You’ll read more about Bodegas Tradición tomorrow, but I needed a picture for today…

The weather is holding nicely in Jerez. We went out for breakfast after it warmed up a little bit. We are still looking for the “perfect” place. We did not do too badly on Monday, though. We found a spot that was also still in the sun on Calle Largo, one of the shopping streets.

Not very many pictures from Monday. And, the ones I do have aren’t great.

When we go to these breakfast places we have noticed something that doesn’t seem to happen the same way in the U.S.: we see groups of 4 to 7 men or women—rarely mixed—sitting at an outside table drinking a coffee and talking. They almost never have any food on the table and the coffee (café con leche) seems to last forever. The men are almost always older, presumably retired, and dressed in suits (old suits) or sports coats (also older). Patricia made a good point yesterday when she observed that perhaps couples split up with women at one table and men at another. As people walk by, greetings are exchanged, but the passers-by don’t seem to join the people who are already seated. It all seems very sociable and the camareros do not rush the patrons to finish.

When we got back to the apartment, Patricia did some laundry. We had planned to hang our clothes on the rooftop terrace but when we tried to open the door to the terrace, the key that worked in the morning no longer worked. 

We had a a performance at 7:00 at Sala Paúl Monday evening. That venue has always been a challenge to get to from this part of town. Not because the navigation is particularly tricky or because it is about a mile away. Instead, one has to make left-right decisions at about 3 intersections where 3 or 4 streets come together. Get one wrong, and you can hunt forever. This time, I decided to use the navigation instructions on my phone. When we got to one of the decision points, I trusted the phone and not my instincts. My instincts were correct and the phone was wrong. I’m OK with a wrong turn or two, but Patricia is less so. But we got there with at least 3 minutes to spare.

Paula Comitre’s show at Sala Paúl was interesting. (Sorry for the bad quality.)

We saw a show called Cámara Abierta (Open Camera) by Paula Comitre. I think that perhaps the best way to describe it would be to say it was “interesting.” While Paula Comitre is undeniably a talented dancer, the performance was missing a lot of flamenco.  By that I mean that dance which is more ballet than flamenco, and crawling on the floor, and posing, and music which is a cacophony rather than melodic are beyond the range of what I am willing to experiment with as “flamenco.” There was some flamenco in the performance but it was well-disguised. Maybe another way to describe my reaction was that the performance left me flat.

Getting back to Teatro Villamarta was easy. We walked that way many times when we stayed near Sala Paúl a couple of years ago. We got back so quickly that we even had time for lemonade in the theater’s lounge before the performance.

María Moreno’s show at Teatro Villamarta was hard to categorize.

And what can I say about “De la Concepción” by María Moreno? I could start by copying the paragraph about the Paula Comitre performance and changing a few things, but, while that might be a start, and not too far off the mark, it would be completely unfair. If I quote from the synopsis, that might help: “una nueva forma de bailar libre de influencias y cualquiera necesidad de sorprender y complacer.” (a new way of dancing free from influences and any need to surprise and please) Now there is a hint that you may not see something you are expecting. And, in fact, much of the performance was not “traditional.” Much of it was unexpected. All of it was done professionally, with energy, and with talent. María Moreno has complete command of her art. Staging was innovative. Some parts of the performance were hard to follow. Some of what we saw was breathtaking. 

After the performance we talked with our friends from Santa Fe, and it was really interesting to hear the different takes. For example, some of us thought the second part of the performance was great, while others thought the first part was the best. And the “whys” of those opinions were well thought out and articulated, so they weren’t just off-the-cuff statements. From that perspective, I think one would have to say it was a successful performance. Certainly the audience thought so.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I’m just now catching up with you and it sounds like a really fine trip so far. So much music–how do you keep it all straight? It must add a whole other dimension to the trip to have the SF friends there. And it sounds like an ideal situation in that there is no pressure to spend a lot of time together but enough time to share perspectives and thoughts about the performances. The pictures are so evocative, Steven. With some of them I almost feel like I”m there. Be taking good care and enjoy, enjoy and avoid any Corona virus, please. Love to you both. lb

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