La Unión, in Murcia, is the setting for the world’s most important annual flamenco festival: the “Cante de las Minas” Festival. Song, dance and guitar playing are the three disciplines in an event packed with authentic flamenco, which backs upcoming young artists, and which also features consolidated stars of the genre. The town hosts 11 days of impassioned performances, competitions and lively parties. From 03/08/2012 to 12/08/2012.
The old La Unión Public Market is the site for this major festival, representing the flamenco history of the mining tradition in this area of Murcia. Flamenco is the absolute star of the event, which, since its creation in 1961, has promoted the musical genre in its most classical to contemporary, avant-garde incarnations. The presentation of and search for new artists is another of the event’s characteristics. It has also managed to recover a unique style of flamenco song and music which has had its roots in La Unión for 150 years, and which, just 40 years ago, was on the verge of disappearing for good.
The festival includes three final competitions, with the participation of young artists who have passed the qualifying stages over the course of several months. The longest-running section is for song, which also has the most relevance and prestige among the audience and singers, who compete for first prize – the “Miner’s Lamp”. The second competition is “el toque” – for guitar playing. The first prize here is the “Bordón Minero” trophy. These two disciplines are held simultaneously. The dance competition is the most recent addition, completing the three facets of flamenco expression. The festival programme is completed by gala performances, with shows by major stars of this musical genre.
Furthermore, over the course of the festival there are other parallel activities such as exhibitions, wine tastings, projections, flamenco soirées, literary presentations, poetry recitals, courses (guitar playing, dance and percussion) for different levels, and talks. Admission to all the festival’s parallel activities, including the flamenco soirées, is free, with limited availability. If you want to attend the gala performances or the final phases of the competition, there are various ways to purchase your tickets: either at the theatre box office on the day of the show, at the tourist office in La Unión, or on-line, if you wish to purchase in advance.
More information: www.fundacioncantedelasminas.org
Category: Spain festivals