73°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Images of Flamenco

Images of Flamenco

The sixth annual Flamenco Festival film series and photography exhibition was shown at the Boston Public Library on January 23 – 30 to showcase flamenco in film and to celebrate its flourishing community in Boston. The series is in collaboration with Flamenco Buzz, which will be performing February 3 – 6 at the Emerson Majestic Theater. The film series at the library is a warm up to the live dance show.

Sabrina Aviles, director of The Center for Latino Arts, introduced the featured film, Carmen. She told a touching story about when she first saw the movie when it came out in 1983, and how it changed her life forever. She explained that at the time she had just graduated from Boston University with a degree in filmmaking and had no real direction, but when she saw Carmen by Carlos Saura it sparked her desire to become more involved in the flamenco culture. Everyone told her that she should give up, that she could not dance, and that she could not spot when she turned, but she did not listen to them, because she loved it so much. She raved that, “When I dance flamenco I am totally in the moment, and it really makes me feel alive.”

Aviles warned the audience that the movie was in Spanish and that the subtitles were not very good. Fortunately, it would not really matter because there was not much dialogue. She was right. The film is incredibly visual and the dancing is exuberant. The story begins when the director of a flamenco dance company, Antonio, looks for a dancer to star in his flamenco production of the opera, Carmen. He doesn’t like any of his dancers in the troupe, and he insults the best dancer, Christina, by telling her that she is too old to dance the lead.

Antonio searches for a dancer in the flamenco studios, and he finds his Carmen: a saucy young girl who dances at a nightclub and takes lessons every day.

He soon begins to develop an obsessive relationship with her. There is an undertone of jealously when Christina tries to teach the girl the right way to dance. Christina does not want to teach her, because she feels that it is she who deserves the role. The seduction scene performed to the operatic music is stupendous and breathtaking. All of the dance scenes are vibrant and vivacious, and it is understandable that this movie could drive someone to change their life.

Antonio does not know that much about his Carmen, and she deceives him when he discovers that she is married. It even gets worse. She ultimately tears his heart to shreds. The ending is a shock and it leaves the audience breathless. Some people were even squirming in their seats.

Carmen received the award for best artistic contribution at the Cannes Film Festival when it first was released in 1983, and it was also nominated for best foreign language film in that same year. It is second in the flamenco trilogy that Carlos Saura directed.

The Boston Public Library has many more movies and presentations and all of them are free and open to the public. For a complete list go to www.bpl.org.

Flamenco Buzz premieres February 3rd until the 6th at Emerson College’s Cultler Majestic Theatre located on 219 Tremont Street, Boston. Show times vary by day and ticket costs run from $35-$50 and can be ordered online at www.worldmusic.org.For more information check out http://flamencobuzz.net/bostonscene.