Artistic direction, Choreography and Dance
Austin Rial Eshelman (Rial & Eshelman)
in collaboration with
Vicente Escudero conceived the idea of dance without music, but on the other hand it’s something intrinsic to flamenco because the music is the body of the bailaor itself. And he conceived it thirty years before Merce Cunningham performed the great revolution of dance without music. And when he appeared in New York in the thirties using rhythms without music the reviews were excellent. Later things happen, Vicente Escudero came back to Spain, disappeared, but there they celebrate it like something amazing, a truly radical artist. The ballet dancer appeared as the true owner of the stage – that’s something very important in the vanguard, that you don’t depend on the music to build a project on stage. That – one of the greatest dance revolutions since the Second World War – happened first in flamenco. And on top of that, it forms part of the idiosyncrasy of flamenco itself. If you take that on board then you’ll understand why Israel has no hang-ups, he can speak to modern artists as an equal. When in 2007 he went to the Guggenheim in Bilbao with Sol Picó and modern dance. I have friends who specialize in dance who’d never seen him and they called me saying ‘this guy has everybody talking about him.’ All the others that were supposedly modern looked archaic alongside him. (Pedro G. Romero)
Spain Alicante, Las Cigarreras – 7 november 2020
Spain Lanzarote, Jameos del Agua Dance Festival – 20 April 2019
France Paris, Cinematheque de la Danse – 31 May 2007 (opening)
©Luis Castilla/ ©Nicolas Serve
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.