XX Festival de Jerez was my first. An incredible experience to see the best, many of my favourites live in one place, Rocio Molina, Eva Yerbabuena, Dorantes, Marco Flores.
The flamenco community was evident. From around the world people gathered in the theatre lobby of Teatro Villa Marta and after in bars and streets and later Sala Paul for more smaller concerts of equally world-class artists. I met some Aussies from Brisbane and Perth who I’d never got to meet before, ran into some Los Angeleans who I hadn’t seen for twenty five years and met new people that quickly became friends as we picked up conversations about this show or that as each night rolled along.
I took class with local teacher and dancer, Chiqui de Jerez. It was a good class with guitar and singer on the final day. Diario de Jerez, the daily paper for the region was there to critique each show and present each day a new flamenco of the world. When they showed up at Chiqui’s studio one day, she asked me to be the one…!