Paul kept in contact almost daily with the Director of the famous Latin newspaper, Juan Rodriguez Flores, even though he put a limousine at my disposal to take Diego el Cigala to tour LA, I could not forget the theft of the box office in the Festival. And neither could I understand why Paul, with how bad we had it and the fortune we lost, continued to collaborate with them. They were all Mexican and they understood each other wonderfully. But something was wrong and my intuition told me that there was a cat locked up. The box office was probably planned by all of them and they kept the truth from me.
Since I knew that I would travel to Spain sent by the Tourist Office, the visits to the mountain’ house were more and more constant. We had two super interesting topics to talk about; the marketing meeting of Flamenco organized by the Junta de Andalucía, and of the sponsor we were looking for “The Second Annual Los Angeles Flamenco Festival” and be able to invite Diego el Cigala to participate.
So at one of our fun parties, Nando and Alberto invited me to stay at their house for a while in a beautiful and bright room that they had in the basement next to the gym.
One day I was woken up by a call from Paul saying that he had great news to give me and that he would come to pick me up to go eat at Spago, one of my favorite restaurants in Beverly Hills. We had to wait a long time to be able to sit on the terrace, but I did not care since I was watching Steven Spielberg himself enjoying a dessert with shorts, a short-sleeved T-shirt, sandals and a cap. Unlike in Europe, the way you dress in a five-star restaurant is not the main thing, what matters to them in LA is that you have money to pay. While we were having a wine at the bar at the entrance, Paul gave me the long-awaited news. We already had a company run by a Filipino couple who were willing to put all the money for the second festival and of course, Rodríguez Flores had found them. I was very excited but something inside me told me to be very careful with that panchito. I had to urgently call Sofia and quickly get to thinking about the terms of the contract.
The only downside to Spago was the three pieces of Trotolle the size of a macaron next to a piece of Paccheri that served as the main dish in the center of a round XL size bowl, accompanied by an exquisite sauce, which took a minute to eat and it cost one egg and part of the other, as we say in Spain.
It was very strange for me to travel to Spain without having bought the ticket myself, without carrying my flamenco shoes and rehearsal clothes in my suitcase and not seeing my family, but I liked the idea of going on business with Iberia Airlines like Director of Esther Ponce Productions.
The second Flamenco Tourism Recruitment Exchange was organized by the Department of Tourism, Commerce and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía.
Upon arriving in Seville, we had our first business lunch in a beautiful restaurant next to the hotel to meet all the participating companies from all over the world, with whom we would travel for a week throughout Andalusia and where they would give us a pretty folder large and heavy navy blue leather with the entire itinerary of the trip.
We went to rest from the long trip and stayed for dinner in a tablao where we would be introduced to the Director of "Andalucia there is only one" who would also travel with us.
All the participants came to hire flamenco shows, flamenco events, flamenco classes, etc. Nobody knew that I was dedicated to flamenco professionally, until the Director, Mr. Manuel Macias, a true Andalusian, realized the moment he was introduced to me and told me; —Correct me if I'm wrong, but your perfect body and your lovely long curly hair…you have to be an amazing professional dancer !
Getting fully into the subject of the DVD, Ferdy advised me to have a meeting at the film production company with the film director Enrique Cerezo, who had just been appointed President of Atlético de Madrid just a few months ago. They were super friends and knew each other from the film industry. Enrique Cerezo, every time he traveled to Los Angeles, he stayed at his house because he said that there he ate wonderfully and there were always beautiful girls. Ferdy did not travel much to Spain and when he did, he did not move in the field of offices and did not suffer the envy or the impediments that the secretariats of the powerful put you. I told him that it seemed like a wonderful idea to me but that giving me the phone number was not enough, because the secretary would have me for days or months, time that I did not have, waiting to find a hole in the President's agenda and that finally he would put me on a Very credible excuse and I would never have that meeting. Felix the Cat, who was what I called him affectionately, listened to me attentively and immediately asked me to bring him the phone that was in his bedroom, while he made some Margaritas and nervously touched his shiny and hydrated buddy bald head; —In Spain it is now noon and he will be about to leave the office so I am going to call and tell him that the beautiful Spanish artist and queen of flamenco will visit , that listen to you and take a look to the DVD that I film. They were talking for a long time and I took the opportunity to gossip about his agenda and see how many famous people he knew and with whom he had a very good friendship.
It was already 3 in the morning and the artists were going to finish the party at a flamenco “ Peña” where they would be partying until dawn.
The participants of the Stock Market did not go because the next day we were traveling to Jerez de la Frontera. But when I was saying goodbye to the cantaor Arcangel, the most handsome in the tablao, and whom I have not stopped looking at since he arrived, he said to me in a low voice, very sweet and in my ear; - You have to come with us because I am going to sing you lyrics for tangos that you will never forget. After his words I no longer dared to look him in the eye and thank goodness that the Director who was watching me and who had noticed everything, he told me that he too was going for a while and that he would call a taxi. D. Manuel did not separate from me and wanted to make sure that the next day I would get on the bus with everyone, but I just wanted to look at the intense black eyes of that gypsy while he sang and that he was driving me crazy.
The “peña “ was very small and they were all at the bar when suddenly I was surrounded and José Merce began to sing bulerías and look at me, which means that he was inviting me to dance, I was trapped and did not know how to get out of the circle that they had done. I had never been very good at dancing in pettit committee, I like to dance in the theater, with my long dress , to be separated from the public, and to have my moment of concentration without alcohol in the body. But those moments of party are unique, they are from the heart, without rehearsals, improvised and the most difficult where you give it all in just a few minutes.
I was like frozen and stuck to the ground while I thought ... My God, a cantaor of that category is singing to me and it is a great responsibility, with what I have drunk since dinner I will not be able to give my flamenco turns, because surely with heels so high that I carry I will fall into the arms of Arcangel, but I have to catch that bus .
the output of the lyrics had already finished and it was time to get in the center, to stand up, to listen and feel the lyrics, to raise my arms very slowly as if the air were heavy and prevented me from raising them, to mark the beat with my feet and my hips with great delicacy and little by little to increase the intensity while looking for the gaze of my gypsy, who just met mine at the perfect moment to finish my dance with strength, elegance and passion.
In Jerez de la Frontera we stayed in a spectacular five-star hotel that was inside a golf course and where I was able to sleep for a few hours and gather strength to visit the Bajañi route, which in the Romani language of the gypsies, means Guitar. . It was very interesting to see how a flamenco guitar is made. I was looking forward to the night to listen to older people singing and dancing through Bulerías, which is the style ( palo) that is played the most in Jerez.
Every day we traveled to a different city, the hotels were all luxurious and allowed us to rest well. In the mornings we would do a flamenco route, a meal in a typical flamenco place and a dinner with a show in a tablao. Without a doubt, where I enjoyed the most was in Cádiz, on the Camarón de la Isla route in San Fernando. We visit the museum house where the best flamenco singer in history was born, at number 29 Calle del Carmen, in the Callejuelas neighborhood. It was fascinating to see the metal forge where his father worked. I couldn't resist taking the old hammer and hitting the Yunque, which was the first instrument used to accompany the cante por Martinete. Later this compass was joined by the guitar and that is when the seguirilla was born. We were able to see the room where the eight brothers slept and that I will never forget. As an obligatory visit to eat, we went to the mythical Venta de Vargas and at night by the sea we listened to Alegrías from very young cantaores who weren't even artists but who are born with that typical party beat from the island.
One of the best experiences was ending and we returned to Seville to attend the pavilion throughout the day where concerts, conferences, painting and photography exhibitions, and documentaries were held on the occasion of the thirteenth edition of the Flamenco Biennal. At night and as a farewell, we had a box at the Lope de Vega Theater where I was able to listen closely to my gypsy Arcángel, who announced the mysteries of God with his heavenly voice.
It is very gratifying to have an idea like the experimental Flamenco in Valencia, carry it out and have managed to attract more than 20 foreign clients to Valencia in a short time and without marketing, who have passed through the Flamenco Art Center, and who have not only They learned a lot if not they have returned to their country with a better concept of Valencia.
His experience and approach to flamenco led by Esther Ponce will make you return without hesitation to the city of Turia.
Esther Ponce not only surrounds them with her passion and charisma from the first moment, her professionalism and a very long journey through different countries of the world where she has lived for long periods, she makes them fall in love.
You just have to read the dedications of all the foreigners who write in their precious notebook created for them and that are already adding more and more.
The foreigner is used to teaching flamenco very quickly and without discipline, anything goes, any shoe, any skirt, hanging out even parodying and even ridiculing flamenco.
From England, without a doubt the most special Experimental Flamenco we have had at the Flamenco Art Center in these two and a half years.
The Esther Ponce Stylized Flamenco Art Center has been open for two and a half years. El Ángel Every August 28, for Esther’s birthday, a new foreign student gives her a gift and the flamenco toast intensifies.
This year Esther thought that her Angel would be very busy due to the current pandemic situation and also that it would be a coincidence that another year happened.
But to Esther’s surprise it was like that and without doubt the most special flamenco toast for England.
After the experience of teaching classes with a mask? A private flamenco class for two hours without stopping, does Esther remember that when she and the student went out into the street they breathed for two seconds as if there were no tomorrow?According to Esther’s recent experience, with the mask you cannot see the total expression of the student, but the eyes also speak and flamenco is also expressed with the body.
With all the safety measures, the student disinfected her shoes, put hydroalcoholic gel on her hands, a temperature control was performed with a non-contact forehead thermometer and the student did not remove her mask during the two hours, only in the changing room that she only used to drink water.