Turismo de Alcalá de Guadaíra


The history and evolution of Flamenco

The history and evolution of Flamenco have placed Alcalá de Guadaíra in one of its pillars thanks to the soleá.

If its music was originated in the beginning in Triana, it is in Alcalá where it is re-elaborated, it is given another aroma and it catches another colour, just as if we were talking about a painter's palette.

The Gordo and the Paula Families are the primitive origin of a breeding ground generated at the Castle Hill quarters. It is inside its caves and in San Miguel Parish district were some gipsy families will create along some time what will be known as cantes de Alcalá (singing from Alcalá).

It is true that there was a Flamenco cantaor (singer) that was not gipsy but was from Alcalá that in 1865 used to sing in Entertainment Halls in Seville.

His name was José Ordóñez "Juraco; there is a hill with his name in Alcalá. This cantaor also sang with Silverio Franconeti and he was known by his singing of soleares.

These soleares would not be the ones to be later sung by Joaquín el de la Paula, as he slowed this singing that was at its origin danceable, making it more fit to be listened to.

There are also other Flamenco singers (men and women) who elaborate these styles from Alcalá, like La Roezna, Agustín Talega (Joaquín's brother), Juan Talega (Agustín's son) and Manolito el de María (Joaquín and Agustín's nephew, and cousin of Juan Talega).

Here we add some notes on an anecdote of Joaquín in the famous Venta de Platilla, let to us by flamencologist and columnist Mr. Manuel Ríos Vargas: It is told that in one of those parties, after Joaquin sang for more than three hours for a man, he asked him for some money to take home. The man, who was a bit stingy, said that he was paid with what he had eaten and drunk. Joaquín stood up and before leaving, he addressed the "generous" man and said: "May Undivé (God) allow that next time you are sung at, this will be done by the priests".

Besides Joaquín, there were habitual attendants to this Temple of Alcalá, cantaores of great stature such as Manuel Torre, Vallejo, El Carbonerillo, Juan Talega, El Sevillano... and the renowned bullfighters Juan Belmonte, Chicuelo, Curro Puya...

One of the most complete singers of the history of Flamenco was another man from Alcalá called Bernardo Álvarez Pérez, known as "Bernardo de los Lobitos" who left behind many records, not only on slate (he made his first records in 1910 with Ramón Montoya) or on vinyl. Although he was linked professionally to Madrid, he never forgot his roots and family from Alcalá.

Antonio Rivero Basuzaga, "Niño de Alcalá", was by the 20-30s decades from the last century another outstanding cantaor of fandango style. He recorded many slate plates with "Niño Ricardo". He performed in Flamenco Opera companies jointly with other great ones from his time, especially due to his resemblance to Manuel Vallejo. He died young but left us his recordings as a historical memory.

Names like Eloy Curraga, Luis Medina "El Curilla", Pascuel with his famous saetas of Alcalá, Paquito León, "El Picoro de Alcalá", "El Rubio", Manuel Fernández "El Poeta Gitano de Alcalá", Manuel Algodón, the flamenco dancer or bailaor Antonio "El Truja", Manuel Heredia, Antonio "El Mauro" and his son Francisco Javier "Niño del Mauro", Antonio Saavedra "Salpicón", the guitar player or tocaor Alfredo Aragón, Juan Barcelona, "El Cuto", "El Churra", Manuel Pérez "Rubito de Alcalá", Luis "El Piñonero" that was for a long time working in a Venta located at the Torreblanca quarter, one of the last Ventas that were ever in Seville and its surroundings, known as "Venta de Rafael".

In our days Alcalá makes a great show of one of its Favourite Sons as one of the best representatives of Flamenco Dance. Javier Barón, Flamenco dancer and choreographer, was awarded in 2008 the National Prize of Dance. He is a lover of his homeland and does not hesitate in returning to it whenever his tight world program allows him to do so.

Our Town Council's bet does not give up supporting Flamenco in our town. It is in the summer time when at the Castle two Flamenco festivals are held: The Manolito María Festival, focused into the launching of new local and foreign values. The other one is a Festival already consolidated like one of the set appointments of the set summer festivals of Andalusia, it is the"Joaquín el de la Paula" Festival.

In the Lent months it is the Gutiérrez de Alba Theatre the one that holds the yearly Contest of Saetas, where local cantaores can be listened singing Alcalá's saetas and, of course, the rest of Flamenco styles, as seguiriya, martinete and carcelera.

The immense work made by the Flamenco Group "Soleá de Alcalá" with his great contest organizes also recitals during almost all year round.

The Open-Door Days held in March, especially for the educational centres are, jointly with other events, make this group the password to present Flamenco in Alcalá.

Nowadays, names like the ones of the tocaores Juan Manuel Flores, Niño Elías, José Manuel Mejías ( guitarist and Flamenco singer ), flamenco dancers like Jesús Aurelio, Araceli de Alcalá, David Pérez, the school of dance of Villaú sisters, Flamenco singers like Jesús Ponce, José María Sánchez, Antonio Solís, Mario de Alcalá, Tomás Pereira "Canito", David Hornillo, Saray de Alcalá, Agustín Jiménez, Kiko de Alcalá and the men for Morón de la Frontera David "El Galli" and "Moi de Morón", la academia de Baile de las hermanas Villaú, el guitarrista y cantaor José Manuel Mejías y el cantaor Kiko de Alcalá, open a new trail in this infinite Universe of Art as the Flamenco in Alcalá is.

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Pictures Gallery - Heritage

Watching, looking at in Alcalá is filling the retina with photos. Your eyes will take snapshots at every step. Access to our picture gallery.

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