A Summer in Flamenco
Jackie Cornwall, Kelly Lawlor and Adrián Brenes Ureba
Flamenco from the inside.
Today, Adrián Brenes is a flamenco dancer, beloved in Spain and abroad. But in the summer of 2012, he was at a crossroads, uncertain whether to take the sensible road to employment as a computer programmer or to follow the ‘profession of his heart’ and choose instead the uncertain path to life as a full-time flamenco bailaor.
In 2011, Welsh poet and playwright Jackie Cornwall saw Adrián dance at her local flamenco club in the picturesque Andalusian town of Vejer de la Frontera, and was captivated. When they finally met that autumn, one of those rare friendships began which transcend generation and culture. Their long conversation started online, but soon they were working together on the world’s first Shakespeare/ flamenco fusion show, a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. And when Jackie wanted to know more about the genre of flamenco, Adrián was only too glad to oblige. This book is the result.
The book charts Adrián’s progress through the most decisive summer of his life, in the context of a social and economic collapse which threatened every young person in Spain. As the summer progresses, his explanations expand Jackie’s understanding and provide for the reader a warm, personal and accessible introduction to the world of flamenco. Jackie’s and Adrian’s voices alternate, giving the book additional sparkle and Kelly Lawlor’s stunning photographs bring the summer to life in a poignant explosion of colour and movement. The book is for anyone who loves Spain or flamenco, but it is also a unique record of a time when the future of a whole generation hung in the balance.
‘When I started this book I knew absolutely nothing about Flamenco, except that I liked watching it and I had heard about Adrian as a dancer. I was absolutely enthralled by the book, combining not just the story of what it actually means to be ‘flamenco’. but also the story of how flamenco can be combined with Shakespeare to make a breath taking show! The photographs and illustrations add to the magic, taking us behind the scenes of this great art. I am so glad I read it!’
‘I’m really enjoying reading this fascinating book! It’s both funny and informative; addressing the history and range of the dance as well as Spain’s current economic climate and the choices made by a supremely talented, intelligent, thoughtful and humble young dancer. The personal perspectives of Jackie Cornwall and Adrián Brenes Ureba truly bring the story to life as do the action shots by Kelly Lawlor. I highly recommend it…a great read!’
‘A stunning book and a fascinating insight into the life of a super-talented flamenco dancer embarking on his career – I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
The photography is stunning and sets the scene for the book, and it’s interesting that the narrative is split into two – one voice is Jackie Cornwall’s, and the other is Adrian Brenes…. it works beautifully, and you learn not just about this particular chapter in Adrian’s life, but about life in this part of Spain in this moment in history.’
‘Reading this book is like having somebody take your hand and gently lead you through the world of flamenco’.
The book is available on Amazon
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Images from A Summer in Flamenco: click on the thumbnail to see them full-size.