The Flamenco Biennial

The Flamenco Biennial I was recently in Sevilla, Spain for the Flamenco Biennial and wanted to share some thoughts and photos with you. The city commissioned many artists of different mediums to pay tribute to the history of Flamenco dance and the incredible women who have been involved for many years in keeping it alive. It is a month of poetry, dance, music, photography, painting, etc... It brings the old and new together for a big, well... PARTY.

This year included the beautiful exhibition of photos from a project by Ruven Afanador. Ruven is a fashion and portrait photographer who lives in NYC and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker,The New York Times Magazine, Elle, Vanity Fair and many others. Ruven's project brings together very renowned dancers, both young and old, for a beautiful series, shot in and around Sevilla. The project has just been signed to Rizzoli for a book which will come out in September 2009.

Two things crossed my mind as I walked the main promenade where the photos were exhibited. Listening to people's comments and watching their reactions was very interesting. Even in a country like Spain, which is very religious, the photographs were accepted and a sense of pride was very evident. People on the avenue were looking and studying the shots, and lots of pictures were being taken of people with their favorite image. Television stations were interviewing people of all ages about the photographs and there was not a snicker among them. Full front and back nudes, women kissing, skinny and fat... everything completely out in the open and blown up to 5' x 10' in the middle of town.

The other thought was how all over Europe, the arts are fully supported by the country and cities where these festivals are held. In the four days that I was in Sevilla, I went to three dance performances, five exhibitions, four "official" dinners, and missed many more events that were available to attend. It's just amazing how the rest of the world celebrates their artists but here in America they seem more interested in censoring and controlling than funding.

I wanted to share some the pictures from the exhibit with you all, and couldn't resist a forum to promote city, state and country support for the arts.....


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  • Adriana Garcia


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