On my last trip to Spain, I invited María , who happened to be in Madrid too, to the Music Awards held at the Teatro Real. I had two tickets that the journalist Alfonso Eduardo Perez Orozco gave me. Once again, María showed that she was envious of me, when in the elevator in which the journalist, his friend, and the two of us were going, she made the comment loud and clear that the dress I was wearing t was the I wore at dinner offered by the President of the Government José Maria Aznar in Los Angeles. She couldn't wait to tell me in private because envy prevented her and Alfonso, who noticed, said that it was so beautiful and that it fit me so well that it was normal for me to wear it more than once. Since I already knew her did not affect me much and as my mother said; -There is no greater contempt do not appreciate. After the awards ceremony, the guests went on to the cocktail they offered on the terrace of the Falla room, with spectacular views of the Royal Palace and the gardens of the Plaza de Oriente. Although I grew up in La Piovera, an urbanization next to the Conde de Orgaz Park, the Royal Palace was part of my childhood, since every Sunday I went to spend the day with my cousins at the home of my father's brother and my aunt, who lived right across the street. The best moment was when I met Bebo Valdés in person, I was looking at him and listening to him totally amazed and just at that moment I met again after many years with the dancer Rafael Amargo, who the first thing he told me was that I looked like a Russian princess and that he had found out that I lived in Los Angeles. He asked for my phone number because in a week he would travel to LA for a photo session and he wanted to invite me.
I had finished a private class with a student who had been studying with me since my arrival in LA and it was incredible to see the level so high that she already had and it was also perfect for me, because we could warm up together at a professional pace ... when the mobile rang, and it was Rafael Amargo who was already in LA, and wanted to meet up that night for dinner.
Between the preparation of the Festival and with so much travel, I had to leave the classes and when I wanted to put together again the general class, it was no longer the same. They were so many years in a row and so intense of private classes, that my students had already acquired such a perfect technique with me, that they could not study with any teacher, because they knew more than they did. For this reason, almost all of them stopped taking classes, some moved to another city, others started a family and some began to teach classes with the Esther Ponce technique. So I only taught private classes that allowed me more flexible schedules. At the time I was teaching Toni Basil, a singer who became very famous in LA with the song Hi Mickey! She was super fun and she loved flamenco. She would be about 60 years old, although she said that she was 50 and she always wore a turban where the gossips said, that is where she hid the scars from her surgical operations.
I met with Rafael in a restaurant near the hairdresser of a friend of him , he was Spanish, very handsome, gay and a stylist for many celebrities. As soon as he saw me, he started to touch my hair and told me that with so much bun, my hair would not breathe, that I lacked hydration in my curls and wanted to do blonde highlights to change my look. Rafa did not remember that I was Mariliendres, and that I fell in love with gays knowing that I had nothing to do and he began to laugh saying that I had not changed anything and that the success of LA make me felt divine. The stylist, whom we no longer paid any attention to, left and Rafa and I began to remember how we met in Madrid… Rafael Hernandez, who was his name, arrived in Madrid from Granada, his native land, without knowing practically anyone. And how all Andalusians who want to make their way into the world of flamenco have to study in the mythical flamenco studios of Amor de Dios. Although I was only 5 years older than Rafael, I had already been dedicated to dance from a very young age, had worked in the best flamenco companies and traveled a lot of the world. And in those moments I was a teacher in Amor de Dios. That day I had brought a round wicker carrycot with me to the studios with two of the puppies that my poodle “Lola” had given birth to and I was very sorry to leave them at home. They were beautiful, "Farruco" gray and "Chungi" white. Rafael was looking for teachers to study with and when he saw me leave the study with the carrycot on my hip, he said to me: - Did you know that you have a star painted on your forehead? And he was no longer separated from me all day. That night he even stayed to sleep at my house, he was as we say in Spain a climber and he was very special to people and my nanny, the Filipina who worked at my house, prepared him the best dinner and his favorite breakfast.
And so he found out about my whole life; that I was working with the company of the choreographer and dancer Antonio Canales , that I had been a finalist in the Benidorm Song Festival and the work I was preparing to present me at the Choreography Contest at the Albéniz theater in Madrid, which was called Dark alley. It was about a woman who is abused in front of her young daughter by her husband because of his addition to heroine. And I offered Rafael to play my husband, although he would have to study and rehearse a lot to be up to the task, but he succeeded. And that's how, thanks to me, he got on stage for the first time as a professional dancer in the capital of Spain ...
Rafael had already become very famous and he was very grateful to me for the opportunity I gave him and he wanted to make it up to me. He was preparing a program for Spanish TV in which he would be the presenter and invite important dance figures and he offered me to dance with the singer Jose Soto El Sorderita, and then join Fin de Fiesta with the bailaor Antonio Canales, the one that I myself present to him years ago . I would also be super famous if I had prostituted myself and followed in Rafael's footsteps, but thank God I didn't need it.
We finished all the sushi and all the Sapporo, my favorite beer, and we went to a party of those that better not tell the details because we would all go to jail.
Rafael disappeared for a long time and when he returned he was another person, he was like floating, surrounded by children of famous people from the jet set and his pupils were popping out of his eyes. I told him that I was going to leave, that it was already 5 in the morning, but he told me please to wait that he wanted to say goodbye to a very special friend with whom he was madly in love, but that it was not reciprocated and he was suffering a lot. The stylist looked at me and said: - Princess, come with me to my house that gives me time to even do the highlights, because if Rafael has traveled to LA with the excuse of the photos and just to see him, he will wait for him until the end of the world. So I went to the stylist's house. He had the entrance mat, the bed sheets, the curtains, the duvet, the suitcases, and all his Louis Vuitton clothes. I laughed a lot! I did not do the highlights, but he chased me like a madwoman throughout the house with the silver foil ... in the end Rafael Amargo arrived bitter at 7 in the morning and without seeing his lover.
"Again to Spain!" My mother exclaimed when I told her about the TV show. Since the Flamenco Festival, I had been super thin and nothing better than food from Spain to recover. Addicted to 5 jotas Iberian ham, and every time I wanted to be more in my land and next to my family and it seems that fate wanted it that way. It was already official, I lived between Madrid and LA.
Everything was already prepared on the Spanish TV set, the program was called Carta Blanca. Rafael was in the dressing room applying makeup and his wife was helping him with the production.
There I met the best belly dancer, son of a famous politician. He was a beauty, super tall, with a body of scandal. He worked in Las Vegas at the Circo del Sol and of course I fell in love with him. My mother, who was the best manager, accompanied me to the set and while we were filming she met someone interesting as always. In this case, she was apparently a well-known jewelry designer and she was also public relations of a well-known restaurant on Diego de León street, where she was going to celebrate her birthday to which we were invited. She told my mommy that after dinner, we would go down to the basement which is where the party would be held and that previously had been the offices of a bank. Which was super fashionable, because from time to time the Prince of Spain Felipe VI of Bourbon dined there.
My turn had come, I was wearing a two-piece off-white wild silk suit, the top one was a strapless bodice with lace and the long skirt to the feet adjusted to the body, which is not very normal for me to dance , since I always use a lot of flight, because the movement of the skirt is part of my personality as a dancer, with three large chiffon ruffles that turned with me and very flamenca. Dancing the cante por Soleá por Bulerías del Sorderita totally improvised, these are the typical things of Amargo, which helps you but makes you have a hard time. That puts the red carpet for you to walk on a path of thorns and not roses. Rafael knew my artistic quality very well and he put me in front of the bull without warning. He didn't tell El Sorderita that I was going out and when he started singing and saw me… his surprised face of him is in the video, but also his face of enjoying until the end. When we finished, José Soto El Sorderita congratulated me and told me that the girl he had known many years ago was not expected to have become such a beautiful woman and such a good dancer, —Ole! And Ole! He told me several times ..
After the recording that lasted all day, we all went to dinner in the Salamanca district at my favorite Thai restaurant, the Thai Garden, a true paradise. I had to sit next to the jewelry designer and I got to know her a little better. We hit it off super well and she was fascinated with the skirt I was wearing and that I had designed myself, telling me that it would be the inspiration for her next jewel and that she was waiting for me on her birthday ... If I had known that that birthday would change my life forever ...
Albeniz Theater in Madrid. Choreography Contest 'Callejón oscuro'
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.