There is a church right around the corner from our apartment called Santo Domingo. We went in, once, several years ago and have wanted to visit again. My recollection had been that the interior was pretty plain and I wanted to see it again. However, each time we tried to visit, the church was closed.  On this trip, I realized that although the church construction started in the 13th century, information about it might be more modern than that. So I asked Google search. It came back with not only the hours, but with plenty of other information. [Surprise, surprise.] One might think that would have been the first thing I tried some time ago, but no, I just kept trying the doors every time we went past. So, it sometimes does pay to just ask.

Once we knew what time it opened, Patricia and I walked around the corner and went in. I found that my recollection was a bit incomplete. Much of the interior is indeed plain, but the chapels, which have been updated over the centuries, are elaborate. The main altar retablo (the picture above) is extraordinarily elaborate. This is still a working church, too and we saw people praying in the chapels.

Our evening performance at Sala Compañía was yet another very good espectáculo. Patricia’s word was “amazing.” The work, by Irene Lozano, was called “Presente.” Here is part of the synopsis in English: “Presente” is a work that explores the essence of women through flamenco, using techniques such as enfleurage, pressing and maceration. Its objective is to extract what is permanent and essential from the emotional, physical and psychological part of an individual to know it in its purest state. This work raises the fundamental question of whether we are born with a predefined identity or create it throughout life.” [information about Presente] Usually I disregard the synopsis because I can’t relate it to what I actually see, but this time was an exception.

Although it was placed into the category of solo performances, the 4 musicians who worked with her were integral to presenting the ideas. David Carpio is a singer we have known for several years and he did an excellent job of working with Lozano. I do not often think of piano as playing an important part in flamenco, but Alfonso Aroca used the piano to convey emotion in ways that did not seem possible with cante, guitar, and percussion. I have been struck by several of the performances over the past few days with how much emotion the dancers generate in the audiences. You can literally hear the audience react. Once again, audience approval was loud and long. When everyone claps and stomps in rhythm (not me, though. I am always busy taking pictures) you know that approval was near universal.

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