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FLAMENCO: The Land Is Still Fertile

NOLA Code:
FLCO 0000H1
Number of Episodes/Length:
4 / 30
Rights End:
Palomino Productions
Year Produced:
Other Versions:
A passionate art form in danger of disappearing

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We use world-class performance, fascinating interviews, footage of beautiful locations in southern Spain and similar visually compelling materials, to present the fundamental and perhaps surprising contributions of farm workers to the development and maintenance of flamenco. The featured farm workers are mostly gitanos (Spanish Gypsies) and elements of their history are woven into the narrative.
Our narrator, an acclaimed gitano (Spanish Gypsy) flamenco singer, describes the fundamental contributions that farm workers have made to the development and maintenance of flamenco. We present world-class performance, fascinating interviews, beautiful footage of locations in southern Spain and similar visually compelling materials to supplement his narrative, Most of the farm laborers who carried this art into the present were gitanos, and to provide some context, we include information about their arrival in Spain from northwestern India. The solo performers in this episode (in order of appearance) are Niño Jero el Periquín, Tía Juana la del Pipa, Antonio el Pipa, and Antonio de la Malena; the latter is also the narrator.

Episode #2 builds on episode #1 and is in the same style. This episode examines other occupations associated with flamenco, As before, the episode is filled with live performance. We continue to discuss significant aspects of gitano history while also reminding viewers of non-gitanos who contributed to the art form.
Episode #2 builds on episode #1, and is in the same style. This second episode examines other occupations commonly associated with flamenco and gitanos, including fishing, fish mongering (selling fish), blacksmithing and mining. To do this we shot film in some of Spain's signature mining areas (including inside the mines!). We also take our viewers on a journey by ferry across the beautiful and expansive Bay of Cádiz, and visit the inside of a prison to help bring aspects of gitano history to life. We look briefly at gitanos' connection with India and get a taste of the singing of Indian gitanos' style of singing, but we also remind viewers that non-gitanos contributed to flamenco. The soloists in this episode (in order of appearance) are: la Elu de Jerez, Manuel de Malena, Manuel Agujetas, Antonio Agujetas and Jairo Amaya.

Episode #3 carries our audience in a somewhat different direction as we look at connections between flamenco and Spanish folklore, then examine the emotional force of the art form and present some singing of gitanos in India. This episode features performance, interviews and other visual materials, much like the prior episodes, but in this episode, we lean more heavily into the performance.
Episode #3 carries our viewers away from occupations and gives them an in-depth look at the emotional range of flamenco. The narrator talks about the differences between the flamenco forms that grew out of Spanish folklore, and those which originated with gitano's own musical traditions. This allows the narrator and others to explain some of the factors that have led the flamenco to have such a tragic bent, and provides another opportunity to look at gitano history and how it is expressed through flamenco. Soloists in this section (in order of appearance) are la Paula, la Macanita, María del Mar Moreno, Manuel Parrilla, and for a second time, Manuel Agujetas.

In our fourth and final episode, we examine the character of flamenco as opposed to flamenco fusion, and how flamenco fusion has affected traditional flamenco. We conclude that it is unclear whether or not traditional flamenco will survive, especially in view of the higher pay offered for fusion as opposed to a traditional flamenco performance, and the struggle many traditional artists face in trying to make a living.
In the fourth and final episode, the narrator explains and uses performance to demonstrate the difference between traditional flamenco, and flamenco fusion, advocating for the continued life of the former. We propose that traditional flamenco can and should evolve, but that the various types of fusion, frequently mislabeled as pure flamenco, should not be allowed to overwhelm the traditional. Money is the key here, since the entertainment industry pays more for fusion than for traditional flamenco, and to keep the traditional form alive, its artists need to be able to make a living. The series concludes on a relatively optimistic note, but at the same time making it clear that the final outcome is unknown. While this injects an air of uncertainty, we end with a joyful, rousing "fin de fiesta" in which a large group of performers sing, dance, and play the guitar, offering our viewers a final experience of the beauty and vitality of the traditional art form. Soloists in this section (in order of appearance) are Diego del Morao, Luis Moneo, and a "duet" with dancers Antonio el Pipa and María del Mar Moreno.

Program Rights

Broadcast Rights:
Rights Dates:
9/15/2023 - 9/14/2026
School Rights:
1 year
V.O.D. Rights:
Linear Live Streaming:
Non-Commercial Cable Rights: