Flamenco Festival Day 3, Shooting and Sharing

Spanish looking dancer hits floor with shoes he is holding in front, 3 asian-looking women in back, painting of couple walking away towards a moon in centre of background

Sharing with Jesús Carmona (front), 3 Yoniverse Collective members (back) and live artwork by Andres Mérida (centre  back), (c) Carole Edrich. Richmix 2019

Drag myself out of bed to finish what should have been done last night, do as much as I can and realise I don’t have a chance of finishing it until the weekend. Check emails. 2 commissions have come in, on my recent pitches around the Flamenco Festival (w00t) including a front cover commision (double w00t). Remember that someone working for me can’t finish their work until I do 4-5 hours of stuff for them and decide to go to Le Petit Corner in the hope that a drip feed of caffeine will help.

I arrive, open my laptop and immediately get waylaid by Laurence. He’s the person who is putting our RSA video together. He shows me the work so far and it’s wonderful. After seeing that I realise that time has flown by and that I need to be at Sadler’s Wells in an hour to shoot the RichMix sharing. It’s going to be fascinating, the fantastic flamenco dancer Jesús Carmona is there, as is musician Sabio Janiak, artist Andrés Mérida and three Yoniverse poets (writing this I realise how poorly those words describe each artist as they’re all far more than one word can show). I tell myself that although it’ll be tight I can shoot at Sadler’s Wells, get to Richmix for 3pm and do the work my staff need in the afternoon before the 5pm shoot and 5.30pm interview. Before getting in touch with anyone connected to flamenco I bump into Tony Adigun and have a chat with my favourite Sadler’s Wells back office desk person.

I discover that Belen (who I’ve arbitrarily designated as my primary Flamenco Festival contact) is at lunch so I decide to eat too. I get Jo to try her again and Isabel comes down to tell me that everyone is at Richmix. That means I should be too and I realise I should probably have designated her as my primarly contact instead.

I spend the next hour getting to RichMix. On the way from the bus stop I bump into Anthony Ekundayo Lennon who is taking in the sun on his lunch break. We chat. When I get to RichMix Margot suggests that I watch the run through so I know what I would like to shoot, but that won’t be for another hour so I go find Anthony for a proper catch-up.

I watch the evening come together, tech and production converge and I realise they’re running late and see the time allocated to my photography disappear, minute by minute. I’m concerned about losing the opportunity to take good images for my front cover, but can’t reasonably do anything about it. I don’t recognise the Creative Director in the dark but have a nice little chat with Andrés.

When tech/production/whatever it’s called here finishes, I take as few photos as I can. While shooting I feel desperately guilty because the artists clearly need a break. I’m also slightly annoyed. This is my time. I’ve made space for the festival videographer by not shooting the run through, but now, whatever angle I take, I hear them shooting stills from behind me.

There’s just enough time for a snack before I interview Ffion Campbell-Davies for the DanceGRiST at the RSA issue of our magazine. She bumps into and chats with Anthony on the way. It’s a great inteview. Anthony joins in and adds value. Ffion and I go to watch the Sharing where the few people I know and who know me are too hassled to even notice when I say hello. Kamara Gray arrives and sits with us on my insistence. The Creative Director very generously moves seats to give us more room.

Even though I’ve watched it all afternoon, the work moves me. It is all mesmerising. I get lost watching Sabio’s polyrhythmic musical multitasking, the fluid growth of Andrés’ figures, Jesús’ intricate footwork and expressive body and the ever-present poets. I wish there was a way of watching this ephemeral work from several angles at once. I make notes for the review I’m writing for Flamenco News. I take a group shot at the end, for Margot Przymierska of Richmix who I’ve known for years. I get home and look at the images. I want to send Margot her image in case she needs it for PR tomorrow. The shots of the Sharing are OK for a front cover but there aren’t enough for me to feature him in a DanceGRiST issue. However, the end-of-show group ones are not. I test the camera because blurry shots just aren’t me. It doesn’t focus manually or automatically with any lens, and there’s something wrong with the viewfinder. It looks like someone knocked it over when I wasn’t there. I whatsapp Ffion and Kamara to find out if they have images I can send to Margot because I don’t want to let her down. Luckily they do.

I send them. I give up and go to sleep. Sleep is something I can do.

Just another Flamenco Festival day


from September 1st all posts will show first to dancegrist.com subscribers