Encuentro Flamenco 1981-82 | Report

Paco Peña - 1983


Since it’s beginning, the Centro has benefited from the collaboration of the Cordoba Town Council, the Minstry of Culture and the Minstry of Foreign Affairs. The idea has been well-received by the local and international media.
The success of activities to date constitutes a solid foundation which encourages first class artists to be interested in offering their collaboration. As predicted, the program for 1983 is more ambitious than the previous two and includes the participation of some of the greatest guitarists in the world, including those of the classical guitar.
We believe that the Centro Flamenco Paco Peña in Cordoba will fill a large void and build a bridge between the music of Andalucia and the rest of the world. We believe, therefore, that it is a valuable contribution and represents a prestigious venture for Andalucia and for Spain.
The venture needs significant support to ensure a high quality of program and for it’s complete development.
The idea of a Centro Flamenco in Cordoba was conceived in 1980.
Paco Peña is an artist who has been dedicated to performing flamenco guitar concerts for more than fifteen years. Although he was born and brought up in Spain, his activities span the world.
In 1980 he thought of ofering his life experience in the arts and putting it into practice in Cordoba, where he spends a few months each year. So began the idea of creating the ‘Centro Flamenco Paco Peña’, whose aim is to provide a full range of activities related fundamentally to the Art of Flamenco, although including other musical disciplines for which we feel great concern, as we will discuss later.
Firstly, our goal is to provide a centre of great importance – a place that could one day become the inevitable destination for any aficionado or student of flamenco culture in order to reinforce their knowledge or moreover to collaborate using their own creations. In short, a centre to spread and preserve the culture of this hugely important artform in all it’s incarnations. However, we believe that the guitar should have a special emphasis in our program, both in it’s value as a flamenco instrument and it’s value as a Spanish classical instrument in general.
The initial activity of the Centro was the creation of the First Encuentro Flamenco: a program of guitar seminars for interested students from around the world, during July and August of 1981, directed by Paco Peña. In addition to the courses – that is, the actual teaching – a program of complementary activities took place, such as conferences, guitar and singing recitals and flamenco dance shows. We also organised visits to other festivals, Peña’s wineries etc in Cordoba city and province, with the aim of offering foreign visitors the opportunity to have direct contact with our people and culture.
The idea of the First Flamenco Encuentro spread to a national level through the Cordoba delegate for the Ministry of Culture. It was discussed in the local and national radio and media and was discovered by the television channel ‘Telesur’. Internationally, it was advertised in numerous guitar publications among them the magazines ‘Guitar’ of London, ‘Jaleo’ in the United States, ‘Gitarre und Laute’ in germany etc. The Centro has the support of an extensive list of individuals, music centres, universities, conservatories, peña’s etc who were contacted opportunely. Paco Peña spread the word personally through his own concert tours around the world and in diverse press, radio and television interviews. 
The Town Hall supported the idea in two ways. Firstly through financial backing and secondly, through accepting the proposal made at the time that the Posada del Potro be made available to house the courses, recitals etc.
Aims of the First Flamenco Encuentro
The main aim of the First Flamenco Encuentro was to establish the existence of the Centro and the fucntion of the same to provide activities to promote, stengthen, teach and spread flamenco culture. This aim was decidedly achieved, with the result that the Centro, like the Encuentro Flamenco, are now internationally recognised. Another parallel aim was to establish a focus draw during certain months and make Cordoba as enticing as possible during those months to ensure the maximum number of visitors. 
We consider this  to be a very important aspect of our work as we plan to extend our business and realise, in the near future, other ideas we are already developing and that we hope will place Cordoba in an important position in the modern world of music. As you will see, several of them are already part of our 1983 program.
Work Plan for the Guitar Seminars 
The First Flamenco Encuentro took place between 20 July and 16 August 1981 in the posada del Potro. Four intensive courses in guitar lasting one week each took place. The timetable for these was 10.30 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Saturday.
The teaching involved helping each guitarist to improve their knowledge of flamenco and their technique. In addition to studying the guitar in itself we gave classes on accompaniment for dance, with the collaboration of Inmaculada Aguilar professor of dance in the Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático y Danza de Córdoba and accompaniment to singing, with the help of the guitarist and singer Jaime Luque.
68 students attended from 15 countries, namely:
Holland, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Singapore, USA, Chile, Ireland, Finland, Japan and Canada.
It is worth noting that many of the participants in the courses were accompanied by other people.
Complementary Activities 
The program of complementary acivities of the First Flamenco Encuentro consisted of 10 different events on eight evenings in the patio of the Posada del Potro. These events were free ,not only for course attendees but also for the general public, and they were very successful.
The Second Flamenco Encuentro took place between 12 July and 7 August 1982 in the Posada del Potro, as the organizational structure was similar to the first. There were, however, several changes, namely:
1 .The courses lasted two weeks each, that is, two courses in one month. 
2. At the same time as the guitar course, a dance course was run by the dance professor Inmaculada Aguilar. 
3. A course for less advanced guitarists was also taught by the Cordoba-based teacher, Fernando Carranza.
The program of complementary events consisted of 14 performances over 11 evenings, also with great public success. 
80 people from 16 countries attended the Second Flamenco Encuentro: 
Holland, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, USA , Ireland, Finland, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Iran and Japan.
It is important to underline that in this second year the General Director of the Minstry of Foreign Affairs offered a hugely valuable aid to the Centro, awarding 6 scholarships, of 35,000 Pesetas each, to students selected by the Centro with the collaboration of a panel of judges comprising emminent international guitarists. Es importante resaltar que en este segundo ano la Dirección General de Relaciones Culturales del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores otorgó al Centro una valiosísirna ayuda, concediendo 6 becas, de 35.000 pts. cada una, a los estudiantes seleccionados por el Centro con la colaboración de un jurado compuesto por eminentes guitarristas internacionales. The Centro considers the awarding of these scholarships to be of great value, given that they attest to the recognition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the artistic-cultural work we are undertaking and especially as they represent a support for the international focus of our activity. 

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