We shot Flamenco: the Land Is Still Fertile (Flamenco, la tierra está viva) in southern Spain's "cradle of flamenco," in and near the city of Jerez de la Frontera. Our associate director, a well-known singer from Jerez named Antonio de la Malena, knows "everyone" in the flamenco world and ensured that the documentary gives an accurate representation of this passionate art form, securing the participation of the region's most important performers.
Traditional flamenco is an art form that with great emotional depth, far more (in this director's opinion) than flamenco fusion. This is a key reason we should present and nurture it.
The documentary uses performance, interviews, a narration and other materials to show what traditional flamenco is. It also attempts to contrast it with flamenco fusion so that the viewer will be able to distinguish between the two.
SPECS: 1 hr. 45 min., color, HD. In Spanish with English subtitles; has closed captions.
The difference between this and the Original Version is that there is little attempt to show what flamenco fusion is. The emphasis is almost excusively on the traditional and furthermore, this version has one less solo.
But not to worry: the solo that we removed comes with the documentary itself as an Extra, in both the streaming/download version and on the DVD (see below).
With one less solo and less commentary about flamenco fusion, this version is six minutes shorter than the original version.
SPECS: 1 hour 39 min. (with 5 min. Extra), HD, in Spanish with English subtitles.
EPISODES - as seen on PBS
Especially for classroom use, we have this version in which the full documentary is divided into four separate episodes (or chapters), each one about 27-28 minutes long. As before, these were shot in southern Spain's Jerez de la Frontera and combine performance, interviews, a narration and other material.
This is the version which has been airing over PBS and other television stations. Again, it features well-known flamenco singer Antonio de la Malena as narrator, and contains world-class performance, fascinating interviews and other material.
About 2 hrs. (each of the 4 episodes is 27-28 min. long), color, HD, produced/directed by Eve A. Ma, in Spanish with English subtitles, has ADA-approved closed captions.
INDIVIDUAL EPISODES - as seen on PBS
This episode focuses on flamenco's connection with farm-workers, especially gitano (Spanish Gypsy) farm-workers, who lived in farm-workers' dormitories for most of the year. To keep up their spirits after the grueling work they did, in the evenings, they sang (and sometimes danced) flamenco. It should be pointed out that entire families lived together, separated by age, sex and martial status by curtains they strung up to provide a bit of privacy. Because of their close connection over long periods of time, perhaps more than anyone else, they as are responsible for maintaining and further developing the art form, at least since the 19th century.
This episode is enriched by the performance of several flamenco stars: Niño Jero el Periquín on the guitar, the cante (singing) of Tía Juana la del Pipa and Antonio de la Malena, and the dance of Antonio el Pipa. In addition, there is a section about the origins of gitanos in northwest India's Rajasthan which includes photos and some video from the region.
A half-hour (27 min.), color, HD, closed captions; produced/directed by Eve A. Ma, with narration by flamenco singer Antonio de la Malena. In Spanish with English subtitles, and closed captions.