At Bar Juanito

The weather seems to have settled into a routine in Jerez. It gets down in to the high 30s or low 40s overnight and warms to the low 60s during the day. It is good for getting out and walking around and not bad at all for sitting outside to eat—as long as one picks the right place.

One of Patricia’s tuna dishes. Nice presentation.

On Friday (happy March, by the way) we picked Bar Juanito, which is on Calle Pescaderia Viejo (Old Fish Shop Street, so we will stick with the Spanish version). We have been there before, but with a group, so our menu choices were different this time. We sat outside and even though there was no direct sunlight it was quite comfortable. Patricia had tuna prepared in two different ways and she liked both. I had albóndigas, which are meatballs prepared in a sherry sauce. It is one of the few tapas I really like. We are learning to linger over meals, but we still aren’t as good at it as the locals seem to be. Service was attentive and unobtrusive. We haven’t felt rushed at single meal on this trip. If you look at the picture above, it seems as if the tables on both sides are on the street. That is because they are. Foot traffic, bicycles, electric scooters, and delivery hand trucks all add to the ambiance.

In the evening we attended Alter Ego by Alfonso Losa and Patricia Guerrero at Teatro Villamarta. Here is part of the synopsis: “Alfonso and Patricia, they are not just two. In this meeting of emotional mirrors, their other, more sincere, distant, committed, uninhibited and exposed selves also appear. Letting themselves be carried away by the latent, by the self that accompanies them, protects them and also contradicts them. Alter Ego is a game of spectrums, of two bodies that show each other and show us their asterisks, dancing on the edge of their own.” [full synopsis here.] Oh-oh, I thought; another deep probing of self on display for the audience. Nope! What we saw was 75 minutes of well-thought-out and wonderfully executed music, cante, and dance by artists who gave us everything they had in the way of [flamenco based] creativity.

The performance was so well done that at times it was like being in a [really big] tablao—seating capacity at Villamarta is 1266—because of the spontaneous applause and jaleos shouted from the audience. It generated a lot of enthusiasm. I think we could watch this espectáculo again and again. The only downside to the performance was that there was so much movement in the audience and on the stage at the curtain call that I could not get good pictures.

Patricia Guerrero and Alfonso Losa (Cantaores
Ángeles Toledano, Ismael “El Bola” in the back)

In the picture above you will note the bright spotlight in the left rear of the stage. In the first part of the performance, Losa dance with the light at his back. Because of where we were sitting, his 20-foot high shadow appeared to be dancing on the wall next to us.

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