Iberian Suite: Global Arts Remix
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
March 3 & 4 (continuing to March 24), 2015
by George Jackson
copyright © 2015 by George Jackson
This international festival spans the globe. From wherever Iberian culture flourished or fought - whether on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula or in Latin America or in far flung, foreign Africa and Asia - the festival’s curators have included influences on the art, fashion and food being featured at the Kennedy Center during much of the month of March i.e., beginning March 3 until March 24. The opening performance in the Eisenhower Theater on the evening of March 3 had a star studded cast and an audience of dignitaries including Spain’s Sovereign Emeritus, Juan Carlos I. On stage, one of the Kings of Dance - Spain’s and now Philadelphia’s Angel Corella - gave his farewell performance. Currently the director of The Pennsylvania Ballet, Corella appeared alongside his sister Carmen. Additional dance was provided by Brazil’s Grupo Corpo and, arguably, by Fado singer Carminho ‘s balanced stance on high platform pumps. Intriguing me in the program’s varied vocal and instrumental music was the extent to which the classical skills of projection and phrasing enable access even to popular and folk forms. Among the items on exhibit throughout Kennedy Center were traditional/innovative tile work (by Manuela Pimentel), an inviting cable car of cork (by Vhils) that, alas, was off limits, and just one men’s suit among the blue-and-white women’s gowns (designed by Portugal’s Storytailors). Shedding light on the exhibit of Pablo Picasso’s opulently diverse ceramics was an academic seminar at noon on March 4.