Esther Ponce Magazine

THE DANCER AND THE DIPLOMAT

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Three years full of surreal adventures, successfully at a frenetic rhythm in Los Angeles, California 

'Diego el Cigala signs the contract for the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Flamenco festival and a black hand comes into action… '

Amparo, Diego el Cigala's wife and manager, had already answered our contract for the “2nd Annual Los Angeles Flamenco Festival”, the first clause they changed was to travel in first class, that meant an added cost to the festival budget of more than $ 10,000. But Diego was in his best moment and he could demand practically whatever he wanted, everyone loved Diego el Cigala in one way or another ... 
The intimate couple who were friends with the Director of Tourism Nando and his husband, who were at the party at the mountain house in the farewell that we organized to Cigala when he was at the Grammy's celebration, they kept asking me for information about Diego, they were obsessed with him and with knowing about his private life, they knew about my friendship with Diego el Cigala from a very young age and how I continued to live at Nando and Alberto's house even though I didn't want to, they learned all the details regarding the contract we were negotiating for the festival. She worked at the Spanish journalism agency EFE and her husband was dedicated to the world of documentaries, there was something about them that I did not like, their way of acting was arrogant and something dark they hid and that I could breathe and see thanks to my intuition that I inherited from my Astuarian grandmother and that she was born already being a XANA, which in the world of fairies means "The one who brings light from God" and that inhabit crystalline and pure waters like streams and waterfalls . 
This couple came to overwhelm me to the point of offering me a tape recorder so that when I was with Diego I would ask him super committed questions such as; the beginning of his addiction to drugs, his difficult childhood, the profession of “PIMP" that his older brother exercised in the Madrid neighborhood of Lavapies, etc., to record everything and thus develop the project for a documentary about the life of Diego el Cigala. Of course, I told them that neither the moment or the questions seemed very inappropriate, but that if there was a budget, maybe I could ask the manager. They told me that they didn't have any kind of budget, that since he was my friend, I had to take advantage of it and record him without him realizing it, and that if the documentary was made then they would put a budget for Diego, and of course, they would use me blatantly and I wouldn't see a single dollar. If I already did not like them, this was the last drop that came out of the glass and I told them that I was incapable of deceiving Diego and that they should forget about me. I will never forget the witch face that she put on, I got chills, in fact she had very orange hair, super curly and bulging like a mop, and the hawk nose of a witch, so the curse was cast ...
 
The Director of the newspaper La Opinion, called us very happy because we had already closed the date for the second festival, and also respecting the dates of the first one as I wanted, so on November 19 at the Wishire Theater would be another great success awaited us. With the fortune that El Cigala charged per concert, he could only perform one day in LA. But taking advantage of the trip, a series of three concerts was organized called; Special Latin Grammy Celebration - 5 nominations-. The next day on November 20 he would travel to Phoenix and two more concerts that caught my attention because they would be 10 months later, on September 2 and 4 and that made me doubt, well, the truth is that from the beginning the fact that Rodriguez Flores was in charge of everything, it already smelled bad, but the illusion and desire could more than mistrust. Without forgetting Paul constantly telling me and convincing me that they were just my assumptions and that I saw strange things ... Then I had to let myself be carried away by the good and immediately I called Sofía to write a new contract adding the new dates, and send it to Amparo as quickly as possible… surely Diego would be very happy. 
 
After the big news, Paul told me that he would take me to Rodeo Drive to eat at a new restaurant to celebrate. The tension between us continued to exist, I insisted and told him that I could not understand why he trusted Rodriguez Flores so much after everything that happened to us with his team and he deviated from the subject and focused as always on me as a woman, and he said that he didn't understand why I paid attention to other men but not to him. How easy it is to realize that when a woman says no, it is no, but there are many men who do not understand that and are not interested in understanding it either, and Paul was one of them. He loved me intensely and hated me with love. 
From the terrace of the restaurant that was on the first floor, you could see the spectacular Channel store that was calling me telling me; - Dance for me! And without waiting any longer, I left Paul waiting for the bill to pay and as if I were possessed I went down the stairs already with a mood of joy and euphoria and very concentrated as if I were going to go out on a stage. And very slowly I approached the immense white building that occupied the entire corner. I was wearing a super tight Banana Republic pink silk skirt with three small chiffon ruffles at the knee and that as I walked they moved to the beat of my heart that beat through bulerías. One of the things that fascinated me about LA is that you felt like a better artist in every way, they respected and valued you and the best thing is that to cross the street through a zebra crossing, the cars would politely stop and give way to you as if I were a great film artist. Now in front of the Channels window, I couldn't hold on any longer and I started doing 10 flamenco turns at high speed and breaking my waist to the maximum, at that moment I was so involved in my role of celebrating all the good that was happening that I didn't see anyone, but they did see me and there he was, in front of me looking at me as if he were dreaming ... The Diplomat. 
I only saw eyes blue like the sky, with thick, super long and very black eyelashes that seemed painted, a smile from a Hollywood hunk, dressed in an impeccable suit, with medium-long gray autumn hair that made me more crazy. He did not take a minute to introduce himself, of course he would kiss my hand and at that moment the world stopped again and I did not see anyone again. I wish everything had been recorded! It looked like the main scene of The Dancer and the Diplomat. But it was not the case. The Diplomat of this book, was yet to come. 
He gave me his card, he was Consul General in Los Angeles of a Latin American country and he asked me very politely for my phone number, at that moment, Paul came on the scene, dead of jealousy and with the face of few friends, saying that we had to go to design the festival poster, apparently he had been witnessing everything for a while together with a friend of the Consul that I had not even seen and who immediately was introduced to me. The Consul, who was an old dog, since he was about 25 years older than me and a lot of the world traveled, especially in the field of women, extended his hand and introduced himself to Paul in a sweet, polite and very convincing voice. Then, with a lot of diplomacy, he asked him if he could leave us alone for a few minutes to say goodbye. Luckily Paul did not think of setting up a scene like he had done in the past, looking like my boyfriend and I act the really bad girl, and he told me that he was going to get the car and that he would pick me up right there. The Consul hurried and asked me to please call him, which would make him very happy, he wanted to invite me to dinner in Santa Monica at the restaurant of a friend of his and he told me that he could never have imagined seeing such a beautiful Spanish woman dancing with so much passion in front of the Channel window in Beverly Hills and that it would be difficult for him to fall asleep that night thinking of me. He was quite a donjuán. 
 
We had so many things to put on the poster, that I had to decide on a folder, in the Cover we put in the center a photo of a Cambré from my dance solo from the first festival with fire under my back. Top right as if they were looking at me, the photo of Cigala singing and that of Bebo Valdés. At the bottom right, the Logo of Tourism of Spain could not be missing. Inside the folder we announce the concerts and on the back, we choose the best photos of Flamenco Dreams live, and the logos of the Education Department of the Spanish Embassy in the US, the Spanish Consulate and Andalusia there´s only one, who would continue to bureaucratically help the festival. 
 
I was looking forward to getting home to call my mother and tell her all the news about the festival, but the moment of the film of the Dancer and the Diplomat was more powerful and the special way in which I had met the Consul. My mother, in addition to having a very elegant sense of humor, was also a XANA like her mother, and she told me; baby! I do not want to upset you, but I have the feeling that if there are mirrors in his friend's restaurant, you are going to fight to see who looks first and I am convinced that your first fight will be at the moment in which you touch his wonderful and hair well cared for and mess it up ... I know how much you like to pull hair my princess! But you are very young, free as the wind and still with many concerns, so do not think about it anymore and call him, at least you will fight with diplomacy. 
My mother and I had always had telepathy, it did not matter the country or the time difference, we always picked up the phone at the same time, she was always for me when I needed her and she was always there, the queen of the famous Spanish sayings to make me laugh, to send me her infinite affection, her goodness, her humility, the irreplaceable love of a mother. And on this occasion and without needing to mention anything about the festival, she told me ; - Nena, that was the name she always called me, you are such a good professional, such a good dancer, as fighter and an artist as the mother who gave birth to you, which is me, that you deserve all the good that you deserve all the good that has happened to you in life, but this guy Juan Rodriguez Flores from the newspaper doesn't give me a good feeling, I don't like him, he gives me the feeling that the only thing he's wanted since he put the limousine on you so that you could give the sweatshirt to Cigala on his side, is to use you to being close to Diego el Cigala .And letting Paul go along with him, it smells of singe to me, I don't believe anything about the contract with PIMP. Be very careful daughter because your friendship with Diego el Cigala and your reputation are at stake and do not be afraid of anything, because a long withdrawal is a great victory. It was amazing to hear his wise words. 
As soon as I hung up the phone, I called Paul to organize an urgent meeting at the usual place, the Biltmore Hotel, with the Filipinos, Rodriguez Flores and Sofía. The Filipinos never showed up, we waited several hours, we called them repeatedly and they never answered the phone, and just like that, the black hand that destroyed “Second Annual Los Angeles Flamenco Festival” achieved its goal. My intuition once again did not fail me. 
 
Now came the worst moment of all, to tell Amparo and Diego that we were not going ahead with the contract, that the sponsor had left us stranded and the Newspaper Director, was the culprit of everything, it was his fault! Of course, the option to report the company was not in my plans, because in the end you always lose and during the long, stressful and painful process, the only ones who win are the lawyers ... I hope Sofía had benefits while working on the contract. The only benefit I had was that that night, full of anger, I couldn't go home and stayed at the hotel, I called my lover Oscar, who hadn't seen for a long time because he wasn't good company for me, but he was the the only one who could take away my sorrows and he stayed to sleep with me. Our relationship ended forever that night when I discovered his weed-filled backpack that was going through customs that I never told him I'd seen. Permanently delete his phone number. What a shame! so handsome and so fiery, the best sex of my life, the incorrigible nephew of the President of Mexico who never learned his lesson. 
 
Amparo got very angry and with good reason, she told me that she had canceled other dates because she was at the festival with me and they did not speak to me for a long time. Thank God, I had the opportunity to meet Diego el Cigala one night in Madrid and he understood perfectly that nothing that happened was my fault and that I had also been a victim. He gave me a hug and told me that I would always remain his sister. 
Once again the saying is true that evil can at first, but good always wins in the end. So yes, if the intention of that black hand was to break my relationship with El Cigala, it was not fulfilled. I was the founder of First Annual Los Angeles Flamenco Festival and Flamenco Dreams would be unique and exclusive. It stayed in my heart forever and in that of all the Angelenos who enjoyed these three magical nights. My American dream came true ! Nothing and no one could ever change or taint the personal and professional success achieved during the nearly three years I had been in LA. 

DON'T MISS CHAPTER 31!

'Paco de Lucia almost missed the Malaga-Madrid flight because of me ... after the concert we went to a tablao and I didn't want to let go of his hand so that he could transmit his art to me'

Festival folder cover.
 
 
Inside the folder
 
 
Back the folder
 
 
Sufro la inmensa pena de tu extravío
Siento el dolor profundo de tu partida
Y lloro, sin que tú sepas que el llanto mío
Tiene lágrimas negras
Tiene lágrimas negras como mi vida
 
 
Esther Ponce's experimental Flamenco is ready for the Valencian Director of Tourism to meet

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.

«They also buy semi-professional shoes and a skirt to study with me.» That’s already the best! –
~ Esther Ponce

 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.

With me if they want to study two private hours which is the minimum, they are given the option of buying or renting the shoes and none of them have thought twice about it to this day.
 
«Being a polyglot, doors just open up to me» –
~ Esther Ponce
 
Definitely the Experimental Flamenco of Esther Ponce has an Angel!

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.

«The students do not want to miss the opportunity to study with me. When they start to study my technique they are hooked at the first second. Those who play sports and take care of themselves immediately identify with my stretching and feel safer for the rest of the class and those who don’t appreciate it and will surely start practicing it and taking care of themselves forever »
~ Esther Ponce

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.

«Discipline is my hallmark and not even the Covid has stopped us» «I have never doubted it and I will only teach classes with a mask»
~ Esther Ponce

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. 

“Now I can present my Experimental Flamenco to the director of Tourism of Valencia and let him roll with the little ham :)”
 
~ Esther Ponce