Esther Ponce Magazine

THE DANCER AND THE DIPLOMAT

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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

'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'

After the disgust with the disappearance of the Filipinos, I decided to go back to Maria's house. I needed to disconnect and called the Consul accepting his invitation. I didn't want anyone to find out, lately my private life was public and I had learned a great lesson; I would not let anything or anyone prevent me from being guided by my intuition. So I didn't want him to pick me up at home and met him directly on the terrace of his friend's restaurant in Santa Monica. I could not and did not want to hide anything to Paul, he was delighted in his role as "driver" he preferred to suffer seeing me with other men than not seeing me or not knowing where I was. And although it was not the ideal situation for me, it is always good that at least someone knows where and with whom you are because of what could happen. In LA if you don't have a car you are lost. I walked everywhere, but Santa Monica was far away. I was a little late but there was the Consul, with his impeccable suit as when I met him and his beautiful silver gray hair perfectly arranged. What I like the most about the Latin American character is the sweetness with which they speak to you, how they treat you, how gentlemen they are and that they don't shout. That is what we Spaniards are for. It is true that it seemed a bit early for him to call me Esthercita, but I did not care and continued to be seduced. At dinner I discovered that he was single because it is the first thing he told me with one of those prepared movie phrases, that he had many friends, all beautiful, young and a very special friend who was a famous Italian actress, because she called him three times only in the starters, that his favorite actor was Alain Delon and he was passionate about black and white films, that his secretary was beautiful, something that did not surprise me and that of course, he knew the Consul of Spain very well. There I realized that I had a playboy in front of me and I should be careful and go slowly because surely we would coincide in the residence of Mr Inocencio Arias sooner or later. As we left the restaurant, my mother was right and we both fought over looking in the mirror. He invited me to spend the night with him, but I wanted to make him suffer, surely no woman before had resisted his charms and I wanted to play. Besides, I was going to Spain and had to prepare a lot of things. Lately I traveled very often to Madrid and took the opportunity to take my suitcases full of souvenirs, furniture, and tons of clothes, shoes and bags that would make me remember unforgettable events and parties forever. 
 
I had met very early in the morning with José Suarez, El Paquete the guitarist of the musical cast of Flamenco Dreams in Madrid's Plaza de Santa Ana, in a restaurant where the bullfighters used to go, Viña P. While I was waiting for him, I remembered the night That I dine right there in the cave with the famous bullfighter Manuel Diaz El Cordobés and that he did not stop telling me how beautiful and how international I was while saying to his manager, very excited— La Bailaora y el Torero, what do we make a good couple? Buddy? 
El paquete finally arrived, for a moment I thought he was not coming because of the hour, but it was very hot. I met Paquete when I was 17 years old and we had many stories and anecdotes together. On one occasion, working at the Calderón theater in Madrid, he hid me in his dressing room to save me from my ex's wife, who was the one who introduced him to me and since then our relationship was one of affection and admiration. 
After talking about work while we had a very cool Coca Cola, Paquete looked at his watch and told me that he had to go because in three hours he was going to Malaga to see Paco de Lucia who was playing in the bullring, 4 more artists will travel with him and he asked me to go with them, they would stay in a hotel and we would have a great time. At first I thought he was joking and I told him — I wish! , then I started to believe it but I told him that I didn't have time and at the end Paquete , seeing me all nervous, excited and confused, told me not to think about it anymore and that in three hours they would pick me up right there, that if I was not there I would miss it, that opportunities like this did not present themselves every day. 
 
I arrived at my house hysterical, the suitcases were unpacked and I only had an hour and a half to pack a new suitcase for two days, I didn't remember the lock code and time passed, the other suitcases were XXL size, I couldn't find anything, no I knew what to wear, would I have time to wash my hair at the hotel? What if there was no room in the same hotel? The hotel communicated, What would my parents think? I would warn them once in Malaga so that they wouldn't take the idea away from me. I had hidden the purse where I kept the cash so much that I could not find it and I only carried the American card that I could not use because the commissions were enormous. I couldn't keep my sleeping plugs and my mask to avoid the light. I didn't have time to eat…. Living in an urbanization is wonderful, quiet, in contact with nature, but there are no Taxis! I called a radio taxi but it would take 20m to get there, impossible! I shot out of the house looking for a taxi, thank goodness my legs were strong and fast and for a few minutes I flew to finally be on time. 
 
What I could laugh at in the van for the 5 hours that the trip lasted, is not in the writings. While the hotel continued to communicate, the artists were already casting lots who would invite me to their room, the most flamenco of all said that he would stay to sleep on the sofa, another who would order breakfast in the room for me, the romantic who would wake me up with a bouquet of roses ... while I prayed for the hotel to answer. In my life I had received so many compliments together and so often. Until Paquete , with his peculiar sense of humor, told everyone that his head hurt, to stop screaming and making assumptions because no one was going to sleep that night, that they were going to pay for the room just to shower and not to spent all the money because they had to pay theirs as well, which was why he invited them to the concert. 
I was finally able to reserve my room and I started dreaming about maestro Paco de Lucía, I was falling asleep when we stopped for something to eat and of course the flamenco party had already started. I just thought about having time to rest a little before the concert, the hotel was on the beachfront and the views from my room were unbeatable. I had time to take a walk along the seashore, get ready, and get very flamenco to enjoy the best night of my life and meet my idol. 
 
The atmosphere of the bullring was so flamenco, that just by being there, I was already learning and I felt more flamenco than ever. The people were crazy with joy, they got up from their seats every two by three and the OLES were heard with an echo and they came straight to my heart, it seemed that at any moment the bull was going to come out ... —Master !, Long live you! Long live the mother who bore you! God bless your hands! Some shouted. The stars shone as if each one were an artist and were also partying in the sky. The moon drove me crazy and I was creating choreographies inspired by Picasso, the smell of orange blossom made me so intoxicated that it was official, I was madly in love. 
We went to the dressing rooms and there was Paco de Lucia, like Eros, the God of love in Greek mythology. The bailaora Sara Baras approached and asked the master to take a picture with her, while I told Paquete that Sara still owed me money from when she took classes with me at the Amor de Dios Flamenco Art Center in Madrid and half in Half-serious joke, I told him that maybe I would ask her for it and Paquete immediately told me not to doubt that that is how I paid for dinner. Sara greeted me and said goodbye, Paquete could be heard saying from behind, -! Ask Sara for the money to have dinner Esther! But I was good and I didn't ask her. They took my photo with Paco and I still couldn't believe it. 
 
On the way out, we met the cantaora Estrella Morente and her husband Javier Conde, Curro Conde's brother, whom I also brought to LA as manager of the Flamenco Dreams musicians. They lived in Malaga and Curro had a flamenco tablao. Paquete said goodbye and told them that later we would stop by, that first he was going to see Paco and convince him to go to the tablao. I thought he was joking, that's what happens with Paquete, which is indistinguishable when it is true. But this time it was true, Paquete and I went alone to the restaurant where Paco was, my God! I was seeing Paco de Lucia himself, presiding over a table having dinner with his family and close friends. Paco de Lucia's education was exquisite, such a good person, so simple and so great at the same time. Paco got up, greeted Paquete who introduced me as a amazing flamenco dancer who had taken them all to Los Angeles giving them blessed glory. Paco looked at me, smiled at me and invited us to sit down, but Paquete was very smart and told him that we would go to the hotel to pick up the guitars and have dinner with the boys and if he wanted to have a drink later, they were waiting for him at the tablao of Curro. Paco told him that in the morning the flight left very early for Madrid. Paquete wait to leave the restaurant, to tell me that he knew him very well and that he had gone crazy with me 
- You'll see how I'm not wrong and he shows up at the tablao he told me. Once again,Paquete’s jokes made me doubt and dream. All the musicians Paco had stayed at the hotel and while they ordered dinner, I took the opportunity to change my clothes. I wore a long white chiffon skirt with three ruffles at the end that I bought in LA for the Fourth of July party that a student of mine was celebrating in Malibu. With a semi-transparent cotton T-shirt with super thin straps and very long, also in white, all of those little hippie Chic shops that are on Melrose Avenue, one of my favorite streets to walk and go shopping, designed by the architect Patrick Tighe and where I always liked to go to the door of the famous Paramount Pictures studios already located in the Hollywood neighborhood. It was clear that I had gotten into the role of girlfriend in love with a platonic crush. 
 
The tablao was very cozy, it had a small stage located on the right side with their respective tables and chairs to watch the show and on the left a fairly large bar that ended right in a corner at the top in a round way, separating it with a railing of Precious Andalusian wrought iron, it was reserved for artists. Estrella Morente's uncle and my musical director, José Carbonell El Montoyita, were already at the bar. He was very surprised to see me in Malaga, when I told him that I had come from Madrid in a van with Paquete, he started laughing and ordered a few drinks. Then he got into the VIP where all but two of the seats were not occupied, which were reserved exclusively for the master, who still did not know if he would come or not. Paquete did not want to enter the booth and I stayed with him at the bar. When Paco de Lucia appeared at the door, paquete looked at me and said, “What did I tell you… we all gave him a very emotional applause, the tablao was filled with his art that I will never forget. As expected, Paco de Lucia, sat in the booth and Paquete began to talk to him through the gate, it is seen that they had a very good relationship and they were talking about the concert for a while, I listened attentively, I did not want to miss either a detail and I was like floating on a cloud. Suddenly Paquete tells me, let's go Esther, why don't you sit next to the genius , I almost died of embarrassment, Paco looked at me and told me that this place next to him was reserved for me. But I had so much respect for him that I preferred to be a little freer and stay at the bar. But time passed and the alcohol began to take effect. I was so happy that in one of the moments in which Paco de Lucia turned to ask El Piraña, Paquete’s brother and Paco’s percussionist, for something, I couldn't stand it, I steeled myself, and asked Paco de Lucia if he let me touch his hands so that he could transmit me a little of his art. Paco did not hesitate and he told me that art was what I had in my eyes and with a great sense of humor he asked me which of the two hands I wanted . I told him that left first so that he could continue drinking with the other. He smirked at me and reached through the gate. When I took him by the hand, it was amazing! I expected to touch hands full of sores and the fingertips cracked by the guitar strings, but they were soft like those of a child, I touched them for a while to receive all the art possible, their essence and sensitivity, until Paquete said; "What are you doing handyman?" Although I was focused only on the master’s hands, Paco de Lucia was the center of attention and everyone started laughing at the comment. Paquete told Paco that his flight was leaving in a few hours. But Paco answered that he still needed to give me his right hand, suddenly a murmur sounded and the Paquete made a face of; at what time did I bring this bailaora to Malaga ... I told Paco that with his right hand he could sign my shirt, of course I already had a permanent marker in my bag just in case, but I never thought I would live that dream and he would sign my shirt . Paco de Lucia left the booth and wanted to sign me in the front, but I turned around before everyone's gaze to soften the moment and not miss the flight. The genius left the tablao straight to the airport and with the bottle under his jacket. Thanks Good he didn't miss the flight. 
 
Paquete went to the hotel and did not even ask me if I wanted to return with them, I was super comfortable with all the beauty I had experienced. Once in the booth, the Montoyita would not stop coming and going and the few people who were there enjoyed listening to Estrella Morente sing tangos, rumbas and bulerías with that sweet and flamenco voice like never before. When we left it was daylight and Montoyita told me that they were all going to Estrella and her husband's house to sleep, to go with them, who later at noon had arranged to meet with Paquete and Enrique Morente before leaving for Madrid. . The house was huge and beautiful, but there were many of us, and since I had confidence with El Montoyita, we shared a room with two beds. When my cell phone rang and it was the Consul from LA telling me that why I hadn't called him in two days. The last thing I needed at that moment was to be controlled and I had to hang up on him because Montoyita wouldn't stop laughing and I didn't want him to know where I was. I couldn't sleep but I did rest a bit until I heard a voice and got up, I left the room and it was Estrella Morente who was in the kitchen making coffee. What a beautiful woman in the morning without makeup, I did not know her in person and I felt the confidence to clarify that I had slept in the same room as her uncle El Montoyita but not with him. She told me not to worry that she already knew. We all had breakfast in the pool and then we went to a terrace where Don Enrique Morente, Estrella's father, his mother La Globo, and Paquete were ready to go back to the hotel to pick up all the artists and return to Madrid. When I entered the room to pick up my suitcase, I wanted to stay one more day at the hotel looking out to sea, but I couldn't miss the flight back to Los Angeles ... thank goodness that the driver was the only one who wasn't hungover.

DON'T MISS CHAPTER 32!

'Partying in L.A. with Rafael Amargo remembering old times… the news that awaited me would change my life. '

With maestro Paco de Lucia in the dressing room after the concert in the Malaga bullring.
 
 
Ay, no te arrimes a los zarzales
Los zarzales tienen púas y rompen los delantales
Fatigas, fatiguillas dobles
Pasa, pasaría aquel
Que tiene el agua en los labios
Y no la puede beber, no la puede beber
No, no, la puede beber
 
 
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