Saturday, May 2, 2015

Flamenco Quote of the Day

Don Pohren/Author...writing on the "System of artist commercialization"

La Chunga is a distressing example...She was magnificent. She knew no footwork, and consequently danced barefoot. Her costumes were simple gypsy skirts and blouses. She did not dance by arrangements, but improvised as her moods demanded. Her outstanding assets, and those most difficult to find in a dancer, were the beauty and grace of her arms and hands, the suppleness of her movements, the authenticity of her facial expressions, her naivete, her complete abandonment to her duende and above all her naturalness. There were pressures on her and her manager at the time, propagated by envious artists, and businessmen mistakenly attempting to increase her commerciality...I did not have an opportunity to see her again until 1960...Through contact with commercial flamenco she had lost much of her authenticity...worst of all, she was no longer natural. Her movements and facial expressions were studied...she did tricks with her dress, hair and body, and exploited her sex appeal, mostly in a cheap, superficial manner...She did an excessive amount of footwork...She was no longer sure of herself...From one of the most moving dancers I have seen, the "System" may possibly succeed in making her just another night club attraction.

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