Israel Galván

Maestro de Barra


Servir el baile

A project conceived and directed by

Israel Galván

Commissioned by


Presented in association with

UCSB’s Arts & Lectures, The Joyce Theater and Teatro della Pergola


Israel Galván

The Waiters of Bar Rodriguez

Pedro Díaz Romero

Julio Díaz Ruíz

José Pablo Gallego Gálvez

Antonio Escalera Pastor

José Carrasco percussion

Ramón Martínez baile

María Rubio baile

Alejandro Villaescusa cante

Pedro G. Romero artistic advisor

Joaquin Aneri filming and editing

Pedro León / Manu Prieto sound

Juanma Carmona cameraman

Javi López grip

Balbina Parra production manager

Rosario Gallardo production

Produced by

Israel Galván Company

in collaboration with

EdM Productions

Thanks to

Real Betis Balompié

Liga de Futbol España

IG Company is supported by


During the blast of the pandemic, Galván has sought to “servir el baile” (serve the dance) by finding other spaces to “seguir bailando” (keep on dancing) until a semblance of normalcy is returned. Maestro de Barra (Master of the Bar) comes from Galván’s attention to the spontaneous music and dance culture associated with cafes and bars worldwide. As theaters were closed, it felt in tune with this moment in time. Known for his ability to transform his body into an instrument and for his hypersensitive ear, with Maestro de Barra Galván proved his ability to ‘hear’ the air of public spaces.

The recited tapas, the chalk writing on the bar, the screams from the kitchen, the conversations, the children running around, the banging on the tables, everything fell into a rhythm. Galván’s body amplifies their internal rhythms and rites, pauses and silences, using them as the score and to point out that everything one can hear, can also be danced to. Sounds can be ordered, accompanied and understood as a rhythmic vibration that can be translated into movement. Israel Galván, with his hyperesthetic ear, is thus classifying bars as schools of flamenco art. In reality, flamenco ‘bailaors’ have learned as much in bars as in dance academies. In Sevilla, his hometown, many bars display a sign that says: “singing is prohibited here,” because it is the bar, itself, it is the bar that sings. The entire bar is made - as if by a miracle - theater, flamenco theater.

In 2021 Maestro de Barra won 2 Bessie Awards:Outstanding Production (Israel Galván) Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design (Pedro Leon y Manu Prieto)

tour dates

Spain Madrid 21distritos [projection] 9 April 2023

Spain Festival Vejer Flamenco [projection] 3 September 2022

Italy Florence [streaming] Teatro della Pergola 27 March 2021

USA New York [streaming]Joyce Theater 25 March – 7 April 2021

USA Los Angeles [streaming] Centre for the Art of Performance UCLA 6 March - 31 May 2021(opening)


Born in Sevilla, Spain, into the dancing family of José Galván and Eugenia de los Reyes, Israel Galván underwent classical flamenco training but since his first creation ¡Mira! / Los zapatos rojos (1998), that paves the way for a manifesto for a new spirit of flamenco dance, he has gradually transformed into un unclassified dancer and choreographer. Galván recodifies the physical language of flamenco, using not only modes of expression genealogically close to it, such as bullfighting, but also performative aspects of other rituals of popular culture, from football to activism and cross-dressing. He produces a multiplicity of bodies for a flamenco that is itself going through a process of change. Each of his creations is to be a milestone in his pursuit of a dance that seeks to free itself from certain features inherited from a crystallized flamenco. He wants to refocus dance on the actual act of dancing.

Israel Galván was honoured with the most prestigious prizes such as the Premio Nacional de Danza (Spain), the New York Bessie Performance Award, the National Dance Award for Exceptional Artistry (UK). In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.