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La Revista The BritishSpanish Society Magazine | Issue 240 | Summer 2015

Sense of

Adventure Discover Nature: Mountains, trekking and rural escapes PLUS Flamenco, Galician piper Carlos Núùez and Spanish rugby



f there is a loose theme to this issue it’s the natural world: whether this means taking time to explore surrounding landscapes, seeking out adventures, or simply appreciating the richness that the wild can bring. Sometimes this involves a challenge: this issue BritishSpanish Society trustee Jose Ivars Lopez tells us why he is embarking on a climb of Nepal’s awe-inspiring mountain in November. In some cases taking on a challenge takes on spiritual meaning. Many readers will be familar with stories of the Camino de Santiago route through northern Spain, but have a look on page 21 to see why Brian Mooney chose to take a different sort of pilgrimage, starting in Madrid and walking all the way up through France and on home to London. If that all sounds a bit exhausting turn to page 26 for regular contributor and blogger Estefanía Ruilope’s guide to Spain’s best casas rurales which offer tranquility and breathtaking views to restore even the most weary of spirits. In the UK, David Hurst’s tips on places to visit are particularly good for families looking for mini adventures in the English countryside. Recent Society events covered in this issue include a special dinner at the Garrick Club with the Financial Times’ editor Lionel Barber, and an exclusive trip to Toledo, all as part of the build-up to next year’s centenary celebrations – there has never been a better time to be a member. That’s not all... we have music – an interview with Galician piper Carlos Núñez; dance – Graham Watt’s lively review of London’s annual flamenco festival; travel – from Valladolid to Ecuador; and sport – the history of rugby in Spain. The first of a new science section, part of an exciting collaboration with the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK, begins on page 36, and Laura Gran speaks to food curator Marta Arzak about the cultural significance of eating together, which brings to mind picnics, barbeques and sunny terrazas now that it’s officially summer, the perfect incentive to get outside!

Amy Bell

La Revista Executive Editor: Jimmy Burns Marañón Editor: Amy Bell Corporate Supporters/Advertising/Scholarships: Marian Jiménez-Riesco Development Secretary: María Soriano Casado Events: Carmen Young, Lucia Cawdron, David Hurst (Gala events), Beatriz Gago Vazquez, Elisa Ramírez Pérez (Secretaries) Membership, Finance, and Website Secretary: Virginia Cosano Design: Amy Bell Spanish proofing: Laura Gran

Published by the BritishSpanish Society Honorary President: His Excellency Federico Trillo-Figueroa, Spanish Ambassador Chairman: Jimmy Burns Marañón Vice-Chairman: Sir Stephen Wright Vice-Presidents (Organisation/Strategy): Christopher Nason, José Ivars (Corporates) Juan Reig Mascarell (Treasurer) Other members of the Executive Council: Fidel López Alvarez (ex-officio), Paul Pickering, Scott Young, Julio Crespo MacLennan (ex-officio), María Victoria Yuste Gas, Javier Fernández Hidalgo, Lady Brennan, Miguel Fernández-Longoria (Scholarships), Sarah Galea, Harriet McKenzie, Miles Johnson, Roberto Weeden-Sanz, Morlin Ellis, Eva Sierra, Lorenzo Melchor 102 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AN

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Contact us:

For all editorial contributions or to comment on an article you have read in La Revista, please write to us at: To enquire about advertising opportunities (including classified adverts) please contact: The BritishSpanish Society is delighted to welcome new Executive Committee members: Miles Johnson, Financial Times journalist (Hedge Fund Correspondent and former Madrid Correspondent) Roberto Weeden-Sanz, President of Oxford University Students’ Union Morlin Ellis, Chair, ARTES Juan Reig Mascarell, Managing Director at JP Morgan Maite Aguirre, Spanish concert pianist and conductor



Carolina Jiménez

Christy Callaway-Gale

Jose Ivars-Lopez

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Jimmy Burns Marañón

Brian Mooney

Jules Stewart

Highlights from recent Society events Garrick Club dinner with Lionel Barber Scholarship awards Obituary: Arthur Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington Sport and physical culture in the creation of Catalan national identity Trip to Toledo

12 15 The summer party FEATURES

David Hurst

Sonja Davison

James Stout

16 Review: London’s flamenco festival at Sadler’s Wells

19 Review: Joan Manuel Serrat at the Barbican 21 Cross-border Trekking: On Foot from

Gloria Ceballos

Issue 240 Contributors

Estefanía Ruilope

Claudia Rubiño

Dominic Begg

Graham Watts

Laura Gran

Duncan Wheeler

Bess Twiston-Davies

Simon Courtauld

Kumar Rege

Elisa Ramírez Pérez

Morlin Ellis BritishSpanish

@BritishSpanish @LaRevistaUK Francisco González Redondo

24 26 29 30

Madrid to London

Living Ecuadorian Escapadas rurales Secretos de Valladolid La naturaleza, un artefacto cultural & The Great Bustard finds a new home in Spain Rugby in Spain

31 34 Los científicos españoles en el Reino Unido: un panorama histórico

37 38 39 42

Carlos Núñez: From Galicia to Hampshire The art of eating together The painted countenance of liberty Mountain adventures: climbing in the Himalayas

The opinions expressed throughout this issue represent those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the BritishSpanish Society or those of their supporters. The BritishSpanish Society is a registered charity: 1080250

Cover photo: Ama Dablam by Tim Mosedale

Summer 2015 • La Revista  3


Society Events 2015 FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival Oxford


BritishSpanish Society and British Chamber of Commerce Dinner El Gran Cafe, Barcelona


ritishSpanish Society Chairman Jimmy Burns Marañón spoke at an inaugural joint dinner held on 16th March organised by the BritishSpanish Society and the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain. The fund-raising and networking dinner was held in El Gran Cafe, one of Barcelona’s longest established and most popular modernist restaurants in the heart of the city’s Gothic quarter. The unique setting guaranteed an enthusiastic turn-out and a convivial evening which was much enjoyed by all attending. The event drew a full house of guests – members and local supporters of the Society, some of whom had travelled from London for the event, and members of the Chamber, including leading British and Spanish executives from London, Barcelona, and Madrid. Among the VIPs were representatives of the British Consulate in Barcelona, FC Barcelona and the Catalan regional government, among them the sister of fooball coach Pep Guardiola. Guests enjoyed a traditional welcome with glass of Cava followed by a delicious menu of Catalan cuisine. Burns spoke enthusiastically about the Society’s membership growth and im-

proved organisation and referred to the upcoming centenary in 2016 which he said would be an opportunity to celebrate achievements and build a solid foundation for the future. The event marked growing cooperation between the BritishSpanish Society and the Chamber as the Society increases its presence in Spain, as well as the UK. Both organisations are planning a follow-up with a joint event in Madrid next year. Burns spoke as the author of a critical history of FC Barcelona. He shared the extensive knowledge about the football world he acquired as a long serving FT journalist and author, whilst simultaneously providing a critique on the topic of what he described as Spain’s most politicised club. His talk was followed by a lively discussion with several guests agreeing that Spanish football generally faced not only competitive challenges but also reputational ones, with several clubs, including FC Barcelona, facing allegations of irregular payments on transfer deals, bribes, and tax avoidance. By our social affairs correspondent

Private viewing: Miró exhibition. Photos by Iris Rodríguez Lago

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he Society was a supporting partner of this year’s festival, which ran a special programme of events dedicated to Spain. In a panel discussion entitled ‘The Secret War in Spain’, Jimmy Burns Marañón discussed spy operations during World War II with David Leibler from Queen Mary, University of London, and Peter Martland from the University of Cambridge – two leading experts in diplomacy and intelligence operations during the period. Burns talked about his father’s work as a press attaché for the British Embassy in Madrid during World War II (also the subject of his book Papa Spy). They discussed Britain and Spain’s contributions to the war effort, with particular

attention to the role of Sir Samuel Hoare, the chief of the British military mission in Rome (1917-18) who went on to serve as British Ambassador to Spain during World War II. Elsewhere, author and journalist William Chislett spoke about the life of Spanish writer Arturo Barea (1897-1957), known for writing the autobiographical trilogy translated as The Forging of a Rebel. Barea fled Madrid during the Spanish Civil War and came to Oxfordshire in England as an exile in 1939. Chislett also spoke separately on ‘Spain’s crisis: the state of play’, covering the country’s current political, economic and social outlook.

SOCIETY NEWS The Amazing World of Espionage in 1940s Spain The Embassy Cafe, Madrid. Conferencia organizada por UKAN

BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair private tour Jimmy Burns, BSS Chairman and Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain, with Embassy tea room waitresses at The Embassy cafe in Madrid


A special tour by Paul Pickering of Hampstead gem Kenwood House

Pimms o’ clock at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Visiting Christopher Wren Churches in the City of London

l salón de té y restaurante The Embassy es conocido no sólo por la calidad de su servicio sino también por haber sido el lugar de acogida de espías, colaboradores o simplemente ciudadanos británicos en la Madrid de los años 40, en unas fechas en las que los extranjeros en Madrid se buscaban por los distintos rincones y cafés según sus nacionalidades o apoyos políticos a unas creencias u otras. La historia de aquellos años nos resulta fascinante por parecernos romántica, extrema, llena de contradicciones y rápida, muy rápida. Las gentes vivían los acontecimientos con pasión, la neutralidad casi un milagro en una España mortalmente herida tras una guerra entre familias y una Europa que entraba en Segunda Guerra Mundial. Tom Burns (padre), ya conocido como periodista y escritor, fue destinado a España como primer secretario y press attaché de la Embajada Británica, una magnífica tapadera para su verdadera función, la de evitar que el Régimen se aliara con Hitler. Su función durante esta etapa de la historia, ahora descubierta tras una ardua investigación por su hijo Jimmy Burns Marañon, chairman del BritishSpanish Society nos descubre las intrigas de la época y muestra un perfil muy distinto del esperado. Fue Churchill quien le confió una de las más difíciles tareas, mantener a Franco en el poder como precio a pagar para garantizar la que España se mantenía al margen de una alianza con Alemania. Desde el cariño de un hijo por su padre, pudimos apreciar los retos, las contradicciones, las intrigas y la importancia de la misión de su padre. Burns nos relató sus primeros descubrimientos sobre las actividades de su padre, sus investigaciones tras haber decidido que escribiría Papa Spy y el camino recorrido hasta terminar esta magnífica novela biográfica . Han pasado ya 70 años desde entonces pero fue capaz de entrevistar a algunos de los chicos que se ocupaban de distribuir la progaganda salida de las manos de su padre y amigos británicos informando a la población con otro punto de vista del presentado por la propaganda oficial. También nos contó algunas curiosidades como el hecho de que el mismo sitio en el que estábamos, The Embassy, era el lugar donde se escondían los refugiados judíos escapados de Alemania, antes de dirigirse a otros destinos. La velada, organizada por UKAN, la asociación de exalumnos británicos en España, reunió a miembros de esta asociación y de la BritishSpanish Society. Entre nuestros asistentes estuvo el Embajador Británico, Simon Manley, siempre atento a cualquier evento interesante. Las imágenes muestran la animación, el lugar y el magnífico uniforme de las camareras. Hasta pronto Jimmy, muchas gracias por tu saber y tu gracia compartiéndolo con nosotros. Carolina Jiménez Head Higher Education & Society, British Council Spain

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An Evening at the Garrick Club

A private dinner with special guest speaker Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times.


inancial Times Editor Lionel Barber was the guest of honour at a private dinner organised on Monday 13th April by the BritishSpanish Society at London’s Garrick Club. Speaking without notes, Barber gave an incisive and entertaining speech, peppered with amusing anecdotes, entitled ‘Europe and the New Politics – the challenge for Spain and the UK’ and later engaged in an extensive question and answer session. Drawing on his personal experience and professional instincts, Barber gave a broadly upbeat assessment of the political and economic prospects in both countries, saying that the British had got used to coalition government, while Spain was “not Greece” – a country important players in Europe were losing patience with. On the subject of Scotland and Catalonia and the broader context of security in Europe, Barber warned of the dangers of divisive nationalism and the challenges

of restoring the accountability and credibility of democratic process, and managing relations with Putin’s Russia. The dinner was attended by British and Spanish executives from the world of diplomacy, arts, politics, law, business, banking and communications. Entities represented included BBVA, Santander, Telefonica, Ferrovial, Allen & Overy, Acciona, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the UK Construction Industry Council, Mitsui & Co Europe, and the Spanish Embassy in London. The guest list also included former British ambassadors in Spain, Sir Stephen Wright and Dame Denise Holt; communications guru Patrick Harverson; the chairman of the Critics’ Circle, Dance Section and National Dance Awards Graham Watts; Morlin Ellis, chair of the Iberian arts and visual arts charity ARTES; two members of the House of Lords, Lord Tristan GarelJones (Conservative) and Lord Brennan (Labour); Josep Suarez head of the Catalan delegation in the UK; and Hugh Elliot, director of communications at the Foreign Office. In his welcome address, the Society’s chairman Jimmy Burns, who is a member of the Garrick, thanked the Society’s principal corporate partners for their ongoing support for the scholarship programme, paid tribute to the editorship of his former FT colleague Barber, and described the newspaper as the best in the world, noting its motto, ‘Beyond Fear or Favour.’ The dinner was held as part of an ongoing programme of events celebrating the Society’s centenary next year. By our social affairs correspondent

Dame Denise Holt, Patrick Harverson, Lionel Barber, Jimmy Burns Marañón

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“Barber gave a broadly upbeat assessment of the political and economic prospects in both countries”

SOCIETY NEWS El Serpentine Pavilion recibe un toque español


l estudio español SelgasCano, artífice del 15º Serpentine Pavilion El Serpentine Pavilion, inaugurado el pasado 25 de junio, está concebido como punto de encuentro social, cafetería y espacio multifuncional donde poder realizar una amplia diversidad de eventos. En otras palabras, está ideado como un lugar de referencia para todos los públicos durante el verano. Sin embargo, no todos sus visitantes acuden para disfrutar de las opciones culturales y de entretenimiento que ofrece. El Serpentine Pavilion es una de las diez obras de arquitectura más vistas del mundo y, a nivel profesional, el primer trabajo en el Reino Unido para arquitectos de renombre mundial. En este contexto se entiende la importancia de que la Serpentine Galleries invitara al estudio español SelgasCano a diseñar la décimo quinta estructura que, como en años anteriores, se ubicará en Kensington Gardens, dentro de Hyde Park. La obra, con una forma que podría recordar a una crisálida, tiene diversas entradas, y cada una de ellas permite un viaje específico caracterizado por sus propios colores, luces, volúmenes y formas irregulares. La estructura consiste en una cáscara de doble capa, de plásticos ETFE oscuros y traslúcidos en una diversidad de colores. SelgasCano es el primer estudio español al que se le encarga el diseño de este pabellón, que estará abierto al público hasta el próximo 18 de octubre. De esta forma, se unen a la lista de reputados arquitectos elegidos para proyectarlo, entre ellos: Frank Gehry, en el 2003; Rem Koolhaas y Cecil Balmond en el 2006; Sou Fujimoto en el 2013 y Smiljan Radić en el 2014.

two of them as ambassador in Nicaragua and Lithuania. His work as Minister Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, while based in the English capital, took him around the UK and Ireland in support of a variety of Hispanic projects. As an ex-officio member of the Executive Council of the British Spanish Society, Mr López Álvarez played an active role in advising and helping raise funds for a range of activities organised by the charity, from concerts to publications – a role expected to be carried on by his successor. (Details to follow in next issue of La Revista.) As an active diplomat for ‘Brand Spain’, as well as a confirmed anglophile, he also enthusiastically backed the Society’s policy of building cooperation agreements with other bi-cultural organisations like the Association of Spanish Scientists in the UK and British academics in the visual and arts group ARTES. Chairman Jimmy Burns Marañón told the Society’s annual summer party last month that the charity owed Mr López Álvarez a great debt of thanks for his generous support over the last five years.


September - December 2015

Our full programme of events can be found at More details of upcoming events will be posted online and sent out to BSS members, but here is a taste of what is planned so far:

Laura Gran

The Society bids farewell to a friend

Churchill & Spain exhibition

Gracias to Fidel, a great friend of the British Spanish Society


he cultural and scientific attaché at the Spanish embassy in London, Fidel López Álvarez is returning to Spain after serving five years in the UK. Mr López Álvarez, a career diplomat for over four decades, arrived in London in December 2009 after serving in various posts,

Social Evening at The Haciendas Club Wednesday 23rd September Society of Spanish Researchers joint event Thursday 1st October National Gallery Goya: The Portraits private tour Tbc Saturday 9th October ‘Churchill & Spain: From Cuba to Post-War Europe’ Exclusive reception, private viewing, and premier of special exhibition 14th - 23rd October, Hispania Restaurant, London Autumn Concert and Goya Art Presentation joint event with Artes Wednesday 18th November Gala of Spanish Dance & Dancers Thursday 26th November Christmas Party December, date tbc Celebration of Sherry Exclusive sherry tasting with worldwide known expert and speaker Beltran Domecq Williams, the President of the CRDO Jerez-Xeres-Sherry y Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda. Tbc April 2016.

Hispania, London

Why not become a member of the BritishSpanish Society? Summer 2015 • La Revista  7


Scholarship Awards Ceremony

The winners of this year’s scholarships were presented with their certificates at a ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in London.

Deputy chairman of the BritishSpanish Society Sir Stephen Wright and Spanish Ambassador HE Federico Trillo-Figueroa

lives and how to improve their services and infrastructures through interventions in the urban form and service structure. Enrique Gallego Colón received the Santander Universities medicine scholarship for his PhD research on gene therapy and myocardial infarction at Imperial College of London (in close collaboration with the Spanish Centre of Cardiovascular Research), which is considering a patent on his gene therapy approach designed to improve therapeutic strategies to limit cardiac tissue damage and enhance cardiac muscle growth and regeneration via insulin growth factor


he first scholarship was awarded by BBVA to Caroline Gray for her PhD research on politics and finance at the University of Liverpool. Having studied Modern Languages at Oxford University, she shifted to politics after an eye-opening internship at the British Embassy in Spain and working for the Financial Times' Debtwire as a financial reporter and analyst covering Spain during the economic crisis. Her research focuses on regional financing and national politics in Catalonia and the Basque Country, where she has been living for the past two years.

Lucía Cerrada and Cecilia Miravalles de Aldecoa from Ferrovial

splicing variant “X” (IGF1--‐SV). He had previously studied for his BSc in Biology and MSc in Biotechonology at the Univerisidad de Barcelona and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid respectively. The Santander Universities humanities scholarship was awarded to Diego Rubio, current University of Oxford PhD student in the department of History and Hispanic Studies. After his BA in History at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and his MA at the École Normale Supérieure de LHS in France,

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he joined Oxford both as a PhD student and lecturer on a broad array of topics to do with Spain, its history and culture. His PhD research covers Early Modern British and Spanish history of information and secrecy, for which he is analising more than 200 moral and political treaties written by both British and Spanish authors in the Early Modern period. Juan Barahona received Telefónica’s award. He is studying for his Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at the Royal College of Music. His project focuses on Isaac Albéniz's minor piano pieces (La Vega and Azulejos particularly), which

Juan Barahona and Antonio Martí from Telefónica

Mr Barahona believes are as superb and musically rich as Albéniz's most acclaimed compositions and therefore deserve recognition outside Spain. He had previously graduated from Oviedo's conservatory, Reina Sofía Musical School and completed a postgraduate degree at the Royal College of Music.

Philip Paddack from BBVA with Caroline Gray

Ferrovial awarded their scholarship to Lucía Cerrada, a PhD student at University College of London working on an engineering and planning studies project. She studied Architecture at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, completed an MA at Universidad Politéctica de Barcelona and studied for one year at Lund Tekniska Högskola in Sweden. Her current research focuses on the so-called inbetween cities, that is, the peripheries of major cities where most of the population

Diego Rubio with Simon Bray from Santander

Enrique Gallego Colón and Simon Bray from Santander Universities

The BritishSpanish Society would like to thank its corporate supporters: BBVA, Ferrovial, Santander Universities and Telefónia for their continuing support. By Elisa Ramírez Peréz

Obituary: Arthur Valerian Wellesley, the 8th Duke of Wellington 1915 - 2014


rthur Valerian Wellesley, the 8th Duke of Wellington, who died aged 99 on the 31st of December, had an enduring love of Spain, which honoured the memory of his great ancestor, the British commander and hero of the Peninsular War fought between the allied powers of Spain, Britain and Portugal and Napoleon. (1807–1814). The Duke had a distinguished military service both during World War II and its aftermath and served as military attaché in Madrid between 1964 and 1967 at a time when Franco’s Spain was developing its break from international isolationism with the advent of mass tourism. As noted in an obituary published in the Daily Telegraph, “he was in the unusual position of being a diplomat in a country where he was heir to a title (Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo) and to 2,500 acres”, which had been conferred on the 1st Duke by the Spanish people in thanks for helping their liberation from French rule. After he returned to the UK, he became a supporter of the Anglo-Spanish Society (subsequently renamed the BritishSpanish Society). He collaborated with distinguished members like Sir John Balfour, British ambassador to Madrid during the 1950s, and Hugh Ellis-Rees, another experienced hispanist and Foreign Office

veteran who became the Society’s honorary vice-president. Even in advanced age, the Duke maintained an enduring interest in the affairs of the Society, sending an apology note regretting his non-attendance at a Gala event in the House of Commons just months before his death last December. Those invited to his private funeral at the family estate’s Stratfield Saye Chapel on January 8th for relatives and close friends, included Dona Carmen Araoz de Urquijo, currently one of the Society’s patrons. His coffin, draped in the Union Jack, was carried by soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment – formerly the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. He had died peacefully in his nearby Hampshire home, just four months before the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, the battle which made his ancestor famous.

Arthur Valerian Wellesley was born in Rome on the 2nd of July 1915, the centenary year of his great-great-grandfather’s victory over the French at Waterloo. His father was Lord Gerald Wellesley, the third son of the 4th Duke, an author and diplomat who later qualified as an architect and succeeded as the 7th Duke in 1943. Wellesley’s mother was Dottie Ashton, a wealthy industrialist’s daughter and poet who married her husband in 1914 and published a volume of letters from the poet WB Yeats and another containing her letters to him after his death. He was educated at Eton and later studied History and Languages at New College, Oxford, before being commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards. During World War II he served with the 1st Household Cavalry, seeing active service in the Middle East. The citation for his Military Cross declared, “this officer’s conduct throughout the operations in Syria was exceptionally gallant and he was a magnificent example to all ranks of his squadron.” Wellesley took part in the battle of Alamein before being wounded when a “brew-

“Even in advanced age, the Duke maintained an enduring interest in the affairs of the Society”

up” of tea exploded. It was in late 1943 that he learned that his cousin, the 6th Duke, his elder by three years, had been killed with the Commandos at Salerno. Wellesley’s father succeeded as the 7th Duke, and he began to use the title Marquess Douro. After the Second World War, he served with the British military in Germany and Cyprus. He retired from the army in 1968 in the rank of brigadier and in 1972 succeeded as the 8th Duke, inheriting, among other land and residences, the ducal hunting estate near Granada. The Duke’s many appointments included being the last Colonel-in-Chief of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment; president of the Game Conservancy; a director of Massey Ferguson; a trustee of the Royal Armouries; and a governor of Wellington College. As well as receiving several honours in the UK – appointed LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) in 1952, OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1957 and KG (Knight of the Garter) in 1990 – he was also an officer of the French Legion of Honour, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael of the Wing in Portugal, and of the Order of Isabel the Catholic in Spain. He is succeeded by the eldest of his four sons, Charles, the former Marquess of Douro – now the 9th Duke of Wellington – a former MEP, who was born in 1945 and married Princess Antonia von Preussen, a great-granddaughter of the last German Emperor. The 9th Duke of Wellington has become a patron of the Society. The current British ambassador to Madrid, Simon Manley is the Society’s new honorary vice-president. By Jimmy Burns Marañón

Missing Pamplona statue found in New York


missing life-size bronze Roman statue discovered in Pamplona, Spain, in 1895 reappeared recently in New York after more than a century. Manuel Olcina, curator of the Alicante Archaeological Museum, learnt of the 1st century AD statue’s whereabouts at a conference in Germany. The statue is known as Pompaelo, the Roman name for Pamplona. “Carol Mattusch of George Mason University recognised the photo I showed her and said it was in the collection of John Kluge until 2010,” says Olcina. “We don’t know how it found its way to the US, but this is a unique statue. Bronze was usually melted down to mint coins.”

Kluge bought it from New York’s Royal Athena Galleries. It was exhibited in the Fires of Hephaistos exhibition which Mattusch curated in 1996. From there it went to auction at Christie’s in 2010. “The piece was unsold in that sale and was returned to the consignor,” says Max Bernheimer of Christie’s. The Spanish government is trying to determine if the statue was illegally exported from Spain. “So far no one has demanded for the statue’s return,” says a Ministry of Culture spokeswoman. “We are going to ask the police to investigate this case.” By Jules Stewart

Summer 2015 • La Revista  9


Sport and Physical Culture in the creation of Catalan national identity

Scholarship award-winner James Stout reveals part of the history behind modern day Catalonia.

1943 poster for volta a catalunya


was fortunate enough to receive funding from Banco Santander and the BritishSpanish Society in order to research the use of sports and physical culture in the creation of Catalan national identity during the Second Republic. Undoubtedly a niche area for research, this is nonetheless useful and relevant to the present day. The Second Republic was a tumultuous time for Spain, with political and national identities being created and changed, as well as expanding their constituencies. Catalonia and the Basque country were enjoying unprecedented levels of independence from Madrid and, for the first time politics was a concern of the whole population and not just of the so-called “political classes”. Given the nationalist bent of politics in Catalonia, the previously bourgeois nature of Catalan nationalism, the diversity of languages and backgrounds of the working classes in Catalonia and the propensity that these same classes showed towards anarchism and direct action, the Catalan nationalists were in a difficult position: in order for a nation to exist it must be what Anderson has termed an “imagined community”, that is to say that people must feel that they share something with other members of the nation even when they have never met them. Anderson suggested that this bond would be best formed by the spread of the press and “print capitalism”; however this was

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not possible given the inability of many of the working classes to speak Catalan, and the political divisions which divided the many newspapers at the time. It is my contention that, through physical culture and sports the Catalan nation was given a solid and tangible body; both as participants and spectators people learned to be Catalan through physical culture and sports. My research focuses on the groups which made this possible as well as a case study of the Volta a Catalunya, a regional cycle race. The Volta provides a fascinating and unique case study. Whereas most sports occur in the confines of what Bale has termed “placeless” stadia, cycling does not. Bicycle races occur on the roads and mountains which make up a nation. This allows for the unique opportunity for drawing attention to cultural sites, landscapes and places which make up the nation’s self image. The distances covered in bicycle races also allow them to “beat the bounds” of a given community, defining what lies within and what lies outside the community. Such elite sporting events also allow for the construction of national ideal types; through media representations of Catalan cyclists we can gain an insight into the way in which the Catalans saw themselves, the character traits which they prized as typical of their nation and the physical characteristics they saw as desirable. Having established this ideal type we can also observe the youth groups existing at the same time which aimed to inculcate values and characteristics which were desirable into the youth of Catalonia. The study of these youth groups will be another important part of my research; I will aim to study the discourse and action of groups such as els Falcons and Palestra, both of which made use of physical culture as a way of teaching values to young people and improving the Catalan nation. Els Falcons provide a particularly interesting case study. They were formed as a direct attempt at instilling national identity and character in young people based on the successful example of the sokols in Czechoslovakia. These groups did not engage in competitive team sports but rather in mass physical cultural activities such as gymnastics and parades. They did compete in Greco-Roman wrestling, a martial sport which has obvious analo-

gies where the building of a nation is concerned. Alongside appealing to the youth, the nation needed to encompass the popular classes. In order to achieve this objective, cross-class sports clubs were set up, where unity would not only be spoken about but physically illustrated. Politicians on soapboxes can only go so far in forming and changing identities but the physical experience of playing, running or swimming side by side gave citizens a very real feeling of being part of a community which spanned classes and neighbourhoods. My research will look at the membership and funding of popular sports clubs and compare this to political groups. I will also investigate their internal and external media output to further investigate the nationalist nature of their discourse. These groups and their participation in mass sports (as opposed to elite spectacle sports) form the backbone of my study and of the cross-class Catalan community which opposed the military rebellion in the early days of the Civil War. I am fortunate enough to have access to several archives which will help me to investigate these phenomena. The Arxiu Nacional in Barcelona offers a fantastic collection of periodicals and printed ephemera. Meanwhile I am fortunate enough to have access to the archive of the Sants sports club, which was not only one of the largest popular sports associations but also promoted the Volta a Catalunya and has maintained excellent, if uninvestigated, records of both its elite and popular sporting history. Without the help of Banco Santander and the BritishSpanish Society it would not have been possible for me to visit these archives and to uncover a side of Catalan nation building which has long been overlooked. I hope to contribute to the cannon which, rich as it is in studies of opera, architecture and anarchism has not yet allowed the popular classes to participate culturally but merely as the numbers who made up strikes, riots and factory workforces. In researching and writing my thesis I hope to broaden the scope and perspective of research in this time period and the Catalan nation.



Highlights from the BSS and ARTES trip to the Imperial City south of Madrid Photos by Kumar Rege

A Dream Weekend in Toledo 5-7 June 2015


ur trip started with our rendezvous at Barajas Airport, Madrid where we were met by our guide, the wonderful Victoria Urquijo, and her equally charming assistant Sofia Parazuelo Barroso from the specialists Around Art. They led us to our little green bus and the start of a truly lovely weekend. From the arid plains of Castille we came into sight of the noble Toledo which rose up before us. We went straight on to our first event: drinks with Gregorio and Pili Marañon (los marqueses de Marañon). They welcomed us warmly and generously to their beautiful home, a converted 16th century convent, the Cigarral de Menores which has been in the family for generations. The chapel and the library brimmed with interesting items collected over many decades by the original owner, the 20th century physician and historian Dr Gregorio Marañon , and the view of Toledo, at sunset, was breathtaking. One of our group, Jimmy Burns Marañón, recalled his childhood in the Cigarral, being told of the tertulias held at the house in his grandfather’s early days with friends of the family that included the likes of Unamuno and Lorca and Ortega y Gasset. We soon discovered that Toledo is definitely a place where it helps if you know anyone with the surname Marañon. The name has a magical ‘open sesame quality’ about it: doors that would normally remain closed are opened and by dint of our association with our chairman, we were welcomed like distant relations. We had a lovely supper of new Spanish cuisine at the excellent Locum restaurant deep in the old city that night and walked back to our hotel at midnight to the pulsating sound of cante jondo in the main square where about 200 people sat on foldup chairs surrounded by windows bedecked with billowing banners listening and clapping and fiesta. The town was celebrating its annual musical festival after marking the religious event of Corpus Christi. The accommodation for the two nights, in a quiet plaza within walking distance of the cathedral,

12  La Revista • Summer 2015

was the luxurious Hotel Fontecruz, once the palatial home of the Empress Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleón III. On Saturday, accompanied by the hugely informative art historian Mauricio Macarron, we visited the cathedral and the Museo de Santa Cruz before gaining another exclusive access, this time to the magnificent gardens and Palace of Galiana, on the banks of the River Tagus. The original palace was built during the days of the Moorish occupation

“We walked back to our hotel at midnight to the pulsating sound of cante jondo in the main square” of Spain on the site as the summer villa of Al Mamum, the king of the Taifa of Toledo. It was beautifully restored during the 1950s by the late Carmen Marañón, a daughter of Dr Marañón whose Araoz descendants now own and manage the estate. We enjoyed a mesmerising private recital of early Spanish music by the prize-winning British choral group Ensemble Plus Ultra. They were in Toledo to perform at the Corpus Christi celebrations in the Cathedral later that evening. We were hugely privileged to have them sing to us, against the backdrop of Moorish-inspired archways with views over Toledo framed by cypress trees and bathed in the gentlest and most refreshing of breezes. Lunch was a seemingly endless series of magnificently creative tapas prepared by Locum until we had all had enough and we waddled back to our minibus and a siesta back at our hotel before our Gala Dinner. If you like eating roast suckling pig at midnight, after an endless line of tapas and other tasty dishes in the company of the British Ambassador to Spain, and over fourty Spanish and British friends and supporters from Madrid, our Gala Dinner was for you. At 1.20 am, the announcement was made that

if we didn’t get on the bus we would have to stay there for the night. By this stage we had just finished coffee. Speeches were given by Jimmy Burns; the British Ambassador Simon Manley; and Tom Burns OBE, an Oxford educated hispanist and Jimmy’s brother. On Sunday we did manage to surface for church. Not just any church however, but the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco’s Conde de Orgaz, and San Juan de los Reyes, with its stunning cloisters and mudejar ceiling above the upper walkway. As part of our engagement with the ‘three cultures’ we also visited the restored Synagogue of El Transito, with its interesting museum pieces.Then an amazing thing happened (that open sesame factor) and before our very eyes the doors of the ever closed Capilla de San José and its stunning painting of St. Joseph & the Christ Child by El Greco were opened especially for us. There to receive us were the owners, the Marqueses de Eslava. It was a rare and wonderful experience. Then we were whisked off to another Cigarral, as the old exclusive country residences around Toledo are called. This time our venue was the Cigarral de Mirabel, the home of the Duqueses de Bailén, a title first conferred on a Spanish general after

SOCIETY NEWS a historic victory against the French in the Spanish Civil War. The Duquesa met us and welcomed us into her home before hosting a sit-down lunch. She showed us her eclectic family art collection of old and new. In the grounds she showed us their wonderful summer folly with a fully functioning sunken granite roman bath. Then all too soon it was time to go home. We said goodbye to Toledo and trundled back in the great heat to Madrid and the airport and home and the cold. I wish it could have gone on for longer. How much better can being a member of the BSS get? Maybe Jimmy has the answer to that one. I for one know for sure that I will be renewing my membership next month, and going on the next trip to Spain and next year’s Gala dinner and whatever else is planned to celebrate the Society’s centenary in 2016. By Morlin Ellis

Morlin is the chairman of ARTES and a member of the BritishSpanish Society’s Executive Committee. The visit to Toledo was organised exclusively for the BSS by the Madrid-based specialists Around Art.

Gala Dinner


oledo’s La Venta de Aires, one of the oldest surviving Castilian restaurants in Spain, was the venue on 6th June for a private dinner attended by British and Spanish supporters of the BritishSpanish Society. Some 70 guests, mainly from the UK and Madrid, were treated to the best of the local cuisine, from carefully crafted salmorejo and an assortment of tapas through to main dishes of merluza and cochinillo, accompanied by delicious local red and white wines kindly donated by a quality local bodega, HaciendaVillarta. Those attending included senior representatives of the British and Spanish academic and cultural world, and – from both countries – government advisers, businessmen, bankers, and lawyers, including a group of members from the UK on an exclusive weekend visit to Toledo organised with AroundArt. The group included the British hedge fund manager, art collector and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer; former minister the Hon Tom Sackville; the principal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Professor Barry Iffe; and Dame Mary Marsh, the founding director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme. As part of the ongoing programme of centenary encounters the dinner had two guests contributing their thoughts on a topic of interest: the British Ambassador in Madrid Simon Manley, and the author and journalist Tom Burns Marañón, respectively reflecting on the importance of UK-Spanish relations, with some amusing contrasts between the two counties in

the use of certain expressions. In his opening address Jimmy Burns Marañón spoke about the importance of the BritishSpanish Society’s centenary in 2016 and noted that those dining were following in the legendary footsteps of well-known visitors to Toledo that the restaurant had been privileged to count among its past clientele. After toasts to the Queen of England and the King and Queen of Spain, led by the ambassador, the chairman and both guest speakers signed a large leather bound visitors’ book which contained signatures (among many other VIPs), of King Juan Carlos, the late Dr Gregorio Marañón, Ortega y Gasset, Salvador Dali, Luis Buñuel, Rafael Alberti, and US president Richard Nixon, along with a host of film celebrities and famous bullfighters. Half-way through the dinner, news came through that FC Barcelona had beaten Juventus 3-1 in the football Champion’s League final in Berlin. Thanks to a strategically placed TV showing live coverage of the match football fans among the guests managed to keep abreast of developments. The victory was celebrated by a round of Catalan Cava which even hardened Real Madrid followers were happy to share, in the spirit of a memorable Spanish sporting victory. With warm thanks to international law firm Allen & Overy, main sponsors of the evening, to Cuca Diaz de la Cuerda, owner of the Venta de Aires, and to Hacienda Villarta. By our social affairs correspondent

The Disrobing of Christ, El Greco. Recently cleaned, at the Santa Cruz museum.

Cigarral de Menores : Group photo with the Marqueses

Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo

Summer 2015 • La Revista  13

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The Summer Party

The Spanish Embassy opened its doors for one of the biggest annual events organised by the BritishSpanish Society.


long queue of people waited expectantly outside the Spanish Ambassador’s residence on a warm early summer evening in June to join the BritishSpanish Society summer party. The Spanish Ambassador to the UK and honorary president of the Society Federico Trillo-Figueroa hosted the event, which gathered Spanish and British people of all ages and professions. During his opening speech, Mr TrilloFigueroa stated that both institutions have a “very cordial relationship”. The party helped to raise funds for the Society’s activities, such as the scholarship programme which offers grants to post-graduates from the best universities in the UK and Spain. It helps the “great geniuses of the future”, said Society chairman Jimmy Burns Marañón. “As a foundation we invest in the future; it is a two-way process”. The Society grants between six to eight scholarships every year in various areas of research. Pianist Luke Somers performed at the beginning of the reception. This was followed by the Spanish soprano singer Monica Campaña and then SiiLHOUETTE played with her band. The Ambassador gave a speech highlighting the contribution that the Spanish Embassy will make towards the Society’s centenary celebrations in 2016, while Burns emphasised the strength of the Society’s historical relationship with Spanish ambassadors and recalled that the Society does important work for both Spanish and British interests by creating “bridges of cultural, social and commercial understanding”. The Spanish Ambassador added to this, saying that “the BritishSpanish Society is one of the few spaces of social contact between British and Spanish civil societies; that is why it is worth supporting.” Finally, Burns called for more corporate sponsors for the Society, which has seen its membership rise from 300 to 800 in the last four years, partly as a result of a campaign to attract young Spaniards living in London. In this respect, Trillo explained that the registers of the Consular Offices in London and Edinburgh account for 100, 000 Spanish citizens living in the UK, but the real number is estimated to be more than double this. He made an appeal to all Spaniards not yet registered at the Embassy: “it is much better for them to exercise their rights and be protected”, he explained. The BritishSpanish Society expresses its gratitude to sponsors of the event: Hispania, IE Business School and Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira; and to the musicians: Luke Somers, Monica Campaña, Ricardo Gosalbo, SiiLHOUETTE and her band (Roland Perrin, Emmanuel Oladokun and Eric Kwame Gyingy). Additional thanks go to Carmen Young and her voluntary events team; the security staff and caterers at the Embassy; and to Santiago Fernandez from San Miguel Mahou for providing beer and water.

Soprano singer Monica Campaña

Jules Stewart (right) and friends

Carmen and Scott Young

SiiLHOUETTE and her band Roland Perrin, Emmanuel Oladokun and Eric Kwame Gyingy

Fidel López Álvarez and friend

Sally Averill and HE Federico Trillo Figueroa

By Laura Gran. Photos by Riccardo Guido

Summer 2015 • La Revista  15


Review: Flamenco Festival

Graham Watts reviews London’s annual showcase of flamenco talent at Sadler’s Wells. There were serial flashes of brilliance in Canales’ dancing and he has clearly lost nothing in terms of charisma or the magic that happens between the hip and the soles of his (vibrantly red) shoes. Canales may have gained a few inches on the waistline, expertly disguised by the selection of aforementioned, flowing garments, but to move a middle-aged, bordering-portly frame as gracefully as he does gives hope to the rest of us!

Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía. Photo by Antonio Acedo

Gala Flamenca,16th February Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía: Images: 20 Years 21st February Gerardo Núñez: In Concert, 22nd February Eva Yerbabuena: ¡Ay!, 23rd February Ballet Nacional de España: Grito / Suite Sevilla, 26th February Compañía Manuel Liñán: Nómada, 1st March


lamenco is an art form where age is no fast track to retirement. The stars of this annual Sadler’s Wells’ celebration of flamenco were invariably performers of a certain age. It began with Antonio Canales. Whatever he has lost in athleticism, at the age of 53, is more than compensated by a stylish sense of theatre, perhaps to be expected from one of the most celebrated flamenco dancers of the past three decades. Canales peers through the fourth wall with the passionate intent of a man about to caress a lover. Years of experience in this most intimate of dance forms has finely tuned an intuitive and commanding connection with his audience. Canales performs to a theatre of 1,500 as if dancing in a cantina to a group of ten friends. There was a touch of ageist irony in Canales’ saving the festival’s opening Gala Flamenca, performing not only his own scheduled numbers but also replacing the alegrías intended for the indisposed Jesús Carmona (29). It meant that Canales danced three musclesapping, lactic-guzzling solos, all superbly paced –interrupted by chats with his musicians; moments of apparent stillness with just his legs gently shimmering; and lots of eye contact with those imagined lovers in the audience; while all the time simmering towards a coruscating climax. Canales’ ebullient idiosyncrasies are now largely confined to his whimsical costume choices, staking a claim to be the popinjay of flamenco fashion. He began in what looked like a very posh housecoat – possibly borrowed from the Dowager Countess of Grantham – and when discarded, it revealed a fetching coral-coloured, kneelength cardigan with buttons the size of black Ping-Pong balls; he returned for his curtain call and the inevitable flamenco encore in an embroidered, silk, bronze-coloured, smoking jacket. These are not the trademark black outfits one expects to see male flamenco dancers wearing but the show was nonetheless the better for Canales’ casual, metrosexual and charismatic style.

Another 53 year-old excelled with his hands. Gerardo Núñez possesses an awesome command of the flamenco guitar, whether it comes via the fast-paced tempo of the bulerías or in the gentle lyricism of the seguiriya. Here is a musician worth travelling across continents to experience live and we Londoners were fortunate to have him play in our city, albeit for one night only. Although Núñez’s guitar is the pre-eminent influence throughout the concert that bore his name, it was the seamless integration of all the collaborative contributions that made it such a meaningful and memorable evening. His ensemble is so intuitively connected that they finish each other’s phrases, picking up rhythms as they come and go at will, passing el duende among them as if sharing a bottle of rioja and a plate of tapas. Nunez’ quintet included the celebrated gypsy dancer, Carmen Cortés (58), whose deeply refined, passionate flamenco puro was the icing on a very grand cake. The spirit of flamenco flows through Cortés like an electric current, in fast, rolling footwork that transmits through to her long arm extensions and spiralling wrists. Cortés and Núñez are married to each other, a simple expedient that may explain how they are so mutually attuned to their respective art; with her free-flowing improvised movement sitting on his music like finely calligraphed notes on a stave. As if a medium emerging from a trance, Cortés was visibly exhausted at the end of her final solo. Eva Yerbabuena must have felt the same. She was the only dancer on stage throughout 90 minutes, appearing in all but one of the seven sequences of ¡Ay! making the whole show effectively one long, intense solo. This slight, 45 year-old dancer commands the stage with her redoubtable charisma aligned to a unique theatrical mix of traditional and contemporary flamenco. Yerbabuena’s stamina

“His ensemble is so intuitively connected that they finish each other’s phrases, picking up rhythms as they come and go at will, passing el duende among them as if sharing a bottle of rioja and a plate of tapas.”

Gerardo Núñez and Carmen Cortés. Photo by Fotohuta

16  La Revista • Summer 2015

FLAMENCO FESTIVAL José Antonio, in 2002 was enlivened by the huge white bata de cola worn in the opening sequence by Ana Morales; in Mirando Al Sur (2005), the evocation of travelling to the south was conjured by the dancers carrying (and dancing upon) a set of large suitcases; and it was that famous flamenco icon of el mantón (the fringed shawl) that provided the central feature of Las Cuatro Esquinas (2013). There may be flamenco purists that will reject this populist style of presenting the art form, which has the slickness of a Hollywood film but perhaps loses the essential rawness of flamenco on the way. But, for me, this tour through the brief history of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía remained absorbing entertainment over its 90 minute duration.

Eva Yerbabuena. Photo by Paco García

is impressive and her haunting evocation of the dreamlike states of this mysterious woman in black provided an artistic experience to savour. The festival finished on a high with a new production to showcase the trinity of talents possessed by Manuel Liñan, a relative youngster at just 35. Nómada is steered by Liñán’s direction, shaped by his choreography and sharpened by his performance. It’s a show that navigates an irregular course between flamenco traditions and the trend-setting flamenco nuevo where Liñan stands in the forefront of innovators. Liñán’s impressive stamina saw him through four lengthy solos. In the opening seguiriya, he is surrounded by the musicians with the singers in deep, recitative cante jondo expressionism. Each time Liñán spins, a shower of sweat drenches those around him, thus accentuating the evocation of a physical contest. When the dance ends abruptly, a leonine Liñán prowls downstage to glare at the audience from the very edge of the stage. Is it a macho challenge or a call for adulation? The final solo opens with another dancer in a green, patterned bata de cola and a large mantón (the fringed, patterned flamenco shawl) as big as a hall rug. It seems as if Liñán has given the final accolade to a female dancer. But, the lights eventually reveal that this woman in the long dress is none other than the cross-dressing star of the show. Liñán dances fluently without hindrance from the long ruffled train, which he kicks neatly to either side or picks up and rests across his arms. But, the effort catches up with him by the finale and some untidiness ensues, proving that it’s a lifetime of technique that enables women to manipulate the batas de colas. While admiring Liñán’s dexterity and strength with the shawl – it isn’t uncommon for male flamenco dancers to be adept with el mantón – his relative discomfort with the long dress turned it into a pointless vanity with which to end an otherwise absorbing and thrilling show.

Ballet National de España has undergone a transition since its last appearance in London, some five years ago, notably through a change in leadership with Antonio Najarro succeeding José Antonio. The second spell in the latter’s leadership (seven years from 2004) had seen the company recover from troubled times. Najarro is a flamboyant artistic leader with the unique distinction of having choreographed several medal-winning ice dances, notably the Olympic Gold-winning flamenco-inspired original dance routine for Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat in Salt Lake City (2002). [Note: the author’s interview with Najarro will appear in a future issue of La Revista]. Both the old and the new were showcased in Najarro’s inaugural programme for London, accentuated with a generous helping of the spangle and glitz that goes with ice dance. The national dance school of Spain is effectively a hybrid of many styles, encompassing flamenco, escuela bolera, sevillanas, classical ballet and various regional folk dances, to which Najarro has added his own special pizzazz. If you could imagine a Spanish-themed dance show in Vegas then his choreography in the second part of this programme would possibly fit the bill. However, the curtains opened on Grito (incidentally, choreographed by Canales) to a vintage scene of a cantaor (Sebastián Cruz) singing his deep, spiritual song, surrounded by a posse of men in poses of pious sanctity. In this throwback to the catholic ideal of saeta, the spontaneous outburst of mournful religious (often, unaccompanied) song that would accompany moments of great devotion – here performed in a reverential atmosphere of semi-darkness – one could hardly have more traditional flamenco imagery as an opening to any show. My problem with Grito is that it fell between two stools. It was only fleetingly flamenco puro and yet as dance theatre it lacked an instant accessibility either to an understanding of the passion and emotion of flamenco or to the simplicity of just being great entertainment. There could be no such concern with Najarro’s own choreography for Suite Sevilla, initially made for his own company [Compañía Antonio Najarro] in 2011 and acquired by BNE in the following year. This was entertainment writ large; a seaside special,


hese showcases built around individual stars were punctuated by the appearances of two of Spain’s best-known dance companies. The first of these was Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, bringing a greatest hits package of five works drawn from the past 20 years. The use of props, strong visual imagery and lyrical music were themes that spun through this journey into the company’s back catalogue. In Mario Maya’s Del Maestro (1994) the dancers mostly performed seated on stools; each dancer carried their own personal lantern in En la oscuridad de la luz (1997), which switched on while they performed, as a blue cloud imperceptibly crept up and overcame the earth on a giant screen above their heads; the imagery of Leyenda – a tribute to the legendary Carmen Amaya – made by Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía. Photo by Luis Castilla

Summer 2015 • La Revista  17

FLAMENCO FESTIVAL but one themed for Málaga, not Blackpool. It may not have been flamenco but it was certainly fun. The suite comprises nine sections of variable quality. In terms of innovation, the opening sequence with curtain raised just above knee-height to showcase a row of feet, lower legs and hands working castanets was a one-off example of deconstructing dance, Spanish-style, by creating a fascinating – and intimate – vignette in which both our visual boundary and the performers’ movement potential are severely restricted. Ironically, here was an example of the breadth of vision that has made Najarro such a “go-to” choreographer in the ultra-competitive world of ice skating. Two solos encapsulated the mix of styles covered by the company’s diverse scope. Firstly, with Débora Martínez in an ebullient display of classical escuela bolero dance in Calle de Infierno and then in the complex hybrid form that sees Immaculada Sánchez performing classical ballet from the waist down while maintaining the peculiar torsion and unique elegance of traditional Spanish poses in her upper body. She evoked visions of gypsies dancing by the light of a bonfire in La Mancha with a large windmill in the distance. I enjoyed Suite Sevilla – rather more than I had Grito – because of its accessibility. The sight of 26 dancers in superbly-drilled harmony was thrilling entertainment, for which no inside knowledge was required, enhanced by an interesting contemporary score and glorious costumes (designed by Najarro himself). A happy by-product of every flamenco festival is spotting the stars of the future and, this year; there were three that caught my eye. In the opening gala, the antithesis of Canales’ laid-back style had come in the more conventional stage persona of Carlos Rodríguez. The guy exudes machismo with every bead of perspiration; upright like a bullfighter, proud like a bull and yet there is no sense of the familiar in his hybrid dance, somewhere between the slow control of a soleá and the throbbing pace of the bulerías. I loved the way that Rodríguez brought variety to his movement, with explosive, percussive steps followed by quieter more contemplative sequences. Karime Amaya provided a coruscating finale to rectify the gala’s perceived gender bias. The grandniece of flamenco’s undisputed former Queen – Carmen Amaya – and the daughter of famous dancer (Mercedes Amaya) and guitarist (Santiago Aguilar), she brought all this genetic inheritance to bear in an earthy, fiery, deeply expressive and flirtatiously sexy Seguiriya. The unspoilt cante jondo was well represented in the superb vocal range of David Carpio, who performed with both Núñez and Liñan. His highly expressive style was very heavy on vibrato, his voice shaking for long sequences while accompanied by the emphatic stabbing actions of his right hand. This was an eclectic and memorable season with something for every connoisseur, from the mournful Saeta to cross-dressing flamenco nuevo and very much in between! About the author: Graham Watts is a freelance dance writer and critic. He is a regular contributor to Dancing Times, Dance Europe, and Danza Europa and he also writes for, and other magazines and websites. He is the author of books about two leading ballerinas and writes features for the Edinburgh International Festival, Sadler’s Wells, La Scala and theatres in Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Russia. He is Chairman of the dance section of the Critics’ Circle in the UK and of the National Dance Awards. He holds the MA module in dance writing and criticism from the University of Chichester and has mentored young dance writers at The Place for Resolution Review, since 2009. He is a member of the Society for Dance Research, Dance UK, the UNESCO International Dance Council and the BritishSpanish Society. He was awarded the OBE in 2008.

18  La Revista • Summer 2015

Eva Yerbabuena: ¡Ay! Review by Bess Twiston-Davies


as it a foot? Or was it an instrument? Hard to tell, so fluid was the sound of Eva Yerbabuena’s mint-sharp zapateo. There was a seamless echo – foot, music, sound – all melding together into one. Mesmerising. This was Ay!, her 2013 choreography on a second visit to Sadler’s Wells. The energy was high, the curtain blood-red. It lifted on a pool of light in darkness. With slow, deliberate steps, Eva Yerbabuena crossed the light. Then stopped, crossed her arms and let her hands flap, flutter to the sky. The subtle, the subtext is the story of Ay! The choreography is “about the space between words, the halfformed thought”, explains Yerbabuena. She adds: “I will miss: one shadow, one dream… maybe the uncertain feeling of having lived the next second without now… I learnt from a beggar that in spaces among dreams are the names of all those things that are nameless by being invisible. And they can be seen, heard, touched… felt. If you take notice they are only syllables, words, that everyone has pronounced without knowing their meaning; and they are looking to be breathed in vain, feeling that there is someone in the world who has named them, felt them, lived them just for a while.” So a large bulky man appeared behind Yerbabuena singing ‘bajo el silencio’ as she acted a domestic tragedy – turning to the man, raising her hands – which appear preternaturally large – to his face. Before they reach it, he casts her off. She tries again, then spins off into despair, rejected. He sings, and sings, her arms swing like a clock gone mad to left and right. Each move is a perfect match to the music. “It is as though she is going mad trying to express something,” said the friend I had come with. This was not showy flamenco; nothing was exuberant nor played for the gallery. Eva Yerbabuena has a reputation for being pure, a true artist, who never grants an interview, who shuns celebrity. Watching her dance was to enter a private universe, of shadows, fragments, broken hearts, pain. Was this dream or nightmare? The light faded. Yerbabuena appeared suspended through the centre of a large mis-shaped chair, a creation straight from the hands of Dali. She flapped like a bird through the bars. A man struck the right and left side of the chair in perfect, pure rhythms. Then, casually she picked up a pair of ruffles – in grey and white – cast on a patterned skirt and fixed a fabric rose to the top of her head. Three men appeared out of the shadows, clapping, wailing. They sang of prison, or burning their clothes. She danced with frenetic speed, with a look of mockery, survivor’s disdain. It had the feel, said my friend, of a gypsy encampment. She shed her extra skirt and frills, still tapping and stamping, dropping them casually on the floor, as we marvelled at her footwork. Sharp, staccato, she skittered across the floor. “It takes a year to learn just one of those foot moves,” said my friend, touched by flamenco envy. She had taken many classes. Then came a tragic interlude, with Yerbabuena praying, then stretched over a table that split in half, as a man sang plaintively of ‘caresses of marble’. She vanished, ceding the stage to the three singers, each with a strong, powerful voice, especially El Extremeño. Occasionally he was a little overpowering. At last, in the semi-light she re-appeared creeping on the stage, her head bowed behind a fuchsia shawl. She wore a bata de cola, quickly looping up the tail of her ruffled purple skirt to treat us to a display of quickfire zapateo. Her shawl too was part of the stage prop, somewhere to hide behind, and then dramatically fling -wrap across her figure. Eventually, it ended, Yerbabuena cast in a pool of light, her body to the back of us, her head thrown back towards us, as if, for the first time, acknowledging the audience. We gave her a standing ovation and were rewarded – with one final burst of flamenco as swirling her shawl to great effect she sashayed off the stage. ¡Olé!

JOAN MANUEL SERRAT – una transición de dictadura a parlamento donde, una vez más, se podía expresar en voz alta la cultura más profunda y universal del pueblo hispano. Los poemas en letra y música de Machado y Hernández llenaron ese día el teatro porteño con una fuerza tremenda tanto de resistencia como de esperanza, y sabíamos que los cuarteles temblaban igual que La Casa Rosada.

“Mostró, como siempre, una nobleza ciertamente quijotesca, de gran luchador, de gran soñador, de gran humanista.”

Review: Joan Manuel Serrat

The veteran of Spanish music performed at the Barbican in London on 12th June.

Porque te quiero escribe Jimmy Burns Marañón


ra alrededor de 1984 cuando estuve por primera vez en un concierto de Joan Manuel Serrat, entre lágrimas y cantos, acompañando cada palabra y letra que recitaba, abrazado a mi mujer y a los que nos rodeaban. En esa época vivíamos la decadencia terminal del régimen militar en Argentina, esa junta que había hecho desaparecer a unas nueve mil personas para luego provocar una guerra esperpéntica con el Reino Unido en las Islas Malvinas – dos calvos luchando por un peine, decía el viejo Borges. El Serrat de esa época quería ver la misma democracia en los países latinoamericanos que él y otros habían ganado en España

Más tarde, cuando empecé a dedicarme a escribir sobre el cargo político del fútbol en la historia de España, no dudé en hablar de Serrat – de madre aragonesa, que nació en el Poble Sec de Barcelona – en un libro que saque sobre el Barça, recordando su canción emblemática sobre la victoria de la Cinco Copas y ese quinteto legendario formado por Kubala, Basora, Cesar, Moreno y Manchón. Este sábado, una semana después de que el Barça consiguiera el triplete en Berlín, me reencontré con Serrat en el concierto que ofreció en el Barbican de la capital británica. Este centro cultural londinense por fuera parece un búnker para luego, en contraste, hacer la experiencia interior de lo más dulce. La sala era lo suficientemente íntima para sentirse próximo a un recital, tenía algo de despedida además de celebración. Hace ya mucho tiempo que Serrat no se rodea de la orquesta que le reforzaba en los estudios de grabación a partir del LP de los setenta, Mediterráneo. Eran sólo cuatro músicos los que estaban con él en el escenario, la mayoría amigos de casi toda su vida – sólo el guitarrista, con aspecto y actitud de más joven, hacía de contrapunte. El reducido equipo musical no sólo deja que el público se centre más en la figura y personalidad de Serrat – alguien que se mueve bien, que actúa, que tiene ‘tablas’– sino que también expone su fragilidad, ya que a sus 72 años la voz no es lo que era. Sufre de falta de fuerza, y se le ve luchando para proyectar la canción con el temblor musical y la resonancia que le caracterizaban de más joven. No es que Serrat muestra flaqueza o frialdad. Al contrario, mantiene un gran sentido del humor y una gran resistencia a rendirse. Hace pocas semanas, bajo órdenes de su médico, tuvo que cancelar un concierto en Cataluña por los problemas que sufría en su garganta, pero en Londres se le vio constantemente bebiendo agua con miel para seguir adelante y darnos todo lo que encontraba para darnos y más. Mostró, como siempre, una nobleza ciertamente quijotesca, de gran luchador, de gran soñador, de gran humanista. Como tenía que ser, ya que se había anunciado como una ‘Antología desordenada’ a través de cincuenta años, no faltaron las canciones más queridas por un público mayor. Algunas de ellas, como Porque te Quiero, en una versión actualizada, más rítmicas, para darlas nueva vida. Otras, como Esos Locos Bajitos, igual que siempre, como una memoria necesaria. Las demás canciones, entre ellas los poemas cantados de Machado y Hernández, llegaron a llenar la sala con un gran sentido de solidaridad humana. Y para no olvidar a los hermanos latinoamericanos, allí estaba la denuncia de le explotación a los niños marginados. Un vez más íbamos golpe a golpe, haciendo camino al caminar, una vez más cantábamos a La Libertad, algunos de nosotros con los brazos abiertos o empuñados, aunque ya bastante alejados de los populismos chavistas. Cuando parecía que Serrat, ya medio agotado, estaba a punto de dejarnos, el público -en su mayoría hispanos e hispanoamericanosaplaudieron, ya de pie, con toda su alma, entre lágrimas y canto , y él nos cantó Lucía -con la que tantos de nosotros aprendimos a amar. Durante más de dos horas de canción y charla, tan propios de él, este cantautor tan catalán como español, tan hombre universal, llenó la noche calurosa de Londres con nostalgia y futuro, con más alegría que tristeza, proclamando, hacia el final, que hasta para los que nos vamos poniendo viejos ‘Éste va a ser un gran día’ ... y así fue.

Summer 2015 • La Revista  19

Joan Manuel Serrat with Duncan Wheeler at the Barbican

Joan Manuel Serrat Review by Duncan Wheeler


ew experiences and achievements might be seemingly hard to come upon if one of your many hits (Mediterráneo) has been voted the best song of all time in Spanish by Rolling Stone magazine and Televisión Española; an Oscar-winning actress was named after another of your anthems (Penélope); and the Latin Grammys elected you Personality of the Year in recognition of a fifty-year multiple platinum Trans-Atlantic career. Nevertheless, Joan Manuel Serrat made his debut in London, performing to 2,000 people at the Barbican. Two days later, I met with him at the Kensington Park Garden Hotel to discuss the concert and a lifetime in popular song; "El noi del Poble Sec" has generously granted me the rights to translate the lyrics of some of his best-known songs for my upcoming dual-language book titled "Spanish Songs of the Transition" (Oxford: Oxbow, 2016). In terms of popular appeal and critical acclaim, Bob Dylan is the closest point of comparison to Serrat in the English-speaking world, with his popularity far transcending other singer-songwriters in terms of both social class and geographical borders. Following the famous Eurovision debacle in which Serrat's request to deliver the Spanish entry ("La, la, la") in Catalan was refused, he pulled out of the contest, and was forced to go into exile. He remarked on how personally tough this was, but that it did have the advantage of pushing him to go to Latin America where he would become a superstar and a byword for political commitment, banned from performing in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay during the military dictatorships. In his words, “hubo un exilio de España en las Américas y un exilio de América Latina en España”, On attempting to enter Chile in 1979 to participate in ‘No a Pinochet’ concert, Serrat was arrested and deported to Buenos Aires; his return to Santiago in April 1990 to play to 50,000 people at the National Stadium in the presence of the recently elected President, Patricio Aylwin Azócar, was proof indeed that the times they were a-changing. At the Barbican, Latin Americans appeared to outnumber Spaniards, and the singer tells me it was the same at an earlier concert at the Paris Olympia; he is embarking on this European tour not, he noted, to try and attract new fans but as a way of reaching the Hispanic diaspora and travelling relatively close to home. Various members of his family congregated in London and, in many ways, he was just another tourist for the weekend following the concert. Serrat's voice might not have the range or nuance of yore but a sense of shared life experiences and collective euphoria was paramount to the still spine-tingling frisson of songs such as ‘Cantares’ and ‘Para la libertad’; evergreen recollections of his youth and the theatricality he learnt as a lad growing up alongside the Parallel, the artery of popular theatre in Barcelona, are key to his formidable stage presence. He recalled how frequently he'd attend zarzuelas and revistas; Concha Piquer's repertoire of coplas was, in his words, “una excelente escuela de escribir canciones”, which inspired him to compose records “que son más teatrales que de sensaciones”. These skills have undoubtedly stood him in good stead, ensuring that his political proclamations are neither overly earnest or didactic whilst his septuagenarian gait and gestures on stage retain a charm and charisma that frequently masquerade any losses in technical prowess. As he and his accomplished band prepare to return for a lengthy tour of Spain, there is clearly no sign of him relinquishing his privileged and well-earned position in the Castilian and Catalan towers of song anytime soon.

...from the heart of Spain

On Foot from Madrid to London

Brian Mooney navigates his way from the centre of Spain to the city of London.


have become alarmingly medieval in my approach to pilgrimage, believing that a pilgrim walk is not complete without the return leg. My conversion was quite sudden. Having walked to Rome in 2010, on my return I was challenged by a friend who observed that pilgrims in the Middle Ages didn’t have the luxury of flying home. Two years later, I flew to Rome and squared the circle by walking back to my home in Coggeshall, North Essex. On a similar whim I flew to Spain in the early summer of 2014. I had walked 2,300 kilometres from Walsingham to Santiago de Compostela in 2000, thereby linking two of the great medieval pilgrim shrines. It was time for the return trip. Spain was my home for many years – I worked there as a foreign correspondent for Reuters – and I decided to take a few liberties and make a somewhat indirect or roundabout trip home. Instead of beginning in Santiago, I would set out from Madrid. But even with such a devious or unorthodox route, for most of the way I found that I was never far from a familiar scallop shell waymark. Sooner or later in Western Europe, so it appears, all roads lead to and from Santiago. Indeed for the first four days I followed what has come to be called the Camino de Madrid, the route that leads from the Spanish capital to Sahagún where it links up with the Camino Francés, the historic name for the main way across Spain from France to Santiago. I was in two minds about using my brand new pilgrim passport – the bright yellow booklet issued by the Confraternity of St James that had been so much my companion on the way to Santiago. I decided that fate would determine whether or not to use it, and so made my way from Barajas airport to the Iglesia de Santiago y San Juan Bautista in the heart of old Madrid. The church was open and a priest was in the sacristy preparing for morning mass. He readily offered to stamp my pilgrim passport and was happy for me to sit on a pew in the chancel and change into my walking boots. As I did so, I looked up at the retablo above the high altar – a striking painting of Santiago Matamoros. Setting aside the bloodthirsty sight of the Christian Saint slaying Moors, the image reignited my enthusiasm for the Spanish cult of St. James and gave my journey purpose and a sense of direction – even if I was slightly off course. I felt with the Apostle’s blessing, I could legitimately treat myself as a returning pilgrim. A few steps from the church led me to the Plaza Mayor and then to the Puerta del Sol, the Piccadilly Circus of Madrid and from which all distances to and from the capital are measured. As well as a kilometre 0 stone in the pavement there is also a plaque on the walls of the former state security headquarters giving the height

above sea level – 650.7 metres. I always walk with an altimeter, a useful check for navigation, and I re-set it in anticipation of the climb ahead over the Sierra de Guadarrama. I relish the challenge of walking in and out of large cities, and particularly enjoy marking the changing tempo and the gradual transformation of the surrounding environment. Walking out of Madrid is very simple; turn left or north on the Paseo de Recoletos and keep going until you reach the Cuatro Torres, the four modern skyscrapers which now define the northern end of the city. Along the way I passed my old Reuters offices and a far more significant landmark in the year of the football World Cup – Real Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium. On reaching Plaza de Castilla, I was glad to have to hand an old Confraternity booklet that gives a useful step by step guide to a complicated section that involves crossing the ring road, a motorway and railway. This guide was first published in 2000 and has since been largely superseded by wonderful waymarking along the route put in by the Asociación de Amigos de los Caminos de Santiago de Madrid. Indeed once clear of the M40 and past the Fuencarral cemetery, the way enters open country and follows a succession of vias pecuarias, or drovers’ roads, with scallop waymarks and yellow arrows aplenty. I skirted the walls of El Pardo Palace, home of the former dictator General Franco, and set course across the plateau towards the granite wall of snow-capped mountains to the north. I followed the Camino de Madrid for four days culminating with a magnificent stage crossing the Guadarrama Mountains on the Calzada Romana – the old Roman road – over the Puerto de la Fuenfría. The original paved stones and arches of three bridges remain intact because the route ceased to be used after the Bourbons drove another road across the range close by to serve their palace at La Granja. The Puerto is 1,792 metres above sea level and is the high point of the route from Madrid. At the top a bronze plaque on a rough hewn granite plinth commemorates José Antonio Cimadevila Covelo (1919-2001), a Galician who was the driving force behind the resurrection and waymarking of the Madrid route. The way continues through natural pine forest until it suddenly opens out with distant views of Segovia and the vast plains of Castilla over which I would walk. I parted company with the Camino de Madrid the following morning at the 12-sided Knights Templar church of the Vera Cruz, just to the north of Segovia in the shadow of its fairytale castle. The way to Santiago was northwest; I was

Summer 2015 • La Revista  21

MADRID TO LONDON heading due north. Crossing Castilla on foot was a revelation. The scorched red earth meseta is seemingly empty, but this once heavily populated country is teeming with life. With regular intervals I would descend little river valleys into another village, or a village would emerge in the distance from its earth-coloured camouflage, announced by a grain silo or the tower of its now oversized church, and invariably with a white stork or two nesting on top. Occasionally I would fall on a castle, an ancient river crossing or the ruins of long-abandoned windmills. I marvelled at the immense horizons, and never tired of the vast shimmering fields of ripening corn and the wayside carpets of red poppy, and flowering sainfoin, echium, mallow, crucifer and mayweed. The birdsong was almost orchestral, and for many days I was accompanied by the chirpy call of cuckoos. My route took me through Peñafiel, a town dominated by its imposing castle, and the lush vineyards of the Duero Valley and then across the Provincia de Burgos stopping at Tortoles de Esqueva, Villahoz, Olmillos de Sasamón, Nuez de Arriba, Escalada and Corconte. I walked mainly on farm tracks and along mainly deserted country roads, and while the most ubiquitous sign was ‘se vende’, there were little other visible evidence that Spain’s economic crisis had impacted much on rural life. At each stop, I found a comfortable hotel or a casa rural. Approaching Olmillos de Sasamón on a lonely provincial road a little way beyond the hamlet of Tamarón (the family seat of Spain’s former ambassador to London), I was suddenly aware of loud voices and shouting. Noise is a Spanish national product, but this was more strident and more persistent. On the brow of a hill I could see a long line of pilgrims making their way on foot and by bicycle along the broad ridge of the Camino Francés. I sat by a waymark where our routes intersected and watched this apparently ceaseless procession. A few walking pilgrims responded to my greetings and stopped to chat, but many were bent to the road, head down, charging onwards, driven by the piston action of their walking poles, seemingly oblivious to their environment. Viewed from that intersection between Hornillos del Camino and Hontanas, the Camino Francés has become a sort of long-distance racetrack – much changed from the tranquil uncrowded way I experienced in the early spring of 2000. The flat meseta is left behind at the Ebro, and after winding through the hidden valley of Sedano, I began to climb the rocky gorges that lead into the Cordillera Cantábrica, which I crossed in swirling mist via the little pueblo of San Pedro del Romeral. At the top I found upland valleys of green fields bounded by dry stone walls dotted here and there with slate roofed farm houses – a landscape more reminiscent of Wales or the Pennines and a dramatic

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contrast with the parched land through which I had just walked. My daughter Sophia, who lives in Santander, joined me for a wet day’s walk over the hills from Vega de Pas down to the coast where I was once again in ‘Camino Country’, this time the Camino del Norte which takes a coastal route to Santiago. I followed it backwards, with occasional diversions on to the cliff top path, from Santander to Irún. I had chosen the toughest sections of the northern route, but the hardest part was not tackling the rugged hills but keeping track of the waymarks. Unlike the Camino Francés, the Camino del Norte is only waymarked in one direction. I was constantly looking out for arrows pointing the wrong way, not always easy when several paths converge in hillside woodland with an arrow strategically placed after the junction! It was wonderful to share the route, albeit for only a few charged minutes, with so many other pilgrims. On average, I encountered about 40 a day – a large number from Russia. There were also Spanish, Canadians, Dutch, Italians, Germans, Americans, Poles, French, Mexicans and British. One of the most memorable encounters was with a Polish teacher from Kraków who had just come from Rome where she had attended the canonisation of Poland’s late Pope John Paul II. She thrust a card with a portrait of the Church’s newest saint into my hands; I like to think it gave me strength in those Basque Country hills. Another notable encounter, though for different reasons, was Tobin from Wisconsin, who was a self-confessed exile from the Camino Francés. He had started out on the Camino Francés but had peeled off in despair and taken a bus up from Logroño to join the Camino del Norte. “The northern route is a lot tougher,” he told me. “But anything is better than that mad dash on the Camino Francés every afternoon to join the queue to get into the next hostal.” The Camino del Norte involved a number of ferry rides across rivers, including a trip over the bay from Santander to Somo, but the best river crossing was on the venerable Puente Colgante over the River Nervión to enter Bilbao from Portugalete. Leaving Spain, the glamorous French seaside resorts of Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz provided a refreshing break from the hills and a chance for a brief rest as I readied for the pines and dunes of Les Landes. But apart from the heat, and at times the monotony, there is a very satisfactory walking route the entire length of the 300 kilometre forest. For nine days, from Bayonne to Soulac-sur-Mer, I followed the piste cyclable which runs all the way up France’s west coast. Part of it, in the heart of the forest from Lacannau Océan to Hourtin Plage, follows the old concrete motorcycle tracks which the Germans laid down in World War II to service their gun batteries on the shoreline. There is also an official Compostela route through the forest, which criss-crosses and at times dovetails with the piste cyclable. This is the way which leads down from Mont-St-Michel and crosses the Garonne, sometimes known as La Voie des Anglais.

I followed part of the Mont-St-Michel route after crossing the Garonne on the ferry to Royan as I made my way mostly on minor roads up to La Rochelle, Nantes and Rennes. Skirting the Bay of Mont-St-Michel and heading for Avranches, I could no longer pretend that I was under the care of St. James. I took the ferry from Granville to the island of Sark and crossed the English Channel from Guernsey to Portsmouth. From there I hiked over the South Downs to Midhurst and then over the Surrey Hills and North Downs to Guildford to join the Wey Navigation and eventually the Thames towpath. Fifty six days and 1,738 kilometres on foot from Madrid, I walked into the City of London along the Thames Embankment and took my final steps to the west door of the Christopher Wren church of St. James Garlickhythe in the heart of the City. I had ended up where I started, at a church dedicated to the Apostle St. James. Brian Mooney, author and journalist, has written two books on his walks to and from Rome – A Long Way for a Pizza (Thorogood 2012) and The Wrong Way for a Pizza (Thorogood 2013).

Mini Adventures for Families


orget Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park or the Harry Potter Studio Tour; for those with young children who are looking for a really good day out s without breaking the bank, here are some family favourites of a ‘well-travelled’ dad, David Hurst.

London FREE Tumbling Playground and Timber Lodge Cafe, QE Olympic Park, Stratford Walk 1 mile to north east part of the Olympic Park, just before the Velodrome - the ‘Pringle’ building also a must-see building. Avoid walking through the Olympic Park which is a 2 mile detour. www.queenelizabetholympicpark. FREE Dinosaur Court Sculptures, Crystal Palace Park Created in 1854. 15 types of dinosaur represented in life sculptures. Play areas, sand pit, maze, miniature train rides in summer and a cafe. Up to 1.5 hours from London Bekonscot Model Village and Railway, Beaconsfield the oldest original and simply THE best model village in the world. Prince Charles and Princess Anne’s favourite place to visit as children. Adult £9.80; child £5.80 Miniature Railway, Thames Ditton Miniature steam train rides for all the family. 67 years old with trains running simultaneously. Only open on first Sunday of each month and Sunday / Monday of Bank Holidays.Train rides from just £2. Groombridge Place and Enchanted Forest, near Tonbridge, Kent Enchanted Forest Adventure with tree swings, zip wire, rope swings, wooden bridges and maze. Crusoe’s World with tree houses linked by rope bridges and a

central tower. Adult £8.95; child £7.45. The Look Out Discovery Centre, Bracknell Hands-on science and nature exhibits with 90 activities, next to the best free cycling tracks in Surrey. Adult £7.25; child £4.95. ‘Go Ape’, Look Out Discovery Centre, Swinley Forest, Bracknell Rope and chain aerial adventure activity, with the UK’s only Double Tarzan Swing. Adult ‘gorillas’ £33; child ‘baboons’ £25. Coral Reef Waterworld, Bracknell Excellent indoor and outdoor coral pools, water slides, flumes, rapids, plus ‘The Galleon’ with real water canons! Adult £8.35; child £5.70. FREE Alice Holt Forest, Guildford Excellent walking, cycling and nature trails, with a new play area at the end of the Habitat Trail and a ‘Go Ape’ ropes and climbing course. Hollycombe Steam Collection, Liphook, Hampshire Brilliant and quite unique. Victorian steam powered fairground and train rides, woodland gardens. Adult £15; child £10. www.hollycombe.couk Butterfly World, Chiswell Green Entirely enclosed butterfly conservation project. Look out for Bee Day, Ant Week and much, much more. Adult £7.50; child £5.50 Bockett’s Farm Park, Fetcham near Leatherhead Award-winning, working family farm with outdoor play area. Best and friendliest open farm in the beautiful Surrey countyside. Adult £9.30; child £9.95.

Summer 2015 • La Revista  23


Living Ecuadorian

Christy Callaway-Gale shares snapshots of her time spent travelling in Ecuador.

Market day. Photo by A.Davey



ven her skin said "indigenous", as if wrapped in the native leather of Cotacachi. Her nails were dark from a day of farming papas, the earth comfortably embedded beneath her skin, creating ten miniature portable plantations; yet the bright orange beads clinging to her wrist said "evening best". The heat on the bus was oppressive. I unwound my grey woollen scarf and stuffed it into my backpack, feeling the column of air that struggled through the gap in the plastic frame reach the blonde hairs on the back of my neck. I felt sick; she slept. Hacienda, mountain, cows, horse, mountain, hacienda, guinea pigs on a spit, supermaxi, Rafael Correa´s face on a green flag, mountain: picture postcards of Ecuador flashed by in the window where her black head scarf rested. The bus groaned. A baby cried. A bird chirped, more than once, and suddenly I was back on Andén Uno, where we were queuing up like cattle for Otavalo Transportes, watching a little boy and a chick totter towards each other, the boy's chubby arms outstretched. More chirping. Graffiti seemed to craft its way into every blank space here from the concrete, grass-covered wall running parallel to the road like ticker-tape, to the tattered, blue, cotton-covered seat in front: a word claustrophobia. We wound down the side of the mountain, our collective human humidity helping the bus to stick to the green earth, wet with the first raindrops of the season. I ate a crisp from a see-through plastic bag, sold to me

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from a makeshift stand at the terminal. It was bursting with gaudy sweet packets hanging vertically off one another as if vomited from the mouth of the stand itself. My entire monthly salt intake right there in that mouthful. "¿De dónde eres?" I traced the voice across the narrow isle. "De Inglaterra," I said. He whistled. I turned away and rolled up my crisp packet. The rain streamed down the window like tears on a plastic cheek, but it could just as well have been condensation. Oh the heat. A flash of yellow: TAXI IMBAYA in blurred, black, block capitals. The teary windowpane offered a shimmery reflection of Margarita’s instruction email I held in my hand. My stop. "Bajo aquí," I shouted at the driver. "Bajo aquí.” My head was filled with mottled Spanish and English, the heat blending the vocabulary into a lucky dip as I stumbled down the isle like a white ping-pong amongst dark-haired, intrigued onlookers. The token gringa.



reparada para tu primer día?" My hands tingled. Margarita blinked expectantly. I swallowed. "Creo que sí." What else could I say? The cloud dissolved and the chiselled jaw of the mountain jutted out towards us in the yellow autobús escolar. We heaved the black plastic bags pregnant with vegetables into the wooden pick-up truck. I picked up the last one and one handle snapped under its crip-

pling weight. It was dripping blood, oozing from a gash in the side of its round chest. The van jolted forward and my hip collided with the metal side, a new-born calf amongst old-time cattle. I winced and clung to the slippery wooden pole that stretched the whole length of the vehicle. The clouds had gathered once more to observe the newbie, spitting in my face, as one by one flashes of colour emerged from the bushes lining the dirt track and began following our tyremarked path. Their footsteps mounted like a stampede and I peered over the edge. Two dark faces stared back unashamedly. They ground to a halt, the image of their little bodies holding hands a shrinking, indigenous statue as we sped round the corner of a papa field. "Ésta es Señorita Christy." A sea of watery eyes stared up at the mouth of the pickup truck as if up to a shrine. I swallowed and smiled back apprehensively. Only the cow lazing under the rusting monkey bars seemed disinterested. I jumped down to their level and out of the corner of my eye I saw one boy with dark plaited hair move back instinctively. Another dark-haired girl was twirling her cinta around her finger, staring. “Soy Monika,” she said before running behind the giggling group of girls forming behind her. But I noticed a small, rough hand stroking my own, playing with my ring, moving it up and down my finger: an in-built child´s toy. I knelt down in front of him. His green knitted hat was covering his face. Two doe eyes, two dry red cheeks and one halfopen mouth met each of my corresponding British features. "This is Rumi." A voice filtered in from above. We smiled. "Yes, I’m ready Margarita," I whispered to myself, the wind picking up my words and echoing them around the mountain-scape, before cradling them safely towards expectant Otavalo.

El Mercado


onika´s eyelids flickered, her dark eyelashes fighting against the sunlight. A papa was digging into her shoulder. She frowned and turned towards the hierbas, but their strong medicinal qualities burned her nose. She sat up. Her blue t-shirt was wet down her right side and clung to her like her needy younger brother, still a wawa. A trickle of milk meandered past her hand tracing her little finger and she tracked it back up to the crack in the rusted metal bucket, its source. She watched as the milky-watered estuary forged its path between the wooden planks to cascade in droplets over the mouth of the pick-up truck. Market day. The cloud cleared, a silent melody passing

TRAVEL through the air, and suddenly she could see el Corazón de Imbabura beating above Otavalo, as the truck struggled over every rut and moist verduras escaped, rolling out from their straw sacks that sat pregnant on either side of her. The cebollas largas were strapped to her back like a baby, mirroring her mother with her brother, his dark foot sticking out between the folds of white material. They were heavy. Her body was doubled over into a right angle to support their weight as she struggled towards their stall. Head on one side passing stands steaming with chicken heads: "Yapas, yapas"; fruit piled up on wooden planks: "Diez por un dolar"; animal carcasses dripping from a metal hook: "A la orden amiguita". The babble of the market sellers faded in and out like a self-tuning radio as she weaved amongst them, dank vegetable tatters sticking to her sandals and the sweet smell of mandarins and the stench of blood blending into one. Sat sweltering on her wooden stool she gazed over the bright green field of tarpaulin roofs: a dense cloud hovered over the dark green mountain on the horizon. It was raining in Muenala. "Monika, quita la cabeza de las nubes y consigue cambio de cinco dólares," the voice of her mother in her ear. "Ahorita ñaña." She scurried off, her brightly threaded cinta hugging her matt of dark hair close to her neck as she slipped into the mesh of people. A lost soul amongst the chaos. *** The curtain of feathers fluttered into my path as I squeezed my way through the throng of backpacks and pale faces. I looked up. Enough dream-catchers to ward off the collective nightmares of Otavalo. "Té de coca, té de coca," his voice bellowed out, growing and fading in intensity as he wheeled his mobile stall, like a passing megaphone on an election campaign car. The stalls lined the streets surrounding plaza de ponchos: Sucre, Jaramillo, Morales, like terraced doll houses being poked and prodded by non-stop tourists, their unified market-sellers outcry an artistic road-block demonstration. "¿Cuánto cuesta esto?" "Doce," his lilting intonation mirroring the soft, malleable leather of the bracelet I stroked between my fingertips. "Para mí, ¿seis?" "Seis....Sí." What? Just like that? No dollarfied showdown? I should´ve gone lower. A smug pale face out of the corner of my eye silently echoed my thought. I scanned her wrist. Same bracelet. "Un momento señorita a buscar cambio." A community of indigenous faces and landscapes studied my own disgruntled face from a makeshift gallery of oil paintings spewing out excess colour. "Por favor," I shied away from the stale breath that assaulted my ear. His eyes were the colour of dark wood from the South, his

skin wrinkled suede from the North, his one white tooth the gleaming jewel of Cotapaxi. "Por favor," his empty, grey, plastic bucket, a used case from a take-away food stall, held high up by his mouth. "No, lo siento," I babbled just as I turned and felt the cool metal of my change being pushed in to my expectant hand. I didn´t turn back. Panama hats dripped from the heights of one stall, laid out like white headstones at another, hat heaven for the blonde-haired gringas searching for that "unique" gift, that was more like a factory farm animal about to be passed off as free range. "Hola, hello. Ven aquí, come here," his fractured English attempted to lure me towards his fabric lair as he pursued me down the street. I was offended. I´m not one of "them", one of those wide-eyed, dozy travellers with their backpacks on back-to-front as if confused, wandering aimlessly around the market, asking each other if they´d been over to that side yet and deciding that "dude they didn´t even know because they were, like, lost." No. I´ve been here for a month. I can tell you exactly how many minutes it takes to walk from the Suburb of Imbaya to here: 19. I can tell you why a white rabbit is donated to the bride at an indigenous, Ecuadorian wedding: because it´s a symbol of femininity. I can tell you what raymi means in Quechua: festival. No. I´m not one of "them". "Cinturas, aquí," I ducked away as a leather belt from Cotacachi swung like a whip towards my face. I caught his eye, a flicker of recognition. "Le he visto por aquí, has estado en Otavalo por mucho tiempo." My face glowed with pride, reflecting off the native silver jewelry glinting in the stall behind. I smiled as I turned towards my route to Imbaya, passing American tour groups being herded like cattle in the opposite direction. I weaved myself into the indigenous crowd growing around a group of performers; the sound of a conch called out over the crowd and the music sang: Their long, dark plaits Beat the raw rhythm out on their backs: Dancing whips. A hollow breath, a flash of strings, Wooden pipes, violin, Voices fighting for authority As the group revolved. Anti-clockwise, clockwise, Anti-clockwise, clockwise, An orbiting planet possessed By the music that created it. Black tassels quivering, Black leather glinting, Clear sweat glistening, White sandals stomping

Earthquakes from the planet´s core Shattering upwards through my skeleton. I was the music; the music was me. And I was up on my feet As the sea itself sung out Through the conch´s white shell walls, Over the receding sound waves The indigenous tide, -TribeRetreating.

Despedida "Time to go," I gave a slight jolt as Andy´s voice slammed the final curtain down on my thoughts. The fading musician’s conch echoed in my mind’s ear, like the memories in my mind’s eye: Ecuador was ending for me. I had been staring at the strokes of colour pasted all over the classroom walls: sequin fish swimming across the chalk board, tissue paper tigers roaring amongst their jungle tribe, trains puffing smoke as they chugged towards the coast, a paper people population: the evidence of my eight weeks here with the children those paint-impressed handprints belonged to. My mind flashed back to the bare, grey, concrete walls of the past. I turned to leave. A visual memory postcard to tuck away and pull out every now and then to remind myself that I was here once. All homeward bound we trailed after the children who climbed the hill in pairs: Aini and Malki, Rumi and Narcisa: the future husbands and wives of the Muenalan community. The wind´s hand stroked the green grass back and forth like the velvet of the indigenous belt Aini would wear at her wedding, while Rumi helped Narcisa strap her rag-doll to her back with a strip of ragged material. The earth began to shudder with an approaching gallop, the heartbeat of the mountain. Aurelio´s thick, dark plait waved goodbye as he sped past on the brilliant white fur of his horse, glowing like a shooting star, a miniature imprint of his father that followed in his star-scattered path. Suddenly, I noticed a small rough hand stroking my own, playing with the silver toy wrapped around my index finger. I knelt down in front of him. At Quilotoa the rock broke through the earth like the cracked, dry skin of Rumi´s cheeks, my blue eyes next to them like the turquoise eye of the Quilotoa lagoon. "Hasta mañana," he cried out. I opened my mouth to correct him but he was gone, they all were, flying down the hill, leaving the words sitting dry and silent in my halfopen mouth, the free spirits of the Muenalan mountain.

The monochrome blur A sacrificial killing of colour, Absorbed and spat out With each note and bow stroke: Auditary art. And the drums,

Summer 2015 • La Revista  25


Escapadas rurales

Descubre la paz y tranquilidad en la naturaleza, dice Estefanía Ruilope


esconectar de la gran ciudad en hoteles rurales con encanto es una opción perfecta para cargar las pilas y poner la mente en blanco durante unos días. Recorremos la geografía española en busca de los mejores lugares para conseguir dicho objetivo. Espacios en medio de la naturaleza que permiten reducir el estrés, degustar una rica gastronomía, respirar aire puro, hacer turismo y como no, descansar y relajarse. Hacemos un viaje de norte a sur y de este a oeste para contarte los alojamientos más solicitados.

Finca de los Arandinos

Su espectacular diseño exterior ha corrido a cargo de Javier Arizcuren y el interior es obra de David Delfín. Su maravillo spa con vistas precisa una visita, al igual que su amplia e interesante bodega con nombres como ‘Viero’, ‘Finca de los Arandinos Crianza’, ‘Malacapa’ o ‘El Conjuro’. Este último, como nos explican ellos mismos, “es el más especial, realizado a partir de unas uvas ecológicas”. Un plus: la cocina de Diego Rodríguez, el chef del restaurante Tierra, que consiste en platos cien por cien riojanos elaborados con productos “kilómetro cero’, es decir, producidos a menos de 100 kilómetros. Dónde: Ctra. LR- 137, Km 4,6. Entrena, La Rioja.


Fuente Tachada Es una casa de campo en una finca arbolada con fresnos y robles al pie del Parque Nacional del Guadarrama que predica el estilo de vida ecológico. Su dueña, Cristina, nos cuenta que han construido “una laguna con el objeto de facilitar refugio y agua durante el seco verano segoviano a aves, liebres, corzos y jabalíes”. Un plus: El porche, construido con la viguería de un monasterio del S.XVII de Valladolid y sostenido por unos pies provenientes del mítico edificio del Tío Pepe, de la Puerta del Sol de Madrid. Dónde: Camino de Santo Domingo, s/n
. Sotosalbos. Segovia.

26  La Revista • Summer 2015

Vaquería Canta el Gallo

Tierra de Aguas

Se trata de una casa con un llamativo estilo nórdico en el corazón del Parque Natural de Redes cuya gastronomía, digna de degustar, está basada en productos de la tierra. Este hotel organiza interesantes rutas guiadas con expertos naturalistas para observar la gran variedad de fauna salvaje que existe en la zona, como lobos ibéricos, gatos monteses, rebecos, corzos, ciervos, tejones, zorros, jabalíes… Un plus: su spa con sauna panorámica e impresionantes vistas al valle. Dónde: Sonxerru, S/N. Caleao. (Caso). Asturias.

La Casa de los Tomillares

En un pueblo llamado Monroyo, en pleno corazón de la comarca turolense de Matarraña, aparecen estos curiosos cubos revestidos de madera y colocados sobre un acantilado en plena armonía con la naturaleza. Construido junto a una ermita del S.XVI, el hotel está inspirado en la arquitectura de Craig Ellwood, que mezcla del racionalismo de Mies van der Rohe y el informalismo del sur de California. La gran curiosidad es que en sus habitaciones te encuentras suelo de pizarra negra, una bañera excavada y una chimenea colgante. Su oferta de actividades es variada. Además de poder hacer senderismo o rutas en bici entre sus bosques de pinos y olivos, tienen relajantes clases de yoga. Un plus: Su piscina con vistas. “Nuestro proyecto ha preservado al máximo la vegetación y los árboles”, destacan. Dónde: Carretera nacional 232. km 96. Monroyo / Mont-roig, Teruel.

ya existentes en el lugar, concebida como un volumen orgánico de trayectoria de curva, cuyo espacio interior se proyecta en relación a la vegetación circundante”. Su situación, entre el mar Cantábrico y los Picos de Europa, le permite ofrecer multitud de interesantes propuestas. Un plus: Los amantes de la buena arquitectura tienen mucho que ver y disfrutar. Dónde: Carretera LLN-6, s/n, Pereda (Llanes), Asturias.

Se encuentra situada en Candeleda, a los pies de la Sierra de Gredos, y su decoración rústica, puesta con muy buen gusto, enamora a primera vista. Además de ofrecer multitud de actividades externas, como practicar deporte o realizar visitas culturales, tiene una deliciosa carta de masajes relajantes en las habitaciones. Un plus: Todas las habitaciones tienen vistas al jardín y están decoradas de manera diferente. Dónde: AV-910, 5. Candeleda, Ávila.

La componen un conjunto de casas rurales en Extremadura, concretamente en la zona de Jaraíz de la Vera, un valle situado en la cara norte de la sierra de Gredos. La dueña nos explica que cumplen a rajatabla con un lema: Tratar a los clientes “como me gustaría que me recibieran en un hotel, de esta manera nunca nos equivocamos”. Además de las clásicas excursiones por la zona, ofrecen unos divertidos cursos de arreglos florales y de mermeladas. Un plus: Los desayunos son servidos con una amplia variedad de panes y mermeladas caseras ecológicas. Dónde: Camino Parque de los Bolos, s/n. Jaraíz de la Vera – Cáceres.

Hotel Empuries

CAE a Claveles

Ubicado en la zona de Pereda, este hotel fue galardonado con el Premio Asturias de Arquitectura en el año 2012, y es que su diseño es digno de admirar. Como ellos mismos nos explican, “el proyecto se adapta a esta peculiar topografía recreando una colina similar a las

Ubicado en la costa Brava, más concretamente en la localidad de L´Escala y a orillas del mar Mediterráneo. Además de tener un bonito diseño, potencia los valores de la sostenibilidad y del estilo de vida ecológico. Un plus: Su restaurante Villa Teresita, un espacio gastronómico de cocina eco-mediterránea que presume de una excelente carta de autor elaborada por el chef Rafael Peña. Dónde: Platja del Portitxol, s/n. 17130 L' Escala, Girona.

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Secretos de Valladolid

Claudia Rubiño explica por qué esta ciudad siempre estará en su corazón.


agamos un ejercicio de concentración. Cerrad los ojos y borrad de vuestra mente los prejuicios.Todo lo que hayáis escuchado hasta ahora sobre Valladolid es mentira. Esto es una verdad universal que ha de ser dicha de una vez por todas. También hay que tener en cuenta que, como buenos españoles que somos, nos gusta generalizar, y poner un nombre a unos muchos cuando en realidad son sólo unos pocos. Pero no pasa nada, porque a los muchos y muchas relacionados con Valladolid nos gusta arrojar un poco de luz y descubrir los secretos de esta bonita ciudad para que empiece a perder su mala reputación. Valladolid es una ciudad en el centro de una meseta, en el fondo de un valle, donde llueve y hace frío y donde hay nieblas que no te dejan ver los coches que pasan por la carretera que quieres cruzar. A Valladolid le gusta que le llamen Pucela porque así se hace la interesante, y ciertamente el nombre no le queda nada mal. Se dicen tantas cosas sobre esa etimología que nada queda claro, lo que sí es seguro es que estamos muy orgullosos de ser pucelanos y pucelanas. Eso es verdad. Que Valladolid fue la capital de un reino lejano es otra verdad (admitámoslo, fueron pocos años, cinco quizá, no hace falta hacer un mundo de aquello). Y otra cosa también muy cierta es que Valladolid está llena de encanto y gente interesante. También tenemos fama de hablar muy correctamente, aunque por nuestras calles se escuchen laísmos por doquier. Y, por supuesto, tenemos a nuestros autores. Gracias al romántico José Zorrilla contamos con una plaza que lleva su nombre, una calle que es la arteria principal de la ciudad y una hermosa estatua. Pero lo que desconocemos es el carácter rebelde de este romántico que comenzó a estudiar leyes y, en vez de terminar sus estudios, se fugó

para ser poeta, dramaturgo y bohemio. Él encontró la fama una noche triste, durante el entierro de Larra, donde leyó los versos que le abrirían las puertas a todos los círculos de literatos de la época. Ese vago clamor que rasga el viento Es la voz funeral de una campana: Vago remedo del postrer lamento De un cadáver sombrío y macilento Que en sucio polvo dormirá mañana. Si lo vuestro no es el Romanticismo, ahí está Jorge Guillén y el optimismo que él mismo dijo quería Transmitir. Nos dejó estos cuatro versos para que no olvidáramos de dónde era: Villa por villa en el mundo Cuando los años felices Brotaban de mis raíces, Tú, Valladolid profundo.

Muy cerca de nuestro querido Pisuerga, en el centro de la Plaza del Poniente se encontraba situada una bonita fuente con el mismísimo Jorge Guillén, pero ya nunca volverá a su sitio original, regresará a su anonimato una vez más. Don Jorge, como muchos vallisoletanos de hoy en día, se vio

obligado a dejar nuestra tierra por diversos motivos que todos conocemos pero que no vienen al caso. Si queremos saber qué ilustre vallisoletana conserva aún su estatua y una biblioteca tenemos que dirigir la vista a la gran Rosa Chacel y su pequeña Leticia Valle. Ella no nos cuenta las cosas que le van sucediendo a sus doce años, sino que la autora, a través de Leticia, teje una serie de acontecimientos a medio narrar para que nosotros, como lectores, saquemos nuestras propias conclusiones. Todo un ejercicio de literatura. Otro autor que estuvo de paso por Valladolid fue ni más ni menos que don Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra. Se alojó en una casita en la calle de Miguel Íscar durante un par de años, tiempo suficiente como para asistir a la publicación de la primera parte de su Quijote, trabajar en la segunda parte de la misma novela y escribir también El Coloquio de los perros, entre otras obras. Podría seguir enumerando los tesoros literarios que tenemos en mi tierra y me dejaría olvidado amás de uno. Quien no se me olvidaría por nada del mundo sería don Miguel Delibes Setién y he aquí el porqué: Por su culpa he llegado a temer Valladolid, he pasado por la puerta del Campo Grande y he sentido verdaderos escalofríos al pensar en las quemas públicas que allí se habían llevado a cabo. Lo sé, El Hereje es su gran obra, que no ensombrece en ningún momento a las otras (Las Ratas, Diario de un inmigrante, Cinco horas con Mario, Los Santos Inocentes), pero yo descubrí — Delibes me descubrió a mí — a Delibes en su discurso de entrada en la Real Academia de la Lengua en 1975 y fue cuando, siendo estudiante de instituto, me di cuenta de que no era la única en el mundo ni mucho menos la primera en pensar ciertas cosas que ya don Miguel había dicho casi treinta años atrás: “Porque si la aventura del progreso, tal como hasta el día de hoy? la hemos entendido, ha de traducirse inexorablemente en un aumento de la violencia y la incomunicación; de la autocracia y la desconfianza; de la injusticia y la prostitución de la naturaleza; del sentimiento competitivo y del refinamiento de la tortura; de la explotación del hombre por el hombre y la exaltación del dinero, en ese caso yo gritaría ahora mismo, como?? el protagonista de una conocida canción americana: “¡Que paren la Tierra, quiero apearme!”. En cualquier caso, no era un temor real, claro está. Que por muchas cosas malas que pueda tener, Valladolid es Valladolid y esa es la única buena razón para querer volver. Nos echarán de Valladolid, nos iremos de Valladolid, pero Valladolid no se irá de nosotros.

Fuente con Jorge Guillén

Summer 2015 • La Revista  29


La naturaleza, un artefacto cultural La relación del ser humano con la naturaleza es la inspiración de una exhibición de la artista Gloria Ceballos.

The Great Bustard



loria Ceballos ha expuesto de manera individual en el Instituto Cervantes de Londres bajo el título La naturaleza, un artefacto cultural entre los meses de febrero y marzo de este año. Tanto la exposición como la tesis presentada bajo el mismo título por la artista en el Royal College of Art de Londres en 2015 muestran su constante investigación sobre la relación del ser humano con la naturaleza. No es de extrañar que el medio ambiente sea de su interés, dado que en su familia ya son cuatro generaciones de ingenieros de Montes, entre ellos grandes celebridades como su abuelo, D. Luis Ceballos y Fernández de Córdoba, miembro de la Real Academia de la Lengua y de la Real Academia de Ciencias, o su padre, Dr Pedro Ceballos Jiménez, autor de numerosas publicaciones e investigaciones. En definitiva, Gloria ha visto, oído y experimentado la naturaleza desde niña en el ambiente familiar. Las preocupaciones por diversos temas del medio ambiente son recogidas en la muestra en forma de obra gráfica, fotografía, vídeo e instalaciones. En el proyecto Use/Abuse la artista hace una denuncia del uso y del abuso que hacemos de la naturaleza durante Navidad. Nos llenamos de tristeza al contemplar el paisaje desolador cuando, tras el final de las fiestas navideñas, miles de árboles son abandonados en las calles de nuestras ciudades. El proyecto está compuesto de obra gráfica, un vídeo y una estampación directa de un árbol de Navidad en papel. En la trilogía de grabados Three natures, la obra más reciente de la artista, Gloria indaga en el deseo del hombre por controlar todo, incluyendo la naturaleza, que es clasificada, organizada, diseñada y teorizada. El concepto de “las tres naturalezas” ha sido estudiado por multitud de autores desde Cicerón y desarrollado por el historiador del paisaje, John Dixon Hunt. Como habitantes de ciudades nuestras experiencias sobre la naturaleza están restringidas a parques, jardines y otras zonas verdes, “la naturaleza cultural”. En este sentido, denominamos espacios verdes a lo relacionado con lo natural, cuando en realidad son espacios controlados por el hombre. Gloria cuenta con una larga trayectoria internacional enfocada especialmente en la obra gráfica. Prueba de ello son las obras presentadas en esta exposición, que abarcan casi todas las diferentes técnicas de grabado: desde las tradicionales, como la litografía, las aguafuertes, aguatintas y serigrafías; hasta los métodos más contemporáneos, como la estampación digital o algunos más cercanos al performance, como es el caso del grabado directo. La actividad de Gloria Ceballos es imparable, no acababa de terminar su exposición individual en el Instituto Cervantes de Londres y ya estaba trabajando en la residencia artística que le había otorgado AtelierBeisinghoff, (premio que recibe un solo artista de trayectoria internacional al año) donde a lo largo de un mes ha creado una obra específica para el Lustgarten, un jardín histórico en Rhoden que forma ya parte de su colección. Entre sus próximos proyectos se incluyen la exposición fin de máster en el Royal College of Arts o la residencia artística a la que ha sido invitada en Valdelarte, Huelva. Para no perderse ninguna de sus exposiciones lo mejor es visitar su página web: !Enhorabuena Gloria! por nuestro corresponsal de arte

30  La Revista • Summer 2015

The great British bird has migrated to the Iberian plains.


he great bustard (Otis tarda) is the heaviest flying bird in the world. Until the nineteenth century it lived and bred in England, but by the 1830s it had become extinct. Efforts to reintroduce the bird on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire had a modest success in the early part of this century, importing birds from Russia. But last year, for the first time, eggs were brought to England from Spain, where about two thirds of the world population of great bustards are to be found. Spain’s population of this magnificent bird is estimated at more than 30,000, living mainly in Estremadura, Castilla la Mancha and Castilla y Leon. Licences have been issued in Spain for the collection of around 70 eggs in 2015 from an area south-east of Toledo. By the beginning of June they will have been incubated and hatched in a specialist enclosure at Birdworld in Surrey before being taken to Wiltshire to be reared by the Great Bustard Group on the Plain. Last year the hatch rate was over 80 per cent (33 birds released), and hopes are high this year for the release of a much larger number of birds. The long-term future of great bustards in England is much brighter now that the eggs are coming from Spain. A recent survey conducted by the University of Chester found that, of all the European great bustard populations, the Spanish birds share the closest DNA links with the original British bustard. When I first spotted four great bustards standing in a grass field one of our party mistook them for deer. They are so large that it is hard to believe that such a bird is living wild in England. In spring the male makes an extraordinary display, twisting and fanning out its wing and tail feathers so that, from a distance, it rather resembles a white balloon. The female’s clutch is usually two or three eggs, and once fledged, a bird may live for 15 or more years. When a great bustard takes off, it rises almost vertically, in spite of its size, due to the strength of its wings. Some of the best sites for viewing great bustards in Spain are at Llanos de Belen, north of Trujillo, Llanos de la Albuera, south of Badajoz, and Villafafila, north of Zamora. By Simon Courtauld


Rugby in Spain

“Un deporte para todos, pero no para cualquiera”. Former rugby player Dominic Begg reflects on the sport’s histroy in Spain.

(Text) In 1980 Dominic Begg (below arch) and team-mates play a Copa del Rey rugby match. Can you identify the crumbling stadium? (Answer: page 32)


arcelona owes a great deal to the Witty family who, for over a century, have contributed to the development of both its port and its sport. Business success apart, it was a Witty who captained Football Club Barcelona in its early years, little knowing how huge and significant Barça would become. And around 1920 the first rugby ball to reach Catalonia was donated by a Witty to some keen young sportsmen in the village of Sant Boi just outside Barcelona. This led to the founding of Spain’s first rugby club, U.E.Santboiana, which still plays at the highest domestic level to this day. A decade later, in 1931, my favourite Spanish club, C.D. Arquitectura, had its beginnings as a faculty team in Madrid, with rugby soon becoming an established university sport in the northern half of the peninsula. When European rugby’s governing body, FIRA (International Amateur Rugby Federation), was formed in 1934 Spain was one of its founding members, taking part from then on in a kind of 2nd division ‘Five Nations’ tournament involving the likes of Italy, Rumania and France ‘B’. As recently as the early 70s, Spain and Italy were of a similar standard, but an enlightened tax-saving scheme introduced by the Italian government brought commercial money into amateur sports, with big companies like Benetton happy to sponsor their local rugby clubs. In addition, veteran New Zealand and Australian internationals were encouraged (free accommodation and very

generous expenses) to spend their last seasons before retirement, playing and coaching in Italy, thus boosting the quality of the domestic league. Sadly, over the years, the Spanish federation seems to have lacked the kind of dynamism shown by the Italians, while remaining chronically underfunded. This means that Spanish sports newspapers give priority to reporting and photographing indoor sports like basketball and handball. On a Monday they print the results of ‘división de honor’ matches, but with no details or photos. In spite of this, good things have happened in Spanish rugby, such as the introduction of a nationally organized system of leagues in 1969. By 1971 we find Arquitectura Madrid established in the ‘división de honor’, going on to finish the 72-73 season in second place. And in May 1974 ‘La Escuela’, as the team was known, won the league title for the first time, playing attractive attacking rugby that drew large crowds and stimulated a real interest in the game. Top teams were now able to fly to some away matches, which usually kicked off on Sunday at noon, thus allowing players to fly back and rejoin their girlfriends for evening celebrations. Meanwhile, Spanish television began to show ‘Five Nations’ games on its second channel, while European tours began to be organised through the efforts of pioneers like the Basque architect Lino Plaza and sponsors such as Schweppes. And input from Welsh

coaches, notably the late Ray Williams, raised playing standards. Rugby was sufficiently cool to attract budding actors (Javier Bardem, Antonio Resines), a future Aznar minister, several judges and Jordi Pujol junior, a Barça hooker in the 80s who forsook rugby for luxury cars and Andorran banks. In recent years Spain has excelled in the Seven-a-Side format, as well as in women’s rugby. Spanish players, such as Oriol Ripoll, have played professionally in the English first division, but Spain’s senior squad still relies on injections of quality from France, currently in the shape of Bayonne’s excellent scrum-half, Guillaume Rouet. And don’t forget Ireland’s Jordi Murphy, born and raised in Barcelona, who seems certain to figure prominently in this autumn’s World Cup finals. However, many obstacles have persisted, poor municipal pitches being one of them. I remember in the 70s try-scorers in Valladolid having to ground the ball smartly, for fear of colliding with some sort of low wall just a few metres beyond the try-line. At a pitch grazed by sheep near Barcelona airport the problem was similar, this time with try-scorers risking a ducking in a small stream perilously close to the playing area. Facilities at

Albert Malo (U.E.Santboiana) was a top player in the late 80s and 90s, leading Spain to their only qualification for the final stages of a World Cup in 1999, which featured a brave defensive performance against South Africa in Edinburgh.

Summer 2015 • La Revista  31

SPORT up-country venues could be primitive. Before a cup game played on a rural pitch outside Zaragoza I asked the local delegado, who had the look of a shepherd, for the toilet. He led me along a path, before graciously pointing me towards the base of a large tree! Personally I have a great affection for the mundillo that is Spanish rugby. In Argentina they say this is “a sport for everyone, but not just anyone”. It seems to me that Spanish rugbymen have a special character, usually acquired through adversity, which I’ve learnt to appreciate through the decades, all the way back to my first season with Arquitectura in the autumn of 73, continuing with Natación Barcelona and, since 1992, with R.C. Sitges. And what of the Witty family? Well, these days they’ve stepped back from the sporting arena and now organise ‘Witty Walks’: hearty weekend hikes and rambles in the Catalan countryside, which are popular with expatriates, including the occasional old rugbyman…

C.D.Arquitectura, a former faculty team, dominated Spanish rugby for 15 years, from the mid-70s, when this photo was taken.From left: Felipe, Moriche, Goico, Flauta (all internationals).Manolo Moriche, the playmaker, commentates on international rugby for Canal Plus.(Club Shields) Arquitectura won their first league title in the 73-74 season. The ‘División de Honor’ then consisted of 5 Catalan clubs, four from Madrid and one from the Basque country. Valladolid clubs soon joined the party, leading ultimately to vallisoletano domination of Spanish rugby in the 21st century.

Answer from page 31: Olympic Stadium, Montjuich, Barcelona. in 1980. The team in white, C.N.Barcelona, lost narrowly to Cisneros of Madrid.

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En torno a la presencia de los científicos españoles en el Reino Unido: un panorama histórico La sociedad de Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/ CERU) hace su presentación ante The British Spanish Society con este artículo de naturaleza histórica, destacando algunos episodios singulares de una presencia ya secular de científicos españoles en el Reino Unido. Por Francisco A. González Redondo y Lorenzo Melchor Fernández.


la hora de estudiar desde una perspectiva histórica las relaciones científicas entre el Reino Unido y España podrían concebirse diferentes puntos de partida. El más tentador sería situar el origen de estas relaciones en la presencia de insignes personalidades británicas clásicas, tales como Adelard of Bath en Barcelona en torno a 1120 (traduciendo los Elementos de Euclides), Robert of Chester en Segovia en torno a 1145 (estudiando el Álgebra de Al-Kwarizmi), Michael Scot hasta 1220 en la Escuela de Toledo (traduciendo al latín las obras en árabe de Aristóteles y Averroes)… todos ellos en el marco de esa Península Ibérica de las tres culturas (cristiana, árabe y judía), referencia cultural para todo el occidente medieval cristiano. Pero este enfoque no sería correcto. Por un lado, los casos avanzados ilustrarían la presencia de británicos en territorios hispánicos, mientras que en este artículo vamos a tratar del viaje inverso. Por otro, el conjunto de reinos enfrentados durante la Reconquista en la Península Ibérica no podría ser considerado aún España, ni los

Fig. 2

34  La Revista • Summer 2015

territorios británicos medievales se aproximaban todavía a la realidad que llamaríamos hoy Reino Unido. El punto de partida más preciso a los efectos de nuestro estudio deba situarse probablemente a comienzos del siglo XVIII, tras la firma en 1707 del Union Act, que dio realidad formal al Reino de Gran Bretaña (unión de Inglaterra-Gales y Escocia), y tras el fin de la Guerra de Sucesión en 1714, con la reorganización institucional del Reino de España (unión definitiva de Castilla y Aragón). A lo largo de este siglo se constataría, además, cómo desde ese imperio en decadencia que era ya el español, todavía referencia en el mundo de la literatura y el arte, se empezaba a mirar y admirar a esa potencia emergente que seriá la británica, modelo en los campos de la ciencia y la técnica. De esta forma se inició una dinámica de presencias de españoles en el Reino Unido de naturalezas muy diversas. Con la llegada a España de la nueva dinastía de los Borbones se emprendió una tarea de renovación de las instituciones científicas siguiendo los modelos franceses, creándose centros de educación superior dependientes de la Armada y el Ejército -tales como la Academia de Guardiamarinas de Cádiz o la Academia Militar de Matemáticas- y enviando jóvenes científicos a expediciones como la que terminaría con Juan de Ulloa elegido en 1746 Fellow de la Royal Society tras una singular estancia ¡como prisionero! en Londres. Pocos años después, y en el marco de la modernización dirigida por el Marqués de la Ensenada, la principal figura científica española, el físico y matemático Jorge Juan sería enviado como espía industrial a Inglaterra, lo que le convirtió también en miembro de la Royal Society antes de ser descubierto y tener que huir precipitadamente. Aunque las tareas de espionaje tecnológico continuarían con Agustín de Bethancourt, las presencias de científicos se normalizarían a partir del reinado de

Fig. 3

Fig. 1

Carlos III, cuando se concedieron becas para que médicos españoles viajaran a estudiar e investigar en la Universidad de Edimburgo y los Guy’s y St Thomas Hospitals de Londres (A. Gimbernat, 1774; I. Mª Ruiz de Luzuriaga, 1785). Dichas becas también permitieron que botánicos visitaran los Gardens de Chelsea, Kew y Oxford (C. Gómez Ortega, 1776; E. Boutelou, 1790-1798); que astrónomos y fabricantes de relojes aprendieran técnicas imprescindibles para la Armada en Londres (J. M. de Aréjula, 1789-1791; Amaro López, 1788-1793; C. Sánchez, 1792-1793), etc.; y que figuras como José Mendoza y Ríos actuaran prácticamente como consejeros científicos en el Reino Unido. El siglo XIX, sin embargo, podría quedar caracterizado por una realidad sorprendente: Londres convertida en la capital cultural de España entre 1808 y 1934. En efecto, desatadas las guerras peninsulares que conocemos como Guerra de Independencia, serían comisionados en Londres astrónomos como J. Rodríguez González y cartógrafos como J. Espinosa y Tello. Ellos constituirían el prólogo para la diáspora de nuestros científicos más destacados con la llegada de Fernando VII al trono en 1814 al terminar la guerra, y, especialmente, a

Fig. 1 El físico y matemático Jorge Juan y Santacilla (1713-1773) fue enviado de incógnito en misión de espionaje naval a Inglaterra por el Marqués de la Ensenada. Fue nombrado miembro de la Royal Society en 1749. Fig. 2 Tras la Guerra Civil española el físico español Arturo Duperier Vallesa (1896-1959) se exilió a Inglaterra, donde ejerció en la Universidad de Birmingham y el Imperial College. Reconocido por su estudio de la radiación cósmica, en la foto explica científicamente la bomba atómica de Hiroshima a través de los micrófonos de la BBC. Regresaría a España en 1953. Fig. 3 Miembros de la contemporánea sociedad de Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) durante la celebración de su II Simposio Internacional en Londres, celebrado en julio de 2014. La SRUK/ CERU se estableció en 2012 con el objetivo de agrupar a los científicos españoles en el Reino Unido, acercar la ciencia a la sociedad, asesorar a instituciones en materia de política científica y favorecer colaboraciones científicas entre España y el Reino Unido. La British Spanish Society y la SRUK/CERU firmaron un convenio de colaboración en 2014. Para más información sobre SRUK/CERU, puedes visitar su página web: http://

partir de 1823, con la represión que siguió al final del Trienio Liberal. Saldrían de España el matemático y político Gabriel Císcar, el periodista y editor J. Joaquín de Mora, el astrónomo y cartógrafo Felipe Bauzá, el botánico Mariano Lagasca, el médico e higienista Mateo Seoane, el médico y pedagogo Pablo Montesino, … algunos de los cuales volverían a España durante el reinado de Isabel II importando lo aprendido en el Reino Unido. Las primeras décadas del siglo XX, las del proceso de regeneración de España tras el desastre de 1898, asistirían a la llegada al Reino Unido de numerosos investigadores españoles becados por la Junta para Ampliación de Estudios en el marco del programa concebido para que, a su vuelta, nuestros científicos pudieran introducir en el entramado universitario español las técnicas experimentales, las nuevas corrientes científicas y los modelos organizativos aprendidos en los centros británicos, proceso que debería habernos conducido a una definitiva convergencia con Europa tras siglos de decadencia. Así, en centros de Londres, Middlesex, Cambridge, etc., G. Rodríguez Lafora estudiaría discapacidades infantiles, Pío de Río Hortega oncología, Miguel Catalán espectroscopía, Felisa Martín Bravo espectrografía de rayos X, Severo Ochoa y F. Grande Covián fisiología, etc. Pero el Reino Unido también acogería a numerosos científicos españoles emigrados políticos (exiliados) como consecuencia de nuestra Guerra Civil, una diáspora que frenaría nuestra convergencia científica con Europa y que sufrirían el químico Fernando Calvet en Edimburgo, el oncólogo Del Río Hortega en Oxford, el físico Arturo Duperier en Manchester y Londres, la naturalista y pedagoga Margarita Comas en Devon, el traumatólogo Josep Trueta en Oxford, etc. La situación volvería a sus cauces normales en el tardofranquismo y, sobre todo, con la transición democrática, recuperándose el proceso de encuentro con Europa, en general, y mediante la normalización de la presencia de nuestros investigadores en el Reino Unido, en particular. Sería una dinámica que nos ha traído hasta el actual siglo XXI, protagonizado ya por los científicos de la sociedad de Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom, que, formados en España, han encontrado acogida y reconocimiento en centros docentes y de investigación del Reino Unido, extendiendo al conjunto de la sociedad británica la cultura científica española desde sus cada vez más numerosas delegaciones, constituidas en Londres, Cambridge, el Southwest, las Midlands, Oxford, Manchester-Liverpool, Escocia, etc. Francisco A. González Redondo es profesor titular de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y miembro fundador de la SRUK/CERU. Lorenzo Melchor Fernández (investigador postdoctoral en The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) y miembro fundador y primer presidente de la SRUK/CERU durante 2012-2014).

Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs ‐ Embassy of Spain   

PROGRAMME JULY – OCTOBER 2015    17 July  22 Jul ‐ 11 Sep  25 July 

Isabel María Martínez at the IGF 2015 Season Bath Guitar Festival  The Chapel, The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic  1615: Power, Politics and Performance at the heart of Europe  12 Star Gallery, Europe House   Juan Martín.  IGF Guitar Summit  Hall One, Kings Place 

13 September 

Maria Camahort Quintet: Iberian Colours   Hall Two, Kings Place 

14 September 

Cervantes Prize Winners Series: Francisco Umbral  Luis Vives Room, Embassy of Spain 

24 Sep – 1 Oct 

London Spanish Film Festival  Various venues 

16 October 

Juan Martín & Chaparro de Málaga. North East Guitar Festival  Sage, Gateshead 

13 ‐ 17 Oct 

Iberian Week ‐ Sixth E. Allison Peers Symposium y Peers Visiting Writers  Various venues, Liverpool 

7‐18 Oct  21 October 

Spanish films at the BFI London Film Festival  Various venues  Juan Martín & Chaparro de Málaga. London Guitar Festival   Hall One, Kings Place 

23 ‐ 25 Oct  Participación de Paco Roca en COMICA  29 October 

Mabel Millán + Carlos Piñana Trio.  London Guitar Festival  Hall One, Kings Place 

30 October 

Mabel Millán. North East Guitar Festival   Sage,  Gateshead 


Conference: Unamuno and Philosophy  Senate House, University of London 


Carlos Núñez: Galicia to Hampshire, via the rest of the world Sonja Davison meets renowned piper Carlos Núñez as he prepares for his UK performances.

my life! You often find that [once you have invited] a young player once, the next time you play in that same place [they] have become pros, or teachers who have multiplied that message. Which music do you like to chill out to? The truth is I'm always thinking of new music. Even secretly, I'm always working on new stuff, no matter if I'm travelling or relaxing walking in a forest. Perhaps the best music for me to chill out is the soundtrack of the sea... but it also has the power to make me imagine new things inside me.


arlos Núñez is one of Galicia's most well-known, enduring and revered musicians and widely regarded as one of the great pipers. From the Celtic region of northern Spain, Núñez is a multiinstrumentalist; his signature instrument is the gaita, or Galician bagpipe, but he also plays pastoral pipes, ocarina, whistle and recorder. His albums regularly attain gold and platinum status in Spain and he is popular throughout Europe, Latin America and the USA, having sold well over 1 million albums worldwide. He is known by Irish music fans thanks to his early "adoption" by Irish supergroup, the Chieftains - so close was his musical and personal connection to the group that he was dubbed "The Seventh Chieftain". Born in 1971 and raised in the Galician port of Vigo, where he initially picked up the gaita at age eight, Núñez embodies the irrepressible spirit of his native music. He respects and seeks to safeguard Galicia’s musical legacy while also exploring fresh, fascinating realms of possibility. This summer Núñez heads for two special concerts in Hampshire. It will be a welcome return for the piper, who takes his special brand of Celtic music around the world playing venues from the most acoustically acclaimed concert halls with huge symphony orchestras to festivals, engaging with whole new audiences. When he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 it was as support to a sold out audience for Julio Iglesias – he vowed to return. A trip to the Isle of Skye under the tutelage of Professor Hugh Cheape to research the movement of peoples and music from Northern Spain to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland and on to the Americas and Patagonia led to a performance at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow in

Carlos Núñez’s current CD, Inter-Celtic is released by Sony Music. January with musicians from many Celtic nations of the world. His next visit to the UK will be on 5th August for an unforgettable intimate concert at Chapel Sessions, Royal Victoria Country Park near Southampton followed by Wickham Music Festival the following day. Playing with his band - brother Xurxo Nunez on percussion and Pancho Alvarez on Portuguese guitar, they play “music that smiles with every note”, promising an evening of Celtic music with a few surprises. How are you feeling about playing in England this summer? It's a big pleasure. Although we toured there last year, including the Royal Albert Hall opening for Julio Iglesias, it's been many years since we played in England in summer. After doing many summer festivals in the US these last couple of years and with the experiences lived through the last few albums, we have lots to tell and share with the English audiences! What do you love about travelling the world with your music? I think it's a great way to connect people, not only pulling different cultures together but making people feel the call of their own roots. I don't think of travelling just for making a living but as my master Paddy Moloney from the Chieftains says, "we have a mission". You love to include local musicians in your shows. Is this rewarding? Yes, I do love inviting local talent, especially if they're young and play traditional instruments. I remember how happy the Chieftains made me when they invited me to play with them as a child and also how encouraging it was for the self confidence of my own local culture – that changed

Chapel Sessions is a community-led not for profit occasional music series in Victorian Chapel, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Southampton. Tickets are available at: Tickets for Wickham Festival can be purchased here: Sonja Davison is the host of community-led Chapel Sessions Music

Would you like to join the BritishSpanish Society? Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Spain and Spanish culture Fill in the form at the back of this issue or visit our website:


The Art of Eating Together

Marta Arzak, a freelance food curator, spent one month at the Delfina Foundation researching the concept of communal dining. She speaks to Laura Gran about what it means for human relationships. artist. The food he liked the most was his own. This is called taste identity”, Arzak explains. The idea of commensality is questioned by all the new ways to eat. For this reason, Arzak's preliminary investigation was followed by a talk that Harry West, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of SOAS Food Studies Center, joined. Both discussed the question of whether the act of eating together is in crisis or transformation. The Spanish food curator, who studied Art History, likes to be optimistic and thinks it is a transformation. “Otherwise, it would have to be admitted that we have regressed instead of having evolved. The crisis is strong but there is still hope. New ways of eating are also emerging”, states Arzak. Marta Arzak and Harry West.


panish food curator, daughter of therenowned chef Juan Marí Arzak and, above all, an inquiring mind, Marta Arzak is always searching for new perspectives in the link between art and food. This is why she decided to apply for the residency programme offered by the Delfina Foundationin the heart of London. This independent institution promotes artistic exchange and experimentation between curators, writers and artists in an international atmosphere. Only nine people were selected to participate in the second season of ‘The politics of food’, which focused on three subtopics: sex, diet and disaster. One of the nine was Arzak, who spent a month there researching the second theme, diet, focusing on “the social act per excellence of human relationships: commensality”. The academic definition of this word is “the act of eating together at the same table”. It could seem a trivial matter, but in fact this is a distinctive behavioural characteristic of humankind. It also involves social, economic or identity issues; for instance, when someone thinks about eating together, their first mental image might be of a typical family scene, but this is not necessarily the reality “Given that the political, gender, religious, economic and ethical issues of each dinner guest varies, the eating experiences are not going to be the same for all of them and different ways of relating to each other will occur throughout the meal”, explains Marta Arzak. Currently the utopian idea of a family eating together is just part of the reality. There are also many different ways to share food with others. “We eat alone at work, on the street…children are more institutionalised in the school canteen than at home. There are new ways to eat because our lifestyle has brought us to this point”, says the Spanish food curator. One of them is the slow food movement, which promotes local gastronomy, farmers and food production. Co-lunching is another trend growing in popularity. This social dining network allows people to enjoy homecooked food made by a local resident and to share it with them. As they are completely strangersthis is not only about food, but also about experiencing other ways of socialising. Another example of this is the supper club trend, whereby people cook for strangers who come and dine together, usually in the cook's own home. Globalisation and taste homogenisation have caused these new kinds of commensality, something unthinkable a hundred years ago. Anyhow, it does not mean we do not prefer our traditional food. “I gave iberico ham to my colleagues and I was the one who enjoyed it the most. Exactly the same happened to another 38  La Revista • Summer 2015

“this is a distinctive behavioural characteristic of humankind” For his part, the professor came up with some ideas which developed the concept of commensality. He explained that most of the species in the animal kingdom have the mouth in the front and defecate from the back. “Literally their movement is a movement for food. One thing that differentiates primates from all the other animals is that there is certain interaction and sociability with others around this posture. It is a moment of engagement”, argues West. Besides, he notes that eating on the table in the Roman origins “was a privilege of certain classes” (…) and although the term emphasises the inclusive argument, for him “the action of inclusion always implies an action of exclusion. We ‘being together´ differentiates us from whoever they are”, he says. West's knowledge of this theme has enriched the Arzak's investigation. She will continue to research the subject in her free time for the next one or two years following the logic that “investigation is, first of all, for you. In the United Kingdom it is considered valuable in itself; they do not ask you for something tangible”. Either way she wants to continue with the process in order to achieve her own results, because she knows that as with culinary processes, it is the internal testings, failures, mistakes and persistence which will ultimately lead her investigation to success. For the time being her research has already offered some topics to consider, Arzak reveals: “Solidarity, cooperation in the act of eating and commensality distinguish human race from other complex species. And these small facts make all the difference”. Images by Christa Holka/Delfina Foundation 2015 Courtesy of Delfina Foundation

The Painted Countenance of Liberty

Filipina-Spanish designer María Marí Murga talks to Laura Gran about the importance of artistic freedom.


he Filipina-Spanish artist María Marí Murga moved to London six years ago, after spending four years in Florence where she specialised in Renaissance painting techniques. Currently she is conducting projects in different countries, keen to maintain her independence and multidisciplinary skills. Last March she went to the Philippines for a month because she had been invited to exhibit her works at the historic Manila Hotel. In the end, as the exhibition was so well-received, she had to postpone her flight back to London. Several private

orders and the commission of senator Edgardo Angara to paint Filipino society and the culture of Baler (the last Spanish colony in the country) changed her mind and she decided to extend her stay on the island. These new works will be shown at the Philippine-Spanish Week of Baler and the Cervantes Institute in Manila. After that she may take it to London. Marí, who was born in Alicante, has been awarded with different prizes in the last few years, by institutions such as the Royal Society of British Artists and the London Festival of Architecture. She began her career as an artist creating portraits using pastels. “What strikes me is the human figure. I like the psychological side of portraiture, because that quote ‘the face is the mirror of the soul’ is true. A portrait is more than a face, it is the expression that could reflect a whole lifetime”, she states. Despite this, she views herself as a multifaceted, free, independent artist able to create and conduct completely different projects. Her collaboration with the Footwear Technological Institute (INESCOP) of Elda in Alicante, is an example of this. They commissioned Marí and another artist to design a huge shoe, which would be exhibited in the town centre of the main cities of Spain to promote the shoe-making trade. Marí designed an ankle boot with charcoal drawings of naked men that she had painted when she lived in Florence. Unfortunately, her creation was censored and INESCOP told her she would have to pixelate the private areas of the bodies if she wanted to bring the project to fruition. She accepted and the gigantic shoe was made but after that she made a decision. What happened “was Summer 2015 • La Revista  39


quite sad, so I took a smaller version of the fully nude shoe to London where it won several awards”, she explains. The idea of creating a real, wearable version of the ankle boot appealed to Marí, so she worked on a prototype with a shoemaker from Elda and created her own firm Men at your feet Limited Edition Shoes, which will include other styles of shoe soon, such as ballerina slippers, but always with naked men on them. Limited edition shoes are available to buy on Mari's website. She prefers direct contact with the public and her clients: “the fewer intermediaries, the better. It is the concept of the Renaissance artist. In that period the artist had a name, a studio, he was a respected person, an intellectual with a significant role in society. People went directly to his studio to ask for projects”, she explains. From the 19th century onwards art dealers, agents and galleries appeared and the situation changed. “They double the cost of prices, speculate and sometimes tell you what to draw. Although I play by the rules it is very disappointing, which is why I prefer to work directly with my clients”, Marí adds. This is also why she decided to develop her professional career without any help. She financed Men at your feet herself although she had received offers. Early on in her career some institutions and companies wanted to fund her projects as well, but she rejected them. “It may sound attractive, because beginnings are tough, but once someone accepts collaborations they lose part of their identity and the ability to decide on their own. I have always been clear that I prefer to slow down, be a person of integrity and make my own decisions”, she affirms. This freedom has allowed her to build her professional career very carefully and develop her “philanthropic side”. She collaborates with a charity called the Holy Rosary Family Centre in Zamboanga in the Philippines and paints poverty-stricken people living in extremely difficult situations. “I feel morally obligated to do it. Artists are social chroniclers after all”. Aside from this Marí works between London, where she established her art studio and operating base, Spain, the Philippines and any other country that she finds interesting. “It is important for an artist to be able to decide, be authentic and genuine, not to become a product for the art market or something purely commercial”, she claims. Marí's career is certainly an example of that.

40  La Revista • Summer 2015

Previous page: Senator Edgardo Angara and Marí Murga at Dicasalarin, Baler in the Philippines. This page, clockwise from top left: Men at your Feet, limited edition shoes; Mestiza in contemplation. Pastel on paper; HE Ambassador Enrique Manalo; Presentation of the portrait at the Philippine Embassy in London; Her Lost Portrait. Leprosary in Zamboanga, Philippines.

The best option for your future


Climbing in the Himalayas

Jose Ivars-Lopez tells La Revista about his latest mountain adventure.


hen did you first start climbing? I started climbing when I was 10 or 11 years old. It was at a Scouts’ summer camp in Spain where I had been sent by my parents who wanted to get rid of me for the holidays. Even at that age I was very extroverted and adventurous so climbing was adopted as a way of channelling all this energy towards something positive. By the end of that summer I was asking my parents to get me climbing magazines and the following winter I convinced them to send me on a school ski trip to Sierra Nevada. Since then the mountains have become part of my life and I am always trying to find the right balance between adventure and making a living. As a non-professional climber, how do you manage climbing and work? I consider myself more of a mountaineer than climber! As I travel quite a lot for work I have climbing gear stored both in Spain (Malaga and Denia) and in Windsor where I live, so it is easy to organise things. Every three or four years I try to get involved in challenging climbing projects, and this year I am going to the Himalayas. Where do you normally climb? I am “bouldering” at my local climbing wall at least once a week, but I prefer to climb outdoors when the weather permits. My favourite places for climbing are Scotland in February and May, the Lakes between March and June, the Alps in August and Sierra Nevada in winter.

How does climbing in Spain compare with climbing in Scotland, or in other locations? The UK offers a diverse variety of rocks and grades and has produced some of the best climbers in the world (Chris Bonington, Doug Scott to mention some living legends). The Scottish Highlands offer good training for ice-climbing ahead of high altitude expeditions. Scottish Munros (mountains of at least 914m) are usually very demanding and exposed, mainly because of the continuously changing weather. As expeditions involve long approach treks to mountain base camps, I do resistance and strength training in Sierra

42  La Revista • Summer 2015

Nevada where you have access to 52 peaks of more than 3,000m! What has been your favourite expedition? One in particular is the expedition to the Monk’s Head (6,300m) opposite the Rakasposhi in the Pakistan’s Karakoram in 2006. I went there “solo” with a cook, a guide and a porter…I learned a lot. The mountains and valleys in Pakistan give you a real perspective on how small we humans are in the whole picture. Tell us about your next challenge in Nepal? My next expedition is in November to Ama Dablam (6,812m), which is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. It is in the Khumbu valley in Nepal just between Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Ama Dablam means “mother’s necklace” in Nepalese. How hard is Ama Dablam? Ama Dablam is a difficult mountain and it’s technical: rock climbing difficulty is graded 5.7 and the ice WF4. You really need to have ice and rock climbing experience, plus some high altitude experience. Because of its relatively low altitude for the Himalayas at 22,349 ft, some underestimate the difficulty. Who are you going with? I am going as part of the British Ama Dablam Expedition 2015. The expedition leader is Tim Mosedale and we are a total of 7 climbers, 6 Sherpas, 2 Sidar and 6 porters. It will take approximately 4 weeks: 15-18 days on the mountain plus another week get to base camp and 5 days to get back to Kathmandu. Why November? Autumn is the best time of year as the weather is becoming more settled as you move away from the monsoon. The only downside is the temperature! It can get to -25C at night but the starts are not too horrendously early so it's not usually that cold when you are climbing. How did you train for this climb? I have a very specific training plan from my long term PT Franc Beneyto. I run 3 days a

week, with 2 days of gym or cycling and 2 days climbing. It is very demanding, especially when you have to combine it with work. What equipment is most essential when tackling a climb like Ama Dablam? My personal technical equipment includes a couple of technical ice axes, harness, carabineers and crampons. I use a 3 layer system: base, warmth and wind/cold. It is always critical to protect my toes, fingers and face since these were most susceptible to frost bite. What are the biggest risks you face with these expeditions, particularly in light of recent disasters like the earthquake in Nepal in April? What happened in April was out of our control and the desolation we are going to find there will be beyond belief. More than 70% of Nepal’s GDP is related to tourism so people are highly dependent on expeditions and trekking companies. Putting safety first, we agreed to go ahead with the expedition. Three of our Sherpas died on Everest while working there with Tim, and we are fundraising to support their families. The trekking from Lukla used to be a very beautiful and spiritual route but now it is all desolation and sadness along the way. For the last two months, I’ve been in contact with a number of mountaineers and climbers preparing for expeditions in the Himalayas and without exception, all of them are going ahead and bringing as much help and support as possible. Spanish climber Carlos Soria will be attempting Ama Dablam in November. Jose Ivars Lopez a trustee of the BritishSpanish Society and will be attempting the summit of the Ama Dablam via the SouthWest route. He will be taking the BritishSpanish Society flag to the summit in celebration of the centenary. For more information about the mountain, sponsors, training or how to contribute to Tim Mosedale’s fundraising project visit:

Interviewed by Amy Bell. Photos by Tim Mosedale

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La Revista Issue 240  

The official magazine of the BritishSpanish Society.

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