Flamenco Artworks© is on the lookout at the Dutch Flamenco Biennial 2017.
This week I will be reporting back to you from the Dutch Flamenco Biennial 2017, keeping a lookout for vintage flamenco and art. This national dance and music festival presents the vanguard of contemporary flamenco to the Netherlands from the 13th until the 29th of January 2017.
The first thing that catches my eye is the campaign visual by photographer Scarlett Hooft Graafland.
Photo for the campaign visual of the VI Dutch Flamenco Biennial 2017. Photographer: Scarlett Hooft Graafland. Source: VI Flamenco Biënnale Nederland 2017.
It is an image of a dancer in a red flamenco skirt jumping in the air with a typical Dutch sky and green landscape in the background. Yellow balls flying around her are arrested in mid air and cover the red dress as an allusion to the traditional polkadots on flamenco clothing. It appears to have been quite an ordeal to get the dots in the right place, as you can see in this making-of:
Making-of video of the campaign visual of the VI Dutch Flamenco Biennial 2017. Photographer: Scarlett Hooft Graafland. Artwork: Lopezlab.
The dancer does not look like a flamenco dancer to me, because neither the dress, hairdo or posture are not traditional flamenco style. It reminds me more of modern dance. That would be in line with the aim of the Biennal’s director Ernestina van de Noort who is programming the vanguard of contemporary flamenco and wants to present a kind of flamenco that is “flamenco stripped from clichés, the high level of “olé olé” and the polka dotted dresses”, as she states in the newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
In an interview with flamencoagenda.nl the director explains that she likes the element of estrangement in Hooft Graafland’s photos. “It avoids the cliché without letting go of the basic feeling.” There supposedly have been negative reactions from people who feel the poster does not have anything to do with flamenco. But Van de Noort responds that the energy of the poster is very flamenco and that discussion is a positive thing, making people reflect.
I can really appreciate the Biennial facilitating flamenco artists and other musicians to create new and daring projects so that they can present them all over the world. Like this poster visual, some projects may not go down well with traditional flamenco lovers. But it is another new creation by artists and that is something I always support.