“[An] uncompromising, possessed dancer…with a prodigious rhythmic sense, imaginative verve and incandescent passion, [Israel Galván] introduces us to flamenco as a way of moving, of being, of understanding, of identity. He knows dance as his first language.” —The Financial Times of London

On March 6, 2021 at 7 p.m. PST UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) will present a free performance of Israel Galván in Maestro de Barra (Master of the Bar) via CAP UCLA Online. The performance was commissioned by CAP UCLA and is presented in association with UCSB’s Arts & Lectures and The Joyce Theater.

Born in Sevilla, Spain, Israel Galván was trained in classical flamenco training but following his very first creative work ¡Mira! / Los zapatos rojos in 1998, it was clear that he was paving the way “for a manifesto for a new spirit of flamenco dance”. Over time Galván has gradually morphed into what he describes as an “un unclassified dancer and choreographer” recodifying the physical language of flamenco.  Galván incorporates many of the familiar modes of expressions in flamenco such as the bullfighter, but he has also utilized other ritualistic aspects of popular culture from football to activism and cross-dressing.

As Galván states on his website: “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 - Photo courtesy of CAP UCLA

Israel Galván – Photo courtesy of CAP UCLA

Israel Galván is the recipient of the Premio Nacional de Danza (Spain), the New York Bessie Performance Award, the National Dance Award for Exceptional Artistry (UK), and In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. He is an associated artist at Le Théâtre de la Ville, Paris and at Teatros del Canal, Madrid.

During the past year, Galván has continued to search for a way to “serve the dance” by simply finding ways and venues to dance until some semblance of normalcy has returned to the world. His new work titled Maestro de Barra was inspired by the music and dance cultures associated with cafes and bars around the globe.

Israel Galván - Photo courtesy of CAP UCLA

Israel Galván – Photo courtesy of CAP UCLA

“Known for his ability to transform his body into an instrument and for his hypersensitive ear, Galván will prove his ability to “hear” the air of public spaces. His body will amplify their internal rhythms, 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.”  Press Release – CAP UCLA

Israel Galván was described by The Evening Standard as “achieving the near-impossible feat of embodying flamenco’s ‘duende,’ or demon, while avoiding clichés.” Galván continues to push boundaries with his solo work and in collaboration with such diverse artists as flamenco masters Enrique Morente and Mauel Soler, contemporary choreographer Akram Kahn and jazz great Pat Metheny.

Israel Galván’s Maestro de Barra will be presented on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at 7 p.m. PST. Admission is Free. Click HERE to learn more.

Maestro de Barra is funded in part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund.

To learn more about Israel Galván, please visit his website HERE.

To learn more about UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, click HERE.

For more information on engaging with the arts and artists presented by CAP UCLA, visit membership matters.

By Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Israel Galván – Genève – Photo by Jean Louis Duzert, courtesy of CAP UCLA