The title of today’s post may look like I used the same word twice, but espectáculo just means “show.”

Friday evening was our first festival performance. This year the opening performance was Vuelo, by Sara Baras. When I was buying tickets back in October I was surprised that Vuelo (Flying) was on for 2 consecutive nights. That was the first time I have ever seen a show repeated. Clearly, the organizers knew what to expect in terms of demand for tickets.

Occasionally, a show transcends even the best of performances. Vuelo was that show for us this year. When we left the Villamarta we joked that we could go back to the apartment, pack up, and leave Jerez, because we could not imagine seeing anything better than this spectacular espectáculo. Everything—cante, baile, choreography, lighting, costumes, and music—was outstanding. The show was related to the music of Paco de Lucia. Here is a translation of the synopsis:

“To celebrate the 25th anniversary of her own dance company, Sara Baras wants to pay tribute to the quintessential guitar genius, Paco de Lucía.

Thus, from the respect, affection and love that they professed so much, VUELA was born, a show created to be unforgettable, to transport us once again to that magical world that only Sara Baras is capable of creating.

Facing on this occasion the responsibility of paying tribute to the genius of Algeciras, this choreographic journey is composed of 15 unique pieces where each one of them will revolve around a word, thus creating, with our flamenco language, words in movement.

A fascinating journey divided into four acts, each of which weaves a powerful narrative.” Original synopsis

For the first time in my memory, there were standing ovations not at the end of the show, but at the end of a couple of the individual acts. Sara Baras seemingly had no time to rest but her performance was as fresh at the end as it was at the beginning. Even the traditional flamenco was magically blended with the non-traditional. The final standing ovation went on for minutes. The fin de fiesta (end of the party) which often ends a performance, was also carefully constructed and left us wanting more.

This is one occasion where I can truthfully say “I wish you could have seen that show.”

At the Mercado Central at Plaza Esteve

Earlier on Friday we met our friend Amarita for breakfast at a nearby café. The weather has turned a bit cooler, so we did not sit outside as we often do. Then we went to the market and bought some flowers for the apartment and some olives and fresas (strawberries) before going to the local equivalent of a dollar store to find some placemats. It sounds mundane, but I think it shows how comfortable we are here.

After a break, we decided to go out for some dinner before the show. Because we have eaten at many of the restaurants in the area, we took a “tour” by many of them trying to decide where to stop. We ended up at one of our favorites, Albores, where we have been eating for years. Being the non-adventurous eater I am, I ordered the same thing I have been eating there for years. I figure that saves a lot of time and angst. Patricia carefully examined the menu—which hasn’t changed in a long time—and considered each and every item before selecting the same thing she has been having there for years.

Iglesia Conventual de San Francisco near Plaza Esteve

This year we decided to attend just one or two performances an evening. That will give us plenty of time and energy to just enjoy Jerez. So far, the weather is cooperating and we have spent time exploring new streets. Here is a picture of a church we must have walked past dozens of times over the years and never noticed.

02/22/24 – Thursday

We used Thursday as an opportunity to refamiliarize ourselves with the area, although it wasn’t really necessary. We have been here often enough to know where things are and how to get around. We finished getting set up in the apartment, although Patricia thinks the kitchen still needs rearranging. We got in well over 10,000 steps on both Thursday and Friday, but since we do it in multiple stages, we hardly notice.

“Gilda” of tuna at El Gallo Azul

Cheese board at El Gallo Azul

We did find one positive change in Jerez while walking on Thursday. A café we like called El Gallo Azul had been closed for some time (just before COVID, as I recall) but has just reopened. It is located next to Plaza Esteve where several busy streets come together. Since it was more or less time to eat again, we sat in the sun for 90 minutes and enjoyed some tapas. Here are pictures a very tasty cheese board and a specially prepared piece of tuna. You may be able to guess which was mine and which was Patricia’s. Of particular note at this snack is that Patricia tried, and liked, my Alhambra Roja Bock beer. Usually she cannot even stand to smell beer.

I noticed when preparing this post that I haven’t taken many pictures yet. I’ll keep my eyes open for more picture-taking opportunities.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Claire loves the picture of the cheese board!

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