2017 Festival de Jerez Audience Award

THE ART OF THE WAR

During the fourth century BC, General Sun Tzu wrote a book on military strategies that, in our present times, has become a great success amongst yuppies and entrepreneurs. It was titled “The Art of War” and some of its teachings can be applied to the mother of all battles, the battle of Life itself, the everyday sphere of our emotions: “If you know others and know yourself, not even a hundred battles will endanger you” – one reads – “if you do not know others, but do know yourself, you will lose one battle and win another; if you do not know others, nor even know yourself, you run the risk of danger in every battle”.

“The best victory is to vanquish without a fight”, says the old Chinese general and that is what usually happens in this theatre of operations called Love. This is the stage chosen by Edu Guerrero – Cadiz, 1983 – to bring his new show to life, titled with his own polysemic surname (‘Guerrero’ means ‘warrior’ in Spanish). The show is the next step in a trajectory that began with “De Dolores”, or “El Callejón de los Pecados”, steps taken in a long artistic career – that started when he was just a child when he became a member of La Yerbabuena’s company – and which has been distinguished with the ‘Desplante del Festival de La Unión’ Award.

On this occasion, the dancer focuses on his relations with women – his mother, his lovers, his women friends – moving along that borderline territory in which sentimentality lives alongside sensuality, but exceeds both of these vital temperatures; that bridge between genres and sexes that we tend to define as ‘being a person’. This makes for tension without trauma, an inner combat that causes little collateral damage further than passion, and a commitment to his own longing for masculinity.

This is, broadly speaking, his pretext – that of making an Art of war. However, his best army is himself, escorted by the voices of Anabel Rivera, Samara Montañez or May Fernández, and with the guitar playing of Javier Ibañez and Juan José Alba as first class musical ammunition – these musicians are the composers of a range of new ‘falsetas’ for a number of popular harmonies that present a large array of styles: from an initial ‘saeta’ to the final ‘cuplés’, going through a wide range of ‘malagueñas’, ‘fandangos’, ‘rondeñas’, ‘granaínas’ ‘verdiales’, ’bulerías’ in the ‘soleá’ style, ‘polos’, ‘nanas’ (lullabies), ‘seguiriyas’, ‘serranas’, tangos, ‘zambras’ and ‘alegrías’*. This is a complete anthology interpreted with a personal accent by Guerrero (costumed by Tere Torres). A new proposal that will definitely mark a difference between what has come before and what will come afterwards in his career. And, at the same time, it becomes an allegory of his personal conception of the world and of show business. There is one clear victor in this epic story: Flamenco dance.

Juan José Téllez

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