24 agosto, 2014

Today Sunday the third and final day of competitions of the Cante de las Minas in Japan took place, with the participation of another 32 hopefuls seeking the chance to go to La Unión in 2015.

On this occasion 23 women and one male dancer performed, joined by eight singers, a specialty not represented until now in the competition.

The contests of singing, dance and guitar of the Festival del Cante de las Minas held for three days in the capital of Japan could not have come out better. In addition to the 48 Japanese artists who participated in the competition on Friday and Saturday, today, Sunday, another 32 hopefuls joined them with the main attraction being that 8 of them were singers. Specifically, two women singers and six men performed, all of them singing in Spanish.

The rest, a total of 24, competed in flamenco dancing, the most widespread flamenco interest in Japan, in which women predominate.  In fact, of these 24 hopefuls on Sunday, only one was male.

The auditorium of the Nakano Zero Hall theater in Tokyo again had a full house to enjoy the art of all the participants in these contests, from which will be chosen those who shall represent their country in the Cante de las Minas 2015, when it reaches the 55th edition of the world’s leading flamenco event.

In the corridors of the theater this evening the excitement could be felt, and the enthusiasm of the artists and their families; to be able to travel to La Unión next year as a contestant in the Spanish Festival is a dream for every flamenco fan.

Now the challenge now is for the jury, who must choose from among the 80 participants in the competitions of Tokyo those lucky few who will obtain their direct pass to the semifinals of the Cante de las Minas.  The outcome is expected to be known in the coming hours.

Once the performances were over, the Coordinator of the Cante de las Minas Foundation, Manuel José Navarro Jiménez, who heads the Spanish expedition in Japan, again praised the work carried out by the Nippon Association of Flamenco, ANIF in the promotion of this art. Navarro recognized that the jury of the Spanish delegation and the experts provided by the ANIF will not have an easy time to select the winners, given the high level of many of the artists who have passed through the stage of the Nakano Zero Hall theater in Tokyo.

The enormous appeal of the art of flamenco in Japan has given rise to followers and admirers in the hundreds of thousands.  There are more than three thousand specialized schools devoted to its teaching, with more than one hundred thousand Japanese citizens taking courses.