Flamenco Show Barcelona. Los Tarantos
Posted by edux127 on January 12, 2007
La Historia de los Tarantos” is a work by Alfredo Mañas which narrates a man and a woman’s struggle to place their love above the obstinance of their respective families who are determined to thwart it: the Tarantos and the Zorongos, two gypsy clans locked in an old blood-feud and who choose hate, vengeance and tragedy over seeing their families united.The work which in 1963 was made into a film by Rovira Beleta starring Carmen Amaya and Antonio Gades is set in the Somorrostro neighborhood of Barcelona in the middle of the last century; a shanty-town dominated by misery, illiteracy and individuals without a future, an underworld of outcasts which modern society had always shunned and before which it closed its eyes and put up walls to deny its existence.This is the setting, and the concept that director Emilio Hernández wants to highlight above all others. “We live in an integrated Europe with a mixture of races and cultures, and that generates conflict in a world that knows situations such as that of
Palestine, and this is why Los Tarantos is so current”.And so it is, this play represents social commitment to the gypsy cause and to any other marginal group, as well as hope for the future against the obstacles to peace.Nevertheless, the importance of the social underpinning of this work does not undermine its artistic validity, a challenge seldom taken on from a clearly flamenco perspective.When you settle into your seat at the Barcelona Teatre Musical, you expect to see a series of musical numbers interpreted by a long list of performers who do not belong to the glamorous elite of flamenco and who will do their best to string a story together. But the reality is quite another as the talent and earnest intentions of these men and women who by definition are more familiar with flamenco than theatrical interpretation, yield splendid fruit. Exploring the depths and stirring the most relevant political consciousness…dignifying the primary identifier of the Andalusian character: flamenco.The show begins with the singing of tonás while a giant screen shows retrospective images of the Somorrostro neighborhood. The story of three generations brings us up the present of the action about to unfold. We are witness to violent confrontations and hatred between the two gypsy families in
Barcelona: the Tarantos and the Zorongos. Ismael, the young Taranto played by dancer Juan Carlos Lérida meets Juana
La Zoronga, played surprisingly well by Ana Salazar. The young couple, rapt in passion, promise eternal love and all is lightness and joy until the morning after when they discover the rivalry of their respective families. Soledad, the
Taranto mother, played convincingly by Carmelilla Montoya in a marvellous interpretation, is surprised and fascinated by Juana’s dancing and this leads her to rise above the family feud which Rosendo (Candy Román), the Zorongo father adamantly refuses to forget. This is all held together by a running narrative and dynamic, attractive staging, with extreme respect and a musical idiom that makes this play much more than just an experiment.