Manuel Liñán dances ‘Viva!’ at Flamenco On Fire

Javier Ruibal. Gayarre Theater, Pamplona. / fof

Leading a large group of dramatic cante and transvestite dance, the Granada-born choreographer triumphed on the third day of the Navarrese festival, where Javier Ruibal also left a wonderful impression

Oscar Cubillo

On Friday in Pamplona, ​​in the third of the five days of the eighth Flamenco On Fire festival, certain artists were already repeated (three names of the six proposed) and several concerts overlapped in time, which made it impossible to combine them, to witness them all .

Three gypsy participants were repeated on Thursday, namely: the cantaora Dolores La Agudamientos, with the guitarist Domingo Rubichi, opening at 12 from the balcony of the town hall, with her also weak with her voice (“I’m with a fatal allergy,” she alleged this Friday, and its peak was reached in the encore, some martinetes «as a gift for being so handsome», the culmination of the concert of five cantes in 26 minutes) but with an imperial Rubichi, sounding louder and saving the morning appointment; She also repeated the pair formed by Inés Bacán and Antonio Moya at 7 o’clock in the courtyard of the Condestable, officiating less surprisingly than the day before, the very timid one appeased by the audience seated two feet from her, but still sounding from another era, distilling a purely metaphysical lament that suggested sun, aridity and isolation, connecting with the beyond in a very ethnic way and being highly applauded in the hard seguiriyas and olive groves, of the last of a gig of about 7 sticks in 45 minutes (we had to run to another act before finishing); and the modernist guitarist Rycardo Moreno also repeated this time with percussionist Ané Carrasco at 8 o’clock in the garden of the Ezpeleta palace, but we could not see him because he was at the same time at the Gayarre theater to taste Javier Ruibal in the first meeting of Friday subscription.

The powerful and lyrical singer-songwriter was often loving and sometimes militant of the progressive caton, although not in a too much pamphlet way: the song in favor of the mixture of races in ‘I am African’, the criticism of the disobedient of the pandemic that they organized anti-government casseroles for the confinement and those whom in the letter he accused of being consumerists, disobedient whose attitude Ruibal reproaches at the same time that he later blessed Morente’s rebellious character.

Ruibal, accompanied by his sons Javi on drums, programming and choirs (what a magical percussion hers) and by his daughter Lucía at sporadic dances, in the first part of his concert he was based on the presentation of his latest album , the homonym ‘Javier Ruibal’ (2020), composed during the pandemic and inspired by it. Due to his instrumental foundation and an ample capacity for loving evocation, Ruibal often resonated with the new trova, sometimes from the influence of the creators, in the case of Pablo Milanés, now as outstanding Spanish disciples such as Pedro Guerra and Ismael Serrano, and laughed with reflections of greats such as Serrat, Drexler (the lights of the scene, the love for science …) and Sabina in risky titles such as ‘Only the dose makes the poison’, ‘Quantum Physics’ or ‘Astronomy’, endowed with humor, metrics and stupendous vocal performance. For the last part, the most flamenco component of his repertoire was going to be reserved, but we had already left for the Baluarte, to see the Granada-born bailaor Manuel Liñán at the second subscription date on Friday.

The exhausting, or tireless, show by Liñán was presented by another repeater of the day, the component of Gomaespuma Juan Luis Cano, who in the morning at the Principal Casino had given a talk about his initiation into flamenco illustrated by the cantaora Cristina Soler and the tocaor Salva Del Real in an 80-minute encounter with 14 fragments of cantes, some in the voice of Juan Luis himself. And at 9:30 at night the foam rubber also threw the humor to present the Manuel Liñán show, which he described as risky and purely Spanish because flamenco is only done here (he said that you also fight in America, and that eating is eaten worldwide), a choreography titled ‘Viva!’ and that is committed to liberating transformism, since the seven male dancers perform in traditional female flamenco dresses.

The seven dancers and their marvelous five-fold musician-vocal accompaniment (three musicians and two singers, all in suits), instantaneous, melodramatic, extremely intense and global, for almost two hours full (117 minutes), two exhausting hours on stage (from the At first we thought about when the percussionist was going to get tired of playing) and below (the long epilogue with so many false endings that only raised the heat of the cheering of the crowd), they threw themselves upside down in a modern choreography, choral, with stupendous group movements (from the beginning, typical of a musical, to the last, like the alegrías with the seven dancers in white suits with black polka dots on a naked, huge and illuminated stage), singing heartbreaking (why are they so good, so better the cantaores from the back, what do you call those who accompany the dance?) by tonás, rumbas, alegrías or Bambino.

And, of course, always spinning the typical intelligible dance argument, or interpretable from different points of view. The seven dancers, yet their feminine attire, danced with a very masculine rapturous vigor, whether in the resounding and defiant lunges, in the dangerous turns or in the supersonic stomps, these on one occasion even vertical and even upside down.

It was a spectacular non-stop dancing and singing about Manuel Liñán’s in his extensive choreography called ‘¡Viva!’, To which the fragment of classical ballet was a bit misplaced in the second part, but it was also different, different, and with the graphic humor of the American musical. After witnessing the last of Liñán, all that remains is to say viva y olé, and wish to see him again in another city.


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