Flamenco, in Florence Galvan dances for Stravinsky and De Falla

Debut at the Teatro La Pergola del Sacre du printemps and El Amor Brujo

Israel Galván, the most important and captivating flamenco interpreter, debuts in national premiere at the Teatro della Pergola, Saloncino ‘Paolo Poli’, on November 9th (with reruns until 12th) with a program that includes, in the same evening, El Amor Brujo , his version of the classic by Manuel de Falla, and Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) by Igor Stravinsky. Both compositions are performed live on the piano by Daria van den Bercken, Gerard Bouwhuis, and mezzo-soprano Barbara Kozelj. The production is by Israel Galván Company, in co-production with numerous international partners, including the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and the Teatro della Toscana.

Choreographer and bailaor, Galván stands out for proposing his own expressive language, not only as a dancer, but also as a stage creator. A language hitherto unknown in flamenco dance, based on fragmentations, mixtures and sums of gestures. Born in Seville, Spain, by José Galván and Eugenia de los Reyes, both dancers, Israel Galván is the creator of a virtuoso and innovative style, he plays in this dichotomy, in an extraordinary balance between today’s flamenco and its incredible past. Winner of the 2005 National Dance Award (in the Creation category) awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, he has received several awards during his career, such as the Bessie Award (the New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Production) and the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

In 2016 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France by the French Ministry of Culture. He is an associate artist of the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. “I will present for the first time a show that I have long wanted to create – explained Israel Galvan – A double program of two masterpieces of the twentieth century. Or, better said, two works that were a real disaster at the first performance and are now considered of the masterpieces. Since both compositions last about 35 minutes, I have always presented El Amor Brujo and Le Sacre du Printemps as they do many times, adding a second part to complete the evening. Yet I have always wanted to dance these two masters on the same evening ” .

‘Stravinsky admired Andalusian singing, De Falla nourished himself with the popular inspiration of flamenco’

“It is well known – continues Galván – the friendship of the two and the admiration they had for each other. De Falla was present at the premiere of Le Sacre, they dedicated scores to each other and exchanged portraits that Picasso painted. Igor Stravinsky, who admired Andalusian singing, said of flamenco that it is essentially ‘a classical compositional art.’ De Falla was nourished by the popular inspiration of flamenco and modernist audacity. The model of cultural appropriation that De Falla cited in his writings were somehow Russian, including Stravinsky’s ‘primitivism’ in music such as The Rite of Spring “.

“De Falla was perhaps a less ‘earthly’ composer – explains the great dancer – However, he underlined the ‘primitive’ and ‘oriental’ roots of flamenco. Ultimately, I have always been interested in this journey from failure to success. Stravinsky was a teacher for me in flamenco thanks to his percussive rhythm and Nijinsky’s choreography with ground strikes have always inspired my work. “

“I danced the classic version of El Amor Brujo – concludes Galván – when I was in company with Mario Maya, but I really started watching it when Kazuo Ohno, the master of Butoh, created a choreography in homage to La Argentina, considered the bailaora pioneer who brought flamenco dance from the tablao to the biggest stages in the world and who, ten years after the difficult world premiere with Pastora Imperio, danced with great success El Amor Brujo “.