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El flamenco y la música sefardí revelan sus misterios

Photo: Celia Fonta; photo credit Emilio Héctor Rodríguez
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Comparten historia, elementos de culturas diversas, y sobre todo, pasión. Así, es más lo que une a dos vertientes musicales diferentes como el flamenco, máxima expresión cultural de la región sur de España, y la música ladina, esencia artística de los judíos españoles, o el pueblo sefardí.

El domingo 24 de este mes, esa pasión común por la vida se desbordará en un espectáculo llamado Flamenco Sephardit III, Leyendas y Romances, que se presenta en el Templo Emanu-El de Miami Beach.

Proyecto conjunto del productor artístico y director de orquesta Jeffrey Eckstein y de la compañía Siempre Flamenco, radicada en Miami, ésta será la tercera celebración de Flamenco Sephardit, que se estrenó en el 2014, y que se ha presentado en Austin, Texas, y en Miami Beach (hay planes este año de llevar la producción a otros mercados dentro y fuera del país).

“Cada año que hemos hecho Flamenco Sephardit en Miami, tenemos un nuevo tema y un nuevo foco”, explica Eckstein, productor ejecutivo y director del show, tras concluir un ensayo del elenco. “Algunas de las piezas son las mismas porque son favoritas del público, pero añadimos nuevas también”.

En Flamenco Sephardit III, se ha incorporado la participación de un bailaor, José Junco, que acompañará a la bailaora y profesora de flamenco Celia Fonta. Y por segunda vez, vuelve para dar un giro fuera de lo común a la interpretación una cantante de ópera, la mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, destacada por sus interpretaciones de Carmen.

“Jeffrey fue quien vino a nosotros con la idea de trabajar con estos dos tipos de música”, dice Celia, quien junto a su esposo, el guitarrista flamenco, cantaor y compositor Paco Fonta, son referentes de esa escena cultural en el sur de la Florida desde que llegaron aquí a mediados de los años 80.

Con el propósito de promover el arte y las tradiciones del flamenco, y demostrar que el flamenco siempre se renueva, que no se fosiliza, los Fonta fundaron la compañía sin fines de lucro Siempre Flamenco en el 2002.

“El flamenco tiene influencias de muchas culturas, y una de esas culturas es la judía”, explica Paco. “Por ejemplo, este año voy a cantar un tema que se llama La Peternera, que es flamenco pero que tiene raíces judías. Hay muchas similitudes”.

La combinación perfecta

Eckstein, director de orquesta invitado con la Austin Symphony y el Ballet Austin, siempre había sido amante del flamenco, pero tras viajar a España en el 2008 [y presenciar al guitarrista Vicente Amigo en concierto en Barcelona], ese amor se acrecentó.

Durante viajes frecuentes a Miami [para colaborar como director de orquesta invitado con la Miami Lyric Opera], visitó tablaos de la ciudad y fue dándole forma a la idea de combinar el flamenco con la música ladina, hasta que llegó a los Fonta.

“Soy mucho de inventar nuevas formas, y me di a la tarea de buscar a un guitarrista flamenco y a un guitarrista clásico que estuvieran dispuestos a trabajar juntos y abiertos a inventar estilos”, dice Eckstein.

“Y ahí es cuando encontré a Paco, a Celia, y a Michel [González, el otro guitarrista del espectáculo]. A eso agregamos cantantes de ópera y la música ladina”, prosigue. “Hay otras personas que han hecho combinaciones de flamenco y música ladina, pero creo que lo que estamos haciendo aquí, no lo ha hecho nadie”.

Eso lo reafirma uno de los vocalistas de la producción, el rabino Marc Philippe, cantor, músico, compositor, director de orquesta y líder espiritual de Templo Emanu-El.

Los vocalistas de Flamenco Sephardit III cantarán en ladino piezas compuestas originalmente en ese idioma que han sido adaptadas a los ritmos flamencos, dándoles un carácter único que sorprenderá a quien esté acostumbrado al flamenco de siempre.

La riqueza está en las influencias

“Ambos tipos de música también tienen influencias musulmanas del norte de África”, destaca el rabino Marc Philippe, francés de padre español, que estudió en Europa y que antes de Flamenco Sephardit ya había cantado composiciones del repertorio ladino. “Los estilos flamenco y ladino se pueden mezclar fácilmente porque vienen de la misma raíz”.

Esa raíz se afincó en la Península Ibérica, donde los judíos habían vivido desde los tiempos romanos. Pero en el siglo XV, los reyes católicos de España, Fernando e Isabel, ordenaron la expulsión de los judíos del país y de cualquier territorio español. Muchos tuvieron que exiliarse, mientras que otros se convirtieron al cristianismo, los llamados conversos, y algunos fingieron serlo pero mantuvieron su herencia religiosa (los cripto-judíos).

Con el fin de reconquistar y cristianizar nuevamente a la España poblada por comunidades judías, moras y gitanas, se desató la Santa Inquisición. La música, idioma, y cultura del pueblo sefardí se propagaron entonces fuera de la península para sobrevivir.

Esta música sobrevive hoy como símbolo de unión, y no de división.

“Es tan asombroso poder decir que fusionamos dos culturas que en realidad son una y la misma”, sostiene el rabino. “Simbólicamente, son lo más bello posible: el mensaje de que somos una sola familia. La familia humana”.

Flamenco Sephardit III

Cuándo: Domingo 24 de enero‬‬

Horario: 7 p.m.

Dónde: Templo Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.‬‬

Teléfono: 305-538-2503

Boletos: $18 por adelantado, $25 día del espectáculo. Disponible online o en la taquilla.‬‬



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Journalist, arts writer, instructor of English and Spanish

A bilingual journalist and writer for over 20 years, Juan Carlos studied Communications at Fordham University in New York. He holds a Master&rsquo..

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