March 1, 2, 3, and 4 (and a little bit of 5)

The rain did put a crimp in things

Friday and Saturday in Jerez and getting to Seville on Sunday

[The WiFi here in our Seville apartment is very bad. So, a shorter post than usual and, at least for today, no pictures.]

When I finished up the post on Friday, it was raining. By Friday evening, it was still raining. Our first performance was at 9:00pm, so we braved the rain about 7:00 and walked downtown to find a place to eat. We stopped at “Don Tapas,” where we had eaten a few days ago and one of the waiters recognized us and took over our service. I’m not sure if it is good to stand out enough to be recognized in a tourist town. We had a good meal and he and I practiced our “foreign” languages on each other. He wants to travel to a far-off place like Liverpool, or even Barcelona. He is practicing English with someone from Britain. He would not listen to Patricia when she spoke English, but required me to translate into Spanish. We covered all the basics like where New Mexico is, where we were travelling, whether we liked Jerez, and so on.

[Slight discursion: as I write this on Monday, about 1:00pm, we had windows open in our apartment in Seville and it was bright and sunny outside. In less than a minute, a strong wind came up leaves and debris flew in, and it started pouring rain. And now, 5 minutes later, the rain has stopped and the wind has died down.]

At Villamarta we saw a performance called “¿Qué Pasaría Si Pasara?” (What would happen if it happened?) The performers were very good and we enjoyed the show, but much of it was dialog, en espanol, por supuesto, about current conditions, what flamenco is—and is not, and other topics which resonated with the Spanish speakers in the audience, but I was only able to get 25%-30%, which was frustrating. While I was writing, I remembered that at one point the 4 performers put on white lab coats and declared that “science says flamenco is good for you.” They also pointed out that flamenco isn’t a person or a song (or even the Festival de Jerez, which got a laugh) but something that I understood as “the feeling of living life.”

It was raining when the performance finished and we decided not to wait outside at Sala Paúl for an hour for the next show, so we actually got back to the apartment before midnight.

On our original schedule, we had 5 performances scheduled, including a peña performance. We decided that was too much to try to accomplish.

Instead, we went to González Byass, but a different space, to see Eduardo Guerrero in a performance called “Faro.” (Lighthouse). What a dancer!! A very simple set.  The focus was on music and dance and we enjoyed every second. Guerrero is thin and he made good use of his ability to use his arms above his shoulders and behind his back. And I’m not comparing performers here, but he just kept ratcheting up the intensity and speed of his dances. I am sure even the audience was tired when the performance was done.

We stopped at a cafeteria for coffee and sweets on the way back to the apartment.

By the time we got back, the rain had resumed. Before we went out for our Saturday evening performances it was still raining quite hard, but we are glad we braved the elements. We saw a show called “La Guitarra en el Tiempo” by Santiago Lara.  It, too, was a simple presentation on a simple set at Sala Paúl. Lara played different styles of flamenco guitar to illustrate how styles had changed over time. Between pieces, old movie and television clips showed flamenco greats playing in the styles of their time.

Back out into the rain for the trek down to Teatro Villamarta for the last time this visit. Andrés Peña and Pilar Ogalla danced spectacularly as individuals and as a couple. The show was called “La Tournée,” which I think is “the Tour.” Simple rearrangements of 8 chairs accounted for the set and some of the costume changes were done on stage. La guitarra, la percusíon, el cante, y el baile fueron geniales (were great). Because it was still raining, and it was more than an hour until our next performance, we decided to call it a night, which meant that “La Tournée” was the last festival performance we saw in Jerez.

Sunday morning the rain was gone. Our hostess, Isabel, told us that it would be back in the afternoon. She also told us that there had been so much rain that she had flooding at her house.

We took a train to Seville, which is little more than an hour from Jerez. We were able to get to our apartment easily and check in was as simple as “this is the key for the apartment and this is the key for the front door. Bye.” The apartment has lots of windows and looks out over part of the royal gardens of the Alcazar. It is on a tiny plaza in the barrio Santa Cruz and the location could not be nicer. There is one problem, however.

The wifi does not work. Well, it works, but it works so slowly as to be nearly useless. Our host, Paco, says that the last guest “used up all the data” and he is working on getting more. So, no pictures with this post if I can even figure out how to get it to the website.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hello Dears. By now you’re on to Seville and, hopefully, into some drier weather. Sounds like, in-spite of weather, the time in Jerez was good. Thinking about you and hoping that the trip continues to be a pleasure. lb

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