[guest post by Rocio!! our resident flamenco expert]
Nowadays many of these kids are very popular in the flamenco world. Some have appeared in Tony Gatlif’s movies–like La Macanita, who made a brief performance in his Exils, at La Carbonería de Sevilla. You wouldn’t recognize her now, transformed into an older woman (although the broken voice style is practically the same). Here she sings bulerías, barely more than a toddler:
Then in Fiesta de Niños we have a brief performance of El Bobote, who plays one of the gangsters in Gatlif’s Vengo. Both his potato nose and his graceful traditional dancing style haven’t changed in years… Ok, he’s lost some hair and gained some barriga, but the art remains the same.
Remedios Amaya performs in Gatlif’s classic Latcho Drom in a similar scene as the Fiesta de Niños clip below, singing and dancing surrounded by family. Her voice is quite particular, easily recognizable like her puppy Sharpei’s face. Whenever Remedios sings the guitarist has to lower the tones and slow down the rhythm to cope with her warm beautiful voice.
In a sad footnote, Remedios career was drowned early, after she competed at the Eurovision music festival in Münich, 1983. She gave an astonishing performance but the song was nulled for being considered too “ethnic”. Watch how the cameras follow her bare feet! She was blamed and severely criticized in Spain as a response, even though Remedios had been chosen to go to Germany and perform the song the way she did. I don’t think she has been given the place she deserves yet, the Eurovision shadow has followed Remedios way too long.