Flamenco: the Land Is still Fertile - Home
We believe that traditional flamenco, declared a "cultural heritage of humankind" by the European Union, is in danger of disappearing. And while we recognize that there is room for debate, we also believe that flamenco's core and most emblematic forms come out of and have been preserved by the gitano (Spanish Gypsy) community, and that it is intimately linked with the history and values of that community.
We are creating this documentary not only to show these links, but also to encourage its continued vitality. The music industry, changes in the way of life, and modern forms of communication such as television and the internet are threatening to flood the market with music and dance referred to as "flamenco" but which in fact represent various forms of fusion of traditional flamenco with other art forms.
While we don't want to do harm to these new art forms, we do still hope that traditional flamenco will continue on, both because of its beauty and because of the important lessons it embodies about universal sentiment and the history of the gitano community.
Scenes we have shot
We began with a generous grant from Media Art Works (MAW), choosing our first scenes based on the age or health of the participants: small children, the elderly, and those in poor health.
When the money from MAW ran out, we used our own funds to shoot famous singer (cantaor) Manuel Agujetas shortly before his untimely death. Other fine singers we've filmed include Manuel Moneo, Manuel de Malena, Antonio Agujetas and Antonio de la Malena (accompanied on the guitar by Malena Hijo or by el Barrullito).
We have also added two solo guitarists: Diego del Morao and Manuel Parrilla. And since singing is a critical part of our documentary, where we have solo singers, we devised scenes to play in the background in parts of the verses to make them more accessible.
Finally, we filmed interviews of key experts: Manuel Morao, Pepe Marín, Mateo Solea (who also sang a trilla and a nana for us), Curro Cajón and Estela Zatania. We filmed several elders including la Yoya and la Curra who danced a wonderful bulerias. And have shot several scenes related to the history of gitanos.
Scenes we will shoot next
Either in the fall of 2016 or the spring of 2017, we plan to film scenes related to alegrias and mirabras, with fishermen and the like. After all, the great singer la Paquera came from a family of fishmongers!
As soon as funding allows, we'll film the great dancers María del Mar Moreno and Antonio el Pipa performing a polo together. If we can afford it, we'll also invite them to do a scene representing the cafés cantante of yesteryear, and a recreation of the dichos gitanos, part of a traditional gitano wedding celebration.
To fund all of this, we are writing grant proposals like crazy but grants are not easy to come by. We invite you to contact us, to participate in the creation of this documentary. We can send you a business plan and other details and would welcome the chance to talk to you.