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Upcoming: Flamenco w/ France's Manuel Gutierrez
Manuel Gutierrez is a bit of a dance prodigy. Born in France, he trained with the best of Spain's Flamenco masters. He won his first dance award at 8 years old and has danced professionally at Spain's most coveted spaces. He's been nominated for the coveted Isadora Duncan award and unless you're into underground Flamenco, you probably don't know the name.
Gutierrez will be in town Dec. 8, doing original Flamenco dance at Liquid Fetish Art Gallery (1416 Broadway Ave. in the Cultural Arts District). He will be backed by local Flamenco legend Cerro Negro. Event organizer (and local musician) Omar Naré was nice enough to share a bit about the show and the Flamenco scene in Fresno:
Interestingly, Fresno has has maintained an underground Flamenco scene for 50 or 60 years. It started when a dancer named Amparo moved to Fresno and opened a school. That scene was reinvigorated in the 1980's when Juan Serrano took over the guitar department at Fresno State. Still, Flamenco has never been mainstream in Fresno. We have had major artists come through without much fanfare, and that is tragic.
One of the consequences of this exclusivity is that Fresno Flamenco aficionados are older (and passing away). Very little has been done to cultivate new interest in this wonderful art form. Many Fresnans have never seen this kind of music or dance, a style of art that is alive and growing. Places like San Francisco and New York have huge Flamenco scenes. Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts the largest Flamenco festival outside of Spain. It is our goal to create that kind of energy in Fresno.
That's why we chose to bring Manuel Gutierrez. His style is modern, tricky, and controversial. Well... controversial for Flamenco where there is a war between "lo puro" and "lo nuevo," the pure and the new. Manuel has a deep understanding of "Flamenco puro" but utilizes artistic license in his interpretation of traditional rhythms like Alegrias and Bulerias. In other words, he's cool.
In fact, I think it's appropriate that we are holding the show at an art gallery next to a tattoo shop. Manuel paints abstract rhythms with his body with streaks of rebelliousness. It's a great mix that Fresno audiences will find interesting and accessible."