Whatever darkness has been caused by the current confusions of shifting tier levels here on The Canary Islands, there are pin pricks of light and even rays of hope. The world map might no longer be familiar, with old colonial colours being replaced in optimistic shades of the red, amber and green of a traffic light system defining levels of infection around the world but it does offer faint clues of what air corridors might open and when and to whom. Also, for the first time in nearly a year, there are forthcoming live arts events listed on the calendar on the culturalanzarote web site.
A look at this month´s arts listing reveals a few exciting prospects here on Lanzarote. We are looking forward to a visit to El Salinero theatre in Arrecife on May 14th to listen out for The Sound Of Spain Inside A Piano as heard and created by musician Luis Agius as he takes us ona musical journey around Spain from the 18th to the 21sr century.
The following night offers the more contemporary sounds of Revolver, on a solo tour to remind us of a fine thirty year career and we can look out for some wonderful solo guitar runs.
We read with interest, too, that on 21st May at the same Teatro Victor Fernadez Gopar El Salinero we will have the opportunity to see and hear a diversity of talents from Chano Dominguez and Hamilton, from Holland. The great Spanish jazz pianist and the brilliant Brazilian mandolinist, are sure to provide their brilliant mix of jazz, flamenco and bossa nova.
If you are a lover of Spanish songs, or come to that a lover of Leonard Cohen´s version of Take This Waltz, you should check out Mariola Membrives, who released one of the finest albums of 2020. She will be delivering her Lorca Spanish Songs live at the theatre on the 29th May and we look forward to publishing a review of all of the above on these pages.
In fact there is live music scheduled for June, too, and we are looking forward on 12th to hearing again some of our favourite artists when the duo of Alexis Lemes and Javier Infante, who work in constant search ofr their own language, will be joined by Javier Colina, another highly regarded musician who has previously worked with players like Tete Montoliu, Chucho Valdés, Jerry González, Tomatito, Pepe Habichuela, Diego El Cigala or Enrique Morente.
Quite apart from these concerts now appearing on the Lanzarote Calendar, there will also be the 7th annual ¨Meeting of The Timples´ taking place on our neighbouring island of La Graciosa. In previous years fans of the music have travelled by boat over to the island and surely this year´s two concert will tempt them to do so again. On 4th June there will be a performance in the Church of Carmen on La Graciosa by David Rodríguez Santana, known as “El Majorero”. has won several titles such as the Youth Music Competition of the Government of the Canary Islands of 2008, the solo timple contest Maxo Arte del Cabildo de Fuerteventura (2009), the International timple competition of higher degree of the Blas Sánchez Foundation (2011) and a third prize of the middle degree classical guitar competition of the Blas Sánchez Foundation (2011).
The following night, on June 5th, in the same venue there will be concert by Josele del Pino, who has performed throughout the Archipelago, as prestigious venues such as the Cueva de los Verdes in Lanzarote or the Night of San Juan del Puerto de la Cruz, in the Timple de Teguise Museum in Lanzarote, and in various festivals within the Spanish geography such as the XI Cantabria Folk Festival or the City of Valladolid folk show among others.
Both the concerts detailed in the above two paragraphs are to be sixty minute performances and are free of charge until full. As they represent first baby steps on the walk back to normality we strongly recommend that you show all due diligence in checking details with the ferry company and the venue if you can or on-line at the culturalanzarote web site. All things being equal, this would be quite a romantic little adventure: crossing a beautiful stretch of water through on a beautifully scenic passage top hear maestros playing wonderful music sound pretty good eh?
It has also just been announced that there will be a concert by the wonderful Bohemia Lanzarote. We featured an article here on these pages a few weeks ago about how, after four years of touring, the group were looking forward to time together to explore new music. The result of that is that they will be presenting The Language Of The Gods, following musical sidetracks & detours in which they present new themes of diverse styles and sonorities, departing from the line that this formation followed in its early trajectory.
On stage, they will be accompanied by great artists, colleagues and friends, singers and instrumentalists, who have joined this new proposal of Bohemia Lanzarote, combining an amalgam of styles and musical genres. They will have with them on this exploration special guests including Maru and Villegas Jairo Cabrera Alex Jiménez Willy Morales.
All this happens on June 26th at 7.30 pm when tickets will be ten euros.
With cinematic appearances also reappearing on our calendar it was especially poignant to read a report in Lancelot Digital that Lanzarote has sadly lost Juan Perdomo Rodríguez, a businessman who has died at the age of 86. He was acknowledged for promoting the first movie theatres on the island and began his business activity in the film industry in 1958, at the age of 24, inaugurating the Tinajo cinema. Later, the brother of the former mayor of this municipality, Luis Perdomo, opened the cinemas of Díaz Pérez, Hollywood and Triana, in Arrecife, as well as the La Villa de Teguise and San Bartolomé cinemas.
He also moved his undertaking to other islands, opening the Marga and Gran Tarajal cinemas in Fuerteventura, the Capri in Telde and the Agüimes cinemas.
In 1987, three decades after founding his first venue, he made the leap to multiplex cinemas, opening the Odeon, the first in Lanzarote. In Puerto del Rosario he founded La Ola; in Gran Tarajal, the Auditorium; in Corralejo, the Tamaragua; and in La Gomera, the Infanta Cristina.
Likewise, his profession took him to Equatorial Guinea, where in 1991 he opened a cinema in Malabo, the capital of the country.
It seems strange, and somewhat ironic that Perdomo´s death has come at a time when the film industry, that has struggled for so long to endure the restrictions enforced by covid might be just about to re-open their doors to the public.
In fact, even during covid lockdowns film crews have been spotted on Lanzarote shooting scenes for various film and tv series. Crews have been noticed at Famara, Charco Del Palo and Playa Chica in Puerto Del Carmen. There has also been filming on location here for Welcome To Eden, a high profile Spanish soap aimed at young adults.
So, when you return here for your holidays you might just see some famous stars. A taxi driver here has told me that one of his fares last year was Angelina Jolie !
For now, though, have a quick browse at listings showing viewings of Wet Cards on 12th and 13th May at the wonderful Cic El Alemacen and then Beginning is a film or religious persecution showing at the same venue on 19th and 20th May. The intriguingly titled Halfway Through The Voice, a documentary by Cuban film-makers will be screened on 26th and 27th May also at Cic El Alamecen. June brings us Sole at the venue on the 2nd and 3rd and on the 4th you can see the musician-social project Barrios Orquestados, in celebration of its ninth anniversary, presents the documentary Hablo de Esperanza, made by Daniel Naranjo Mola and with the director of photography by Ariel Betancor Mesa. This documentary shows the experience of implementing this musical project in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and how it was lived by the team of professionals of Orquestados Neighbourhoods during the summers of 2018 and 2019. The documentary is emphatically titled I´m Talking About Hope. The ´fantasy drama´ Birdsong (not to be confused with anything by Sebastain Faulks), will then be aired at the venue on 9th and 10th June. You can see a film called A Girl, dealing with attitudes and issues of gender at Cic El Almacen on 16th and 17th before, confusing, a film called Girls, a Goya Best Film award winner, is shown on 23rd and 24th June in the same venue at 7.30 pm. The final film of June will be shown on 30th (and on the 1st July) at the same place, same time and is called Summer Of 85.
Again all of the above could be subject to change if the covid situation deteriorates again, so check carefully, and remember that all attendances will be subject to the level of covid restrictions might be in place at the time.
So lovers of music and film are certainly well catered for, but there are several other events in the diaries, too.
For example the artists Jesus H Verano will be presenting his new book, Treno, at Cic El Almacen on 11th May 2021 at 7.30 pm. I understand this to be more than just a conventional catalogue of an exhibition project. It is a very careful publication that seeks to house and configure the sensory, material, spiritual, aesthetic and intimate atmosphere of this exhibition specially designed for the Aljibe room of CIC El Almacén. This will be a Spanish-language free event. However, attendance is dependent upon reservation by phone, from Monday, April 26, by calling 928 831 507, providing full name, email, telephone and ID.
The 15th June at the Cic El Almacen at 7.00 there is to be the presentation of “The Great Book of the History of art of Martin and Sicily” in which the curator of this exhibition project, Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta, shows his illustrative, didactic publication. This is a significant research that studies the evolution of the trajectory of the artists José Arturo Martín and Javier Sicilia.
To this end, it places them in grammatical, formal and contextual terms in front of the sources and references of art history, to better understand the creative discourse around the reconstruction of the artistic identity of both, considering the artistic phenomena, their interactions and inter-influences; and all this in the form of a conceptual map or family tree that allows to visualize the “family” relationships between artistic-cultural references and the selected pieces of both creators.
There was a time when the transit of days and nights was marked by the coming and going of the tides. The island didn’t exist. There was only shore where the doors of houses, bridges, boats, lows, islets and tide were lined. Just the sea. The sea and the sky, certain and immeasurable territories. In this artistic project Francisco Montelongo and Fran Rodríguez set out to reconstruct the visual universe linked to the natural and human landscape that survives our shores, in the form of small recreations of watercolors and illustrations that transport us to the cultural imaginary of a maritime territory that defines us as orphans of this shore. This exhibition opens at Cic El Almacen on 18th June and will run until September.
We are also promised a piece of theatre later in that week. “Suicide of a frustrated actress”, comedy by Juan de La Cruz del Rosario performed by Hermi Orihuela is a very theatrical show with a vital optics: a song to hope, or perhaps better expressed, a song to the futility of hopelessness. An absolutely experimental comedy, full of shapes and styles, in which a performer and directors are left enormous freedom.
The action begins abruptly in the home of an actress who is nothing but a ramshackle and messy quartucho. Any indicative object of the theatrical event can be included: books, librettos, masks, hats, dresses, canes, huge fabrics… Everything seems worn out and ultra-used and the overall atmosphere is as if hope for the future is already a thing of the past.
With this text, Prophets of Furniture Bar celebrate their forty anniversary of official trajectory in which there could be no lack of a text of such an emblematic author of the second half of the twentieth century and who also worked in this company. A singular creator and actor who knew well the ins and outs, glories and servitude of the craft.
The play can be seen at The El Salinero Teatro in Arrecife on 19th June at 7.30 pm and tickets are 10 euros.
We return to visual art when the Grancanarian artist Pepa Sosa, within the context of the exhibition proposes to take us away from the conventional format of the an art catalogue to present us an artist’s book configured as a territory of artistic and poetic exploration in which images of the pieces and installations made in El Almacén are combined, as well as texts by the grancanaria creator around the processes of creation and personal reflection on that reference our notions of space, and ideas of home.
This artist’s book features photographs by Carlos Reyes and the graphic design and layout of Carmen Corujo.
The artist will be accompanied in this presentation by the art historian Estefanía Camejo, a wonderful, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and opinionated facilitaro and Pepe Betancort, writer, artist and facilitator. Again, this will be at Cic El Almacen at 7.00 pm as a free eventdependant upon reservation.
Places are limited for all of the above events and in most cases will be dependent upon reservation. This will be confirmed via the email provided. Application of safety and hygiene measures according to CURRENT COVID-19 regulations, as will be the case with all of these events in this article.
Nevertheless it all seems reason for us to be of good cheer and to raise our glasses of wine, g &t, beer or cups of Horlicks, to welcome back, at last, live arts.
How handy then that it was reported recently by Lancelot Digital that the President of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, María Dolores Corujo, and the Minister of Agriculture, Ángel Vázquez, have congratulated the well-known wineries La Geria and El Grifo for the success achieved in the international wine contest recently held in Croatia.
The President wanted to highlight the excellent quality of the wines made on the island and the effort made by wineries to maintain their wines at the highest level, even in difficult times.
´We must recognize the contribution of our wineries to the economy of Lanzarote, but also to our foreign promotion, to the development of the primary sector and, of course, to the conservation of a landscape that amazes and enchants all who visit us´, she said.
In this sense, the Minister of Agriculture, Ángel Vázquez, recalled the great connection between the Island and its wines. ´The wines of Lanzarote are exceptional ambassadors and that is why from the Cabildo we are working on measures that serve to boost their promotion and internationalization´.
On this occasion, three wines have been highlighted. The sweet vintage wine El Grifo Canari won the only Great Gold Medal of the international contest The World of Malvasía , while the references of the winery La Geria Antigua Malvasía Dulce 2005 and Manto Malvasía Volcánica 2019 obtained a Gold Medal and a diploma of Silver respectively.
The World of Malvasía has been held since 2009 under the organization of Vinistra (Association of Viticulturists and Winemakers of Istria and the Region of Istria) and is considered the most important Malvasia competition worldwide.
This event encompasses trends in the production and consumption of wines produced from indigenous varieties that, in turn, maintain a strong connection with the territory in which they thrive and are produced in limited quantities.