edge ideas in flamenco as well as new collaborations between flamenco and other contemporary dance forms; This includes two residencies called In Progress by two of the most outstanding young flamenco artists, Olga Pericet and Rocio Molina, who will be collaborating with UK artists; Tapeos that will delight audiences with performances in the foyer of the Sadler’s Wells.

Also for the first time, we will have master classes with renowned flamenco artists participating in the festival.

How does it feel to perform for a London audience?

We have been presenting Flamenco Festival in London for 10 years, and the audience in London is always a joy, as they are very excited by all types of dances. Right now Flamenco is developing the same kind of respect that other dance forms, like Ballet or contemporary dance has, and the Festival audience has a broader knowledge about Flamenco. It is really gorgeous as flamenco deserves to be on the same level!

What is your best memory of the festival over the years?

The audience, and how people over the years have created their own opinions about flamenco. They know flamenco as if they were a Spanish audience! It has been wonderful to witness how flamenco has developed such an international respect – it does not matter if you do not understand Spanish, as Flamenco is a language of feelings and can be understood all over the world.  For us to have flamenco in a prestigious venue like Sadler´s Wells is one of the best things that could ever have happened, and to see over the years that the Flamenco Festival London has become such an important international date in the dance calendar is wonderful.

Is there anything in particular that you think is yet to be brought to the festival?

 When we first began with the Flamenco Festival London we just presented dance, then later we introduced traditional music, and then after that, also notable singers.  Nowadays Flamenco Festival presents dance, song and guitar, which really give the broadest possible picture of the world of flamenco! This year we are presenting more experimental portrait of flamenco, with the Beyond Flamenco series which gives artists the opportunity to create work with other international dance makers and we would like to continue this way.

What do you find most exciting in the current trend of contemporary work in Flamenco?

For me it is that flamenco can contribute to the contemporary language of dance without loosing its authenticity.  It is exciting to see that even in it’s most contemporary form, flamenco can remain deeply rooted. It is also interesting how young flamenco performers continue to study flamenco thoroughly and understand the traditions of the dance form, and at the same time is keen to experiment with its exciting possibilities to present it in a  contemporary form. Rocio Molina, who is presenting Danzaora at the Festival on 19 March is a great example of a flamenco artist who has successfully integrated contemporary dance into her style. She has recently been invited by Sadler´s Wells to be a New Wave Associate, so it is wonderful to see that a flamenco artist is being championed in such a way!

As a producer and presenter of Flamenco which other dance form would you like to see Flamenco collaborating or experiment with?

Well, Flamenco has absorbed and collaborated over the years with almost all dance styles, for example Eva Yerbabuena worked with the legendary German choreographer Pina Bausch. We are presenting a piece during the Beyond Flamenco series titled  Romances that is directed by Juan Kruz, who is part of Sasha Waltz and Guests, and for example Rocio Molina is staging her residency with two hip hop artists and one videographer. Flamenco is evolving and drawing on other parts of dance and performance, which is something we’re very keen to promote.

                                                                                                       Protima Chatterjee

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