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Inicio arrow Flamenco, un arte popular moderno arrow Seminar Flamenco, a modern popular art form

Seminar Flamenco, a modern popular art form

Director: José Luis Ortiz Nuevo with the collaboration of Pedro G. Romero
Venues and dates:
  - 5th October. French Institute of Seville at 30 Lope de Rueda St.
  - 29th November / 3rd December. The Rector's Lecture Room of the International University of Andalusia (UNIA) located at the Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas on the Island of the Cartuja in Seville.
Organised by UNIA arteypensamiento with the collaboration of Seville's 13th Bienal de Flamenco and the French Institute of Seville




Man Ray: photography of Vicente Escudero appeared in nº 1 of Variétés magazine (Brussels, 15th May 1928)Modern because it is a recent work in the history of social phenomena, springing not from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance nor the Baroque period nor from any earlier period, but from Romanticism. Yet its sources, as is only natural, do indeed date back further. Moreover Flamenco's considerable, "classical" heritage has grown steadily since its creation to the present day.

Part of the train of events that led to the wane of the ancien régime with a locomotive that is occasionally renewed, we follow Flamenco as it continues its unrecognised journey along the slender rails of curiosity from unknown origins towards an unknown destination. Indeed Flamenco's very DNA bears the stamp of ambiguity, challenging its followers.

It is an art that has developed - and is developing - one step at a time, formed by contrast and the unceasing accumulation of new discoveries, seeking out, at the precise moment, the future and what has to be.

Its confidence is mathematical, it has supreme confidence in the power of its rhythms, in the power of a beat that is capable of moving any and everything. It is based on knowledge, on certainty, on doubt, on the multiple hybridisations springing from the fiestas of the people who nurture and give it life. It draws strength from cross-cultural encounters and encounters with that which is different. Flamenco is a vital combination of copper and of light, of fire and the darkness of night.

The locomotive of Flamenco is, as Mairena, not Antonio, but Juan de Mairena, said, a machine that is neither verbose nor pedantic, it is still pregnant with surprises, able to transmit strange, moving, phenomena.

José Luis Ortiz Nuevo


As a prologue to the seminar, Georges Didi-Huberman gave a lecture at the French Institute of Seville on 5 October, 2004.

Renowned philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman is an ardent enthusiast of flamenco guitar and all things flamenco in general. Furthermore, part of his oeuvre would seem to be directed towards someday pulling together the crosscurrents in flamenco aesthetics. For example, the treatises Invention de l'hysterie (1982) and Ninfa moderna (2002) are of extraordinary assistance in understanding the body and the dress in flamenco dance. Invited to take up the challenge of the subject of flamenco, he will address the recurring presence of flamenco themes in the oeuvre of the American artist Man Ray.

Lecture by Didi-Huberman
Stars of the Times
Date: Tuesday, 5 October
Time: 7 PM
Place: French Institute of Seville, 30 Lope de Rueda St




In spite of the clear and indisputable results of the latest research, studies and analyses presented in different ambits such as conferences, albums, publications, etc. concerning the origins, development and form of Flamenco as a popular modern art, it must be noted that in general terms and especially in the mass media and among the great majority of its aficionados, mistaken categories, false myths and other diverse deceptions of this unique art still persist: that it is an ancestral art form, that it is the very essence of the Andalusian people, that it underwent a hermetic phase, that its deepest roots are to be found among the gypsy people etc., etc.

Even more serious is the fact that founts of knowledge such as universities and publications enjoying a certain prestige continue to feed these false beliefs, presenting new achievements with a calculated ambiguity and denying Flamenco the very rigor that they apply to other sciences and art forms. It is still treated as a more or less folkloric Andalusian epiphenomenon, and their response to interest in Flamenco is to smother it in local colour and false legend, due in great part to the abovementioned lack of firm, specific data.

This critical disdain for the art of Flamenco is always under the guise of praise or elegies and, paradoxically, is gratefully received by the artists who are eternally praised, reinforcing, step by step, a theoretical and discursive corpus whose excesses should, like the lyrics of the tanguillo Los cuadros antiguos and the inventive bulerías of Juan, el Niño de Camas, be studied as an art form in itself.

The aim of this article is to present a summary of the latest research and analyses which bring state of this knowledge up to date, paying especial attention to the definitions of FLAMENCO, in other words a MODERN, POPULAR ART FORM.

We would like to highlight and give particular importance to both the presence and opinion of the artists themselves, -Conversations- some of them will attend the course in a conversation with José Luis Ortiz Nuevo, whose quest is to especially highlight the experience and opinion of the artists concerning these categories of a modern, popular art form.

Other lines of investigation will examine diverse themes. Their aim is to present a general overview of new knowledge in the field of Flamenco. -Breakdowns- these will be undertaken by the group of experts who are preparing Flamenco's UNESCO candidacy and Immaterial World Heritage, directed by José Luis Ortiz Nuevo and will include the fields of musicology, poetry, choreography, sociology and anthropology. The research into Flamenco in the field of visual culture undertaken by Estampas -Visions- will be exhibited, also incorporating the latest research grants awarded by Seville's Biannual Flamenco Festival. Finally we aim to renew the exterior view of Flamenco and the ways of understanding it. - Reflections - on Flamenco from diverse ambits and categories old and new. In conclusion, new discourses for the old philosophy of Flamenco.

Pedro G. Romero



: In collaboration with Estampas, a programme of Seville's Biannual Flamenco Festival, we examine Flamenco from the perspective of visual culture. Directed by Pedro G. Romero.

[Time: 10:00 a.m.]

29th November 2004
Rocío Plaza Orellana: Constructing a Flamenco show
30th November 2004
Francisco Aix Gracia: Flamenco in the era of technical reproductions
1st December 2004
Miguel Ángel García Hernández: Fantasy and risk taking in Flamenco
2nd December 2004
Juan Vergillos: Flamenco as an expression of reality
3rd December 2004
Patricia Molins: (Re) presenting bodies

BREAKDOWNS: a review of the Flamenco question in collaboration with the Andalusian Regional Government's Committee for UNESCO's declaration of Flamenco as Immaterial World Heritage, directed by José Luis Ortiz Nuevo.

[Time: 12:00 a.m.]

29th November 2004
Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo: Old songs, modern lyrics
30th November 2004
Gerhard Steingress: Flamenco: neo-traditionalism and post-modernity
1st December 2004
José Luis Navarro: Flamenco dancing: tradition and vanguard
2nd December 2004
Faustino Núñez: The musical theory of Flamenco
3rd December 2004
José Manuel Gamboa: Strumming and plucking

REFLECTIONS: reflections from the ambit surrounding Flamenco concerning Flamenco's different forms and worlds, with the collaboration of the French Institute of Seville.

[Time: 05:00 p.m.]

29th November 2004
Giorgio Agamben: Language and peoples
30th November 2004
Enmanuel Lizcano: The fist steps towards Flamenco epistemology
1st December 2004

Georges Didi Huberman: In the eye of experience
2nd December 2004
Agustín García Calvo: Singing drives your troubles away
3st December 2004
Isabel Escudero: Shouting with a reason: I am the people

CONVERSATIONS: Flamenco artists give their views. With José Luis Ortiz Nuevo

[Time: 07:00 p.m.]

29th November 2004
With Belén Maya
30th November 2004

With Gerardo Núñez
1st December 2004
With Mauricio Sotelo
2nd December 2004
With Israel Galván
3rd December 2004
With Enrique Morente




Giorgio Agamben, Doctor of Law and lecturer in Aesthetics at the University of Verona.

Francisco Aix Gracia, Social Sciences researcher.

Georges Didi-Huberman, Philosopher and Art historian.

Isabel Escudero, Poet, writer, co-editor of Archipiélago magazine and lecturer in the Education Department of UNED University.

Israel Galván, Flamenco dancer.

José Manuel Gamboa, Writer and Flamenco critic.

Agustín García Calvo, Linguist, writer, poet, playwright and Emeritus Professor of Classical Philology in Madrid's Complutense University.

Miguel Ángel García Hernández, Lecturer in Art History in Madrid's Complutense University.

Francisco Gutiérrez Carbajo, Dean of the Department of Philology, UNED, Madrid.

Emmanuel Lizcano, Lecturer in the Sociology of Knowledge, UNED, Madrid.

Belén Maya, Flamenco danseuse.

Patricia Molins, Exhibitions Curator.

Enrique Morente, Flamenco singer.

José Luis Navarro, Lecturer in the Department of Educational Sciences, Seville University.

Faustino Núñez, Musicologist, President of the Antonio Gades Foundation.

Gerardo Núñez, Guitarist.

Rocío Plaza Orellana, Lecturer in Scenography in the College of Dramatic Art of Seville.

Mauricio Sotelo, Musician.

Gerhard Steingress, Lecturer in Sociology in the University of Seville.

Juan Vergillos, Writer and Flamenco critic.

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