The theme of this production consists of two interrelated ideas, both of which have fascinated Paco for quite some time: one is re-visiting a chapter of the flamenco repertoire – and history – which is not so often looked at or fully appreciated: a group of flamenco forms that were born at the turn of the 20th century as a result of Spanish musicians, singers and dancers arriving in South America to conduct tours of their shows and finding on arrival a rich folklore that reminded them very strongly of their own musical traditions.
The connections are, of course, natural, given the history of the Discovery and subsequent traffic between Spain and the new colonies. But to these artists that encounter amounted to a new and exciting discovery that inspired them, and prompted the creation of a few additions to the flamenco repertoire in the form of new songs and dances incorporating, inevitably, the flavour of the music they had just experienced. The new group of styles was called "Cantes de Ida y Vuelta" (songs of departure and return).
It is time to bring these forms back to the stage and to show their, somewhat romantic appeal but also the way in which some of them have developed and become full-blooded flamenco forms of great vitality and potential. In addition, the production has a wider and more ambitious aim: it sets out to combine the best of flamenco and its environment, with Latin America, especially Venezuela, and the great variety of music that exists there. The interest is in trying to get away from usual renderings of Latin American music which in many instances amount to light-hearted, colourful shows, with beauty and exuberance but which often end up projecting stereotypes of a limited nature that don’t come near suggesting how rich and varied the musical world of that area can be.
In this show we shall aim to explore deeper and more complex elements of the musical traditions in that part of the world, looking at the same time to the strong historical connections between Latin America and Andalucía and Spain, as mentioned above. We also look at African influences in the surprising, exotic sounds of Afro-Venezuelan folklore, with a fleeting look at Afro-Peru as well.
The essential element of the show will of course be the art of flamenco, as befits the work of Paco Peña and his Company, but we want to display other forms of songs and dances, drawn from Latin American countries and traditions, and will seek to point out possible points and realities in common between the different musical cultures.