MADRID LETTER: Flamenco struggles in the recession. The artistry of one dead star is a shining light, writes GUY HEDGECOE   Antorrin Heredia stands on one side of the stage, leaning on a walking stick. In his other hand, he has a metal bar which he starts to beat against a large anvil by his side, in a strange, apparently irregular rhythm. This is the only accompaniment as he starts to sing in a wild, lilting voice that fills the small room. We are in La Quimera, a flamenco venue near Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring. It is well-known among the cognoscenti, but, unlike so many other flamenco venues in big Spanish cities, it is not a tourist trap. As well as being a singer, or cantaor, Heredia is the owner of La Quimera and for him it is a bastion of pure flamenco, at a time when the genre is under siege. “Flamenco should make you look into yourself, to see the good and the bad, to create a conflict in your soul,” he says. “But the essence of flamenco is in danger of extinction.” This year marks 20 years since the death of the genre’s most revered modern voice: Camarón de la Isla. And as the world of flamenco celebrates the anniversary, it is also battling to maintain its integrity in the face of cultural and economic forces. Extraído de: http://www.irishtimes.com

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