Gutero’s Pride: From Canon and French Censorship to Avant-Garde Experimentation

Anecdotes often weave together the clues of history. And about Jack, who was named recently The representative aspect of the intangible cultural heritage By the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the first access crossed censorship.

“The data we have about the origin of the gutta come from the dance part. And from 1732 when a priest from Calaceite, in the province of Teruel, forbade a dance performed by the rural population because he considered it wrong. This is the first root dance”. Carmelo Arteaga, President of the Academy of Folklore Arts and Jota de Aragon, former dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, who in the 1980s taught Jota in Moscow at the prestigious. Bushoi Theatrical Ballet School. “They offered me a scholarship to study there and they ended up asking me to teach them to dance the gutta because it gave them character. So I was translating the steps into French, which is the language of ballet, and I was able to.” Both Artiaga and the academy he heads are pioneers in the fight for international recognition of jota, in this case from Aragón, an intangible property already announced in 2013. “In 2021, the Ministry of Culture contacted us to tell us that if we open the candidacy may be Other communities are more successful. So after much thought, this is what we did.”

Photo of an Aragonese jota belonging to the Pando archives.Ministry of Culture and Sport

The final manifesto on Jota serves as an introduction to this musical and dance genre The intangible heritage of humanity. “Without a doubt it is good news, but I think that in addition to the title, deep thought is needed on the subject.” Miguel Speaks, Ángel Perna, Jota’s exponential choreographer and dancer for decades. “We have a real problem of generational change. The jota is found in all the autonomous communities and is one of the main legs of Spanish dance, but there is very little active repertoire.” Perna, who has created more than thirty works, is a standard-bearer in running the gutta from the overture to other dance expressions. “You have to say things, it’s important to speak clearly, and the richness of the gutta dance is not applied.” Next December, he will say goodbye to the stages of work finisher.

Guterro’s ingenuity

For more than two centuries, they have carried the gutta on the wings, both on and off the stage, but also inside and outside our country. Marta Villa, musician and writer, knows him well and in her book, Jota, Aragon, and the World: From St. Petersburg to New York (Ask Ediciones), affects this mobile and open side that devoted the genre during the nineteenth century. “It was the century of virtuosity,” he explains, “and in that sense the gutta led dancers, musicians, and singers to brilliance.” Or singers, dancers and instrumentalists, warns Carmelo Arteaga, “with a d´ to set them apart from other disciplines”.

says Ruben Olmo, director National Ballet of Spain. “A very careful coordination of chopsticks and steps.” In this sense, he says, he and many other dancers of different generations owe almost everything to Pedro Azorín, Gutero’s teacher who died in 2001. “Dancers of different disciplines would go to School of God’s love From Madrid to take lessons from Jota. It helped us to strengthen our bodies and gain technique and elegance.” Azorín signs Jack who is included in the work romantic (1996), created by Juanjo Linares for the British National Bank. There is only one offer dedicated to the jack within the government company: Jack Dolores. to my father, The choreography was done by Pilar Azurín, the maestro’s daughter, on an initiative she made Antonio Najarothen Group Manager.

tradition, yes; Archeology, no

In folklore, tradition and avant-garde coexist in a more or less amicable way. “I recently read that a tradition that stagnates is not a tradition, but an archaeology,” explains Belén Marty Loesch, co-director and dancer of the Mucha Muchacha Company, who places his speech in the most experimental part of the Spanish dance. At the beginning of his last show, for four knights, The four fiddlers of the group dance from different autonomous communities, muñeiras, verdiales … with no more clothes than a thong. “We needed to see how the bodies, the flesh and the skin moved every time it jumped and jerked. It is a surprise and it is not normalized, as in contemporary dance, where nudity has been on stage for decades.”

Mucha Muchacha Company is in one of the stages of its presentation
Mucha Muchacha Company on stage with their “Para cuatro caballeros” show.Joseph Jordan

The discourse of Lara Brown, choreographer and dancer who has been experimenting around Castilla y León jota, a dance she knew well since she was a child, when she practiced it in Covarrubias, Burgos, also falls into this line of contemporary body research. “I was five years old and I was dancing in an adult group I traveled and performed a lot. I was something like a mascot or even big success. Later on it began to cause me rejection and as an adult I decided to investigate the reason for my departure.” Choirs and dances. But this has nothing to do with the gutta, which was danced by the town. The movements were refined, and somehow understated. I am interested in the citizen who has built a space for freedom and made movement unproductive, ”he explains. It will appear next July 21 dancing in the wildthe work he contemplates from performance Contemporary creativity in Landscape Festival From Villamalea, Simplex.

“The dance of the jota and the break come from the same thing, they are street dances,” declares Arteaga, who underscores the importance of Isabel Zapata, a key woman in the history of dance of this type and teacher at the Jota School of Aragonca created in the 1940s. “It was she who It restored everything we know today about the gutta dance. Important names such as Víctor Ullate and Carmen Roche passed through his studio.” Miguel Ángel Perna also had an influence on the horizontality and folk origins of this dance. “When I made Dolores At the Teatro Real, its director, Jose Carlos Plaza, said to me: “I want you to dance out of hunger.” It meant to put me in the rural world, from the toil and hunger from which the gutta comes. And I understood everything. It is important not to forget its origin, but also its evolution and not classify it as something untouchable. Go deep inside, lose your fear and support her behind this new title.”

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