Seeing Stars

What a busy week it’s been! Personally busy, yes, but also flamenco-busy. There have been a slew of stars in L.A. and I was lucky enough to catch three very different, very inspiring shows. Here’s a quick rundown:

On Tuesday I caught guitarist Tomatito. El maestro is muy sexy and he put on a beautiful show. As is always the case when I watch a monster guitarist, it reminded me to pick up my own guitar now and then because — damn it! — I still really do want to learn. But then when dancer Paloma Fantova came out with intention and attitude and did her muy rapido stompity stomp, I thought, “Damn! I really want to do THAT!!” My honey, my date, had it right when he said “her feet were so fast she looked like she was hovering above the stage.” She was a force, for sure.

Friday night I went alone to see Eva Yerbabuena’s “Lluvia.”  This was right up my alley: dark and experimental with a splash of happy. Highs and lows. Interpretive flamenco dance with manic-depressive flair. I was captivated. As much as I dig pure flamenco, I am impressed by artists who can take something traditional and skillfully weave in other artistic elements to make something different or weird and subsequently awesome. Plus I love Eva’s movement, not just her dancing, you know? I’m kind of glad I saw it alone; I think it added to the drama. I left feeling happy … and bummed …  or maybe happy because I was bummed…

And then last night I saw Estrella Morente. I can’t count how many concerts I’ve been to in my life, but believe me there have been many. I’ve never experienced anything like last night. From the moment Estrella took the stage and sang a cappella, I knew this performance would grab me like no other. Her voice was so clear, strong and expressive — I was spellbound. I think most everyone else felt the same because the room was so still when she sang, as if no one wanted to miss a note. She gave her heart in that performance, both with her voice and her being, as at one point she walked off the stage and into the audience to interact with her fans. So generous. What a gifted singer and lovely soul.

At the end of her show she introduced some people who came out and handed her a baby — I’m not sure who the people were or her relation to the baby (sorry, language barrier and I couldn’t hear all her words anyway), but her moment with the child was seriously adorbs. And that voice!

What a satisfying end to a wonderful week in music and art. Ole!



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