‘Flamenco’ bids for UNESCO Cultural status…

… or the ‘candidature for inscription on the UNESCO representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ status, to be more precise. All rolls off the tongue rather well.

Following a performance in Madrid on Monday evening, featuring Paco de Lucia, Tomatito and some important sounding Spanish bigwigs, the Spanish Government and several regional agencies have upped their campaign to see the artform of flamenco added to the aforementioned cultural mouthful.

Flamenco-World.com report on the ‘Flamenco Soy’ (‘I, Flamenco’) campaign …

While UNESCO is processing the dossier, ten thousand of people from all over the world have already demonstrated their support for flamenco’s candidacy as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The collection of signatures is being gathered at the website www.flamencopatrimoniodelahumanidad.es, with information in Spanish, English, French and Japanese. The candidacy has the backing of several hundred representatives of the jondo art and diverse public institutions, as well as the Spanish government itself, which gave its unanimous support in Parliament in May. After UNESCO communicated in February that the candidacy was “technically complete”, it is now being evaluated by the international organization. The final decision will be made at the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which is scheduled to be held in November 2010 in Nairobi (Kenya).

It appears that UNESCO rejected the ‘flamenco’ bid once before – some five years ago, with the latest bid team from Andalucia now calling for international and public support to ‘see that Flamenco finally receives the international recognition it deserves.’

You can sign-up and support the flamenco corner at the official website - flamencopatrimoniodelahumanidad.es … it only takes a few seconds to add your name.  You can also find some nice audio of the main traditional flamenco palos.

You can also take a peep at the impressively in-depth UNESCO website for Intangible Culture, which lists the many existing cultures on the list, along with some great audio, video and info for each and every element – from the Shadow Theatre of Cambodia to the Gong Culture of Vietnam!

Meanwhile, TypicallySpanish.com reports on the Madrid gig …

Paco de Lucía got a standing ovation from the crowd, which contained numerous celebrities and politicians who are supporting the initiative, including the ministers, Manuel Chaves, Ángeles González-Sinde, Bibiana Aído and Trinidad Jiménez.  Also present was the President of the Junta de Andalucía, José Antonio Griñán. He said over the weekend that while flamenco is universal, its birthplace is Andalucía.
Other flamenco artists in the crowd and supporting the campaign are singer songwriter, Diego el Cigala, dancer Sara Baras, and the guitarist Tomatito.
The concert ended with Paco de Lucía’s most famous piece, ‘Entre dos Aguas’.

Paco returns to perform his only UK date next month, at the London Jazz Festival this November, and has been touring for the best part of the last year throughout most of Europe.  We caught him in the southern Polish town of Bielsko Biala in June (despite the best attempts of the Polish bus network from Krakow), where it looks as though he performed a similar programme, again ending with an ‘Entre’ encore.  It will be interesting to see if he performs a similar ‘Greatest Hits’ programme without much new material in London – indeed the tour set seemed to be structured in a fairly standard jazz mindset of passing round solos and heads, somehow lacking just a little of the magic and invention of some of his earlier tours.

Follow the Flamenco Soy Twitter feed and Facebook group for the latest info.

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