#If you wander through the emblematic neighbourhood of ‘El Carmen’, with its cobbled streets, old buildings, and graffiti murals, you’ll see a barrio that is bursting with venues, restaurants, and tucked away spots. Within this historic heart of the city, you’ll find Teatre Talia, a venue furnished in red and gold that hosts theatre, comedy, and musical performances.
Walking distance from the iconic silk exchange ‘La Lonja de la Seda’, and the Portal de Valldigna (an archway to the old Arab quarter built in 1440), a visit to this theatre might make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Indeed, tonight’s show by En Clave de Clot spotlights two genres with centuries of history: classical and flamenco. However, rather than separate performances, this locally-grown musical group founded in the Clot neighbourhood of Cabañal expertly braids the two together.
It is easy to think that the repertoire of classical composers has no business being played on a flamenco guitar, or that classical instruments have nothing to add to flamenco music. But seated as one of two hundred audience members lit by the Teatre Talia stage as the strings and saxophone sang above flamenco rhythm, it is clear to see why these performers chose to blend these sounds.
With each arrangement designed by En Clave de Clot, the instruments had an opportunity to shine. Whether it was the saxophone playing the tune of ‘Sway’ to guitar strumming, or Bach’s cello suite no. 1 in G major, there wasn’t a moment where the balance of classical and flamenco composition was unbalanced.
Flamenco dancers Juan Giménez and Shelina Sánchez also added a rich element to the performance. Costume changes, fluid hand movements, twirling fringe and a blur of castanets, performances with hand fan, tambourine, and a basket of rosemary thrown into the audience. Sánchez danced one of her earrings off in her initial solo, and Giménez jumped atop the traditional flamenco table to provide an encore. The performance ended with a flourish, and the audience stood with raucous applause.
Performances like these are only improved by intimate-feeling venues such as the Teatre Talia, where even the seats furthest at the back allow you to see the articulation of dancers’ movements. If supporting local artists in a venue which encourages a friendly relationship between audience and performer appeals to you, have a look at the shows hosted at Theatre Talia.
For more information about the musical group En Clave de Clot, read our exclusive interview with Pepe Calatayud, their talented Saxophonist.
Report by Julia McGee-Russell
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
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