History of flamenco
It is a traditional music genre from Andalusia, a region located in the South of Spain, which grew as a combination of the different cultures coexisting there, incluiding that of the Arabs who arrived at the Iberian Peninsula from Northern Africa and that of the nomad “Roma” or Gypsies, who are said to have arrived from Northern India. Flamenco has an exotic melody and rhythmm, but also a touch and sensibility that make it to be considered as an art rather than just folk music. It also has a mistery and charm which we would like to introduce in Japan. The possibilities of Flamenco are wide: you can enjoy it alone or in a group, in a small place or in a large theatre… Everywhere!
Flamenco group “Viento y Solera”
“Viento y Solera” was created as a way to introduce genuine Flamenco in Japan by Carlos Pardo, guitarist and leader of the group. Nowadays, it performs in places all over the country while gradually widening its circle of artists. Its number of admirers has increased thanks to the charm conveyed by Carlos with his guitar, but also to the Spanish singers and Japanese dancers, whose tecnique and power of expression are excellent, and to other important elements on stage such as percussion instruments. Its strength and power even appeal to those who have never been exposed to Flamenco.
Carlos Pardo (leader of the group and guitarist)
Carlos Pardo was born in Madrid as son of the famous guitarist José María Pardo. He made his debut in his hometown at the age of 16, when he started to perform in different concerts, festivals, etc. Throughout his career, he has played with some of the main figures of Flamenco in Spain, such as Gabriel Moreno, one of the most representative artists at the moment. He has also been a special guest in important festivals in Spain and other European countries, incluiding those held in Madrid. He is especially praised for his orthodox technique and, at the same time, for a modern sense of rythm.
Since arriving in Japan, he has played in several places all over the country with famous artists and on his own showing his fans the unique melody and beautiful tones of his guitar. Furthermore, he has acted as conductor in Flamenco concerts and also as the leader of “Viento y Solera”, taking advantage of his experience and knowledge.
Performing Flamenco on stage
1. Solo de guitarra
It consists of a selection of Flamenco songs only played on a guitar. This kind of perfomance is suitable for both small and large places, as the guitar solo conveys one of the most important charms of Flamenco.
2. Cante y guitarra
It is a simple way to perform Flamenco, but it allows the audience to feel the complete charm of this particular musical genre, which does not exist in other types of music, since Flamenco shows a special relationship between its sorrowful songs and the magic of its guitars.
3. Cuadro Flamenco
There are two ways of performing a Cuadro Flamenco. One consists of two dancers, a guitarist and a singer. It usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes, in which the dancers perform solo and together. The other consists of four dancers, a guitarist and a singer, although sometimes the dancers are replaced by percussionists, which give more dynamism to the show. This kind of performance is more suitable for a big stage or a large hall.
4. Obra Flamenca
Flamenco music and drama are combined to create a performance which tells a story or has a theme. It is composed and directed by Spanish artists, whose sensibility is shown in pieces such as “Respect for García Lorca” and “Carmen”.