Felix Garcia, Spanish dance genius from Madrid, returns to his homeland after death

Libertad Digital has already coped with an increasingly attractive figure Felix Garcia in an article less than three months old, which may read here. Our Baker wrote:

Oh, I thought; how many times is a genius
so sleeps in the depths of the soul,
and a voice like Lazarus is waiting
tell him “Get up and go”!

The genius of Felix Garcia had to be very cheerful and lively, because he managed to attract and arouse admiration Manuel de Falla, Maurice Ravel, Picassowho drew him dancing, and most of the musicians, dancers and people who knew him when he was only 16 years old. He was promised heaven to share with his dance (farruka) of the miller in work triangular hat failures.

But after teaching Spanish dance to Russian dancers associated with a Russian promoter Sergei Diaghilev, a self-proclaimed ruthless guy, was suspended and eventually thrown into the hell of an English orphanage at the age of 16. Was Epsom Long Grove Psychiatric Hospital where he never left, even after his death in 1941. There he remains buried in the common area along with 9,000 other patients, hoping that the homeland, whose image and whose dance he helped exalt, will hear his suffering and return. his body to Madrid, where he was born.

His story was saved by a researcher, musician and professor Antonio Hernandez Morenoand presented in his recent book, now in English version, Thirty castanets for London, a meticulously documented biography of the tragedy of a dancer from Madrid who, while neither Andalusian, nor gypsy, nor a flamenco dancer, nor a lunatic, contributed, like very few others, to the development of Spanish dance and flamenco dance. The deceit of his insanity (and his early death, a lie told by a Russian tycoon to evade responsibility) destroyed his identity and his contributions to choreography, dance and music. Refusalwho recognized him by his own handwriting.

But in July 2022, 81 years after his death in an English asylum and 119 years after his birth, a group of musicians, singers and dancers led by Hernandez Moreno achieved this in the buildings of the old psychiatric hospital in Epsom, where he was imprisoned in 1919, his spirit came back to life, and his figure was finally justified. For several days, from 19 to 22 July, Felix Garcia escaped Becker’s verdict: “My God, the dead were left alone.”

In the restored rooms, now devoted to cultural events called Horton Arts CenterOn July 14, events were announced that were to take place in honor of Felix Garcia. it was said like this your note: “A series of classical music and dance concerts pays tribute to the tragic Spanish prodigy Felix Garcia, who was secretly exiled to Horton’s hideout in 1919, after the incident with the Russian Ballet.

Is “Spanish Season” (spanish season) is mainly sponsored by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Cahamurcia Foundation. The Spanish Embassy in London cooperated and expressed interest in future developments.

It included the following activities:

– The tragic story of Felix Garcia. Tuesday, July 19, 6:45 pm Talk and book presentation Thirty castanets for London in English by author and music director Antonio Hernandez Moreno.

– Spanish serenade. Tuesday, July 19, 20:00. Concert spanish serenade It is a celebration of classical music in which dance and song play a leading role, including works by Albéniz, Jiménez, Bizet and Falla.

– Master class of the Old Spanish School of Bowling with Cristina Cazorla. Wednesday, July 20, 9:30 am. Award-winning dancer and choreographer Christina Cazorla teaches the introductory techniques of the old Bolero dance school. Christina will demonstrate and teach the specific moves that make the Bolero style unique. Age 14+ and dance experience required

– Flamenco master class with Fran Serrano. Wednesday, July 20, 11:30 am Professional flamenco dancer Francisco Serrano Bermejo makes an introduction to some of flamenco’s most important palos. Age 14+ and dance experience required

– “Spanish Symphony”. Thursday, July 21, 20:00. This concert celebrates the Spanish classical music of the romantic and nationalist era, in which stylized dance and popular songs played a prominent role. It included works by the composers Granados, Ravel, Lalo, Iber, Falla and Albéniz, whose piano works were inspired by popular rhythms, written for salon concerts and stylized performed.

Musical fairy tales for children. Friday, July 22, 11:00 am Family concert for violin and piano with an announcer Luke Bromleytell stories about Ferdinand bull D Peter and the wolf from Prokofiev. “Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull named Ferdinando. He liked to sit quietly and sniff the flowers,” is how it begins.

Participated in the dance: Margherita Sanchez, Cristina Cazorla, Anael Orozco and Fran Serrano; in song: Tanya Duran, (soprano), Jennifer Ramirez (mezzo-soprano) and Luis Martinez-Agudo (bass); Violin: Rezart Kapetani; Piano: Jose Vicente Riquelme and Raul Martinez.

On one of the set days, an offering of flowers was made and a book about Felix Garcia (one in English and one in Spanish) was placed in the monolith that marks the mass grave where he is buried in grave without a name number 1624, level C, from the old cemetery Epsom Psychiatric Hospital, where those patients are buried whose funerals were not attended or were not undertaken by their families.

No Spanish authority or Spanish journalist prominent in Britain was present.

Where is the lonely stone
without any inscriptions
Where oblivion dwells
There will be my grave.

The audience present at the performances, numerous and enthusiastic, standing and celebrating for four days made the promoters cheer for them, and some final words reminded the Spanish dancer. They enjoyed a very intimate dance experience. A complete success for the Spanish artists and teachers who contributed to this event.

Felix Garcia is watching pending the repatriation of his remains to Madrid, where he was born and childhood, until the Russian ballet wove his misfortune, banishing him and consigning him to oblivion.

The performance of an abridged version of Ravel’s “Bolero” for piano four hands, a piece that the composer dedicated to Felix Garcia, managed to put the audience on its feet. This time, the spirit of the Spanish dancer has come out of the grave in anticipation of his return to Spain.


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