EL MARTINETE
AND LA FRAGUA

THE LOCATION

This enigmatic, industrial-style tablao—which places us in the heart of a workshop where metals are forged—is an original idea of the creator, Salvador Barrul, and the dancer, Mónika Rojas. It is an ambitious project with a calling that is also joined by the great guitarist, Pino Losada, the dancers, Sabrina Fernández and Alejandra Hernández, and the renowned dancer, José Maya.

Years ago, while writing an essay destined to be incorporated into the “Integral works” of Camarón, I remembered that, according to Islamic tradition, the martinete was a bird given by the Lord to Adam when he was expelled from Paradise to keep him company, as a guardian angel and as a reminder of his celestial origins. Martinete is also the name of one of the oldest and most essential styles of Romani song. Now, as if the bird had read my mind, I am going to find it—the martinete, yes—perched upon an anvil in the coat of arms designed by Santiago Yáñez for the new tablao opened in Madrid: La Fragua.
This room, with an implementation that has awakened so much expectation, is an initiative in which the great dancer, José Maya, the guitarist, Pino Losada, the singer, Salvador Barrul, and the dancers, Alejandra Hernández, Sabrina Fernández, and Mónika Rojas, have joined forces.

This room, with an implementation that has awakened so much expectation, is an initiative in which the great dancer, José Maya, the guitarist, Pino Losada, the singer, Salvador Barrul, and the dancers, Alejandra Hernández, Sabrina Fernández, and Mónika Rojas, have joined forces.
At the entrance, just down a ladder that would inspire countless situations for David Lynch, we are received by a sculptural set by Javier López del Espino. Already, in the mouth of the dragon, is a space as suggestive as it is disturbing—in which the atmosphere of “Los Canasteros,” by Manolo “Caracol,” or “El Duende,” by “Gitanillo de Triana,” had merged with that of “Granja del Henar” or “Café Varela,” where Valle Inclán and Los Machado gathered together—acts as an irresistible magnet, as the scent of a phantom lady envelops the elven fire while, outside, a moon adorned with a bustle of roses shines with unusual intensity.

The doors of La Fragua open to the Corredera Baja street of San Pablo, very close to the “Teatro Lara,” where, for the first time, it was erected as the stage for “El Amor Brujo” of Falla, in an area where, in 1812, the people of Madrid fought hard against Napoleon’s Mamluks, and on the site of the old “Teatro Cervantes,” with stages that gave life to the triumphant sounds of Ricardo Calvo and the works of Muñoz Seca. Destroyed in 1936 by bombs, one of the continuously running cinemas of our childhood took its place until 1984. So, now, the flamenco stars— select students with select criteria—will replace the heroes of the Far West, science fiction, horror, or the Crusades.

It is already known that La Fragua will open with a bang, as it will count on five truly exceptional dancers for its inauguration, and, in the artistic and amateur environments of the capital, the rumours run quickly through the grapevine.

Joaquín Albaicín