Fringe: Fernando Maria (Matematicas de lo Jondo) interview

The renowned Charo Cala Flamenco Company use the language of flamenco dance and music to interpret the elemental and mystical themes of the film in Matematicas de lo Jondo. It features music by highly-respected Seville guitarist and composer Fernando María, with original lyrics/words by contemporary Andalusian poets.
AAA caught up with Fernando earlier this week for a chat.

  • How has your Fringe been so far?
Mostly it has been really good. There is so much on offer here, from all over the world – it is a great cultural experience.  Flyering in the rain is not so much fun, but I am glad that some of our Spanish sunshine seems to have come with us.
  • Tell me a bit about the show you’re in?
It is a show which uses the sensual language of contemporary flamenco to reimagine some of the themes in Jose Val Del Omar’s film masterpiece Triptico Elemental de Espana – scenes from which are projected on a huge screen behind the dancers. The Charo Cala Flamenco company is one of Spain’s leading flamenco companies and Charo herself is a magnetic performer. We have toured this show all over Spain and it is great to have this opportunity to show it to audiences outside our own country.
  • What’s the audience reaction been so far?

The audience reaction has been great, hugely enthusiastic and we’ve had many standing ovations. It is very moving to hear that we have touched people with our performance. It would be nice if we could get more people before the end of the run!  It is a beautiful venue and it is a great setting for our show.

  • You’ve had some great reviews – do you read them?

Si! Of course.

  • There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

Our show is different from everything else. There are some other flamenco performers at the Fringe but Matematicas is a dramatic full scale production with film, beautiful lighting and top rank dancers, singers (and guitarists!), direct from Seville. We know from what the people who have already been have said, that they will have a great time!

  • Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

They are both EIF productions – the Magic Flute by Komische Oper Berlin, which blends animated film and live action in a spectacular kaleidoscope of 1920s silent movies, Weimar cabaret, the dark humour of Edward Gorey and German expressionism.

And one which is no longer running but which we attended last week – Israel Galván’s Lo Real. It is a really ambitious piece and Galván is such a breathtaking artist, at the top of his powers.

  • What’s on your hit list to see?

It is not on at the festival but I would love to see Marcus Miller at the Usher Hall in October. (Does that count??)

  • What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I like to take time off completely and relax with a beer

  • Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?
Definitely the Cameo Bar. It’s very near our venue (Central Hall) and it has become our unofficial office and our favourite spot for a beer or a coffee to wind down after the show. It has some very comfortable sofas, and nice little corners. It never seems too noisy, even when it’s busy, and the staff are very helpful.
  • What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen this year?

The Mervyn Stutter Pick of the Fringe Show – we were guests on last Sunday’s show. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great concept, but there is nothing like it in Spain, or any other festivals that I know, where you get tasters of several productions, all packed into the one show.  They run it very well, and take a lot of effort to make the performances look and sound as good as possible, and to encourage their audience to go and see the shows they select.

Matematicas de lo Jondo, Central Hall (Venue 295), until August 31, 8.30pm (Aug 30, 9.30pm),