Vicente Escudero (Valladolid, 1888-Barcelona, 1980) is without doubt one of the most important Spanish artists of his day. Positioned as a flamenco bailaor in that Silver Age of Spanish dance at the outset of the 20th century, his work in fact goes far beyond those narrow confines. Few artists of his generation proposed such a radical and unique way of working, both in line with the postulates of the avant-garde but also inventing a new tradition which would later become known as baile jondo [deep dance] or primitive flamenco. We must remember that he was not only an innovator of avant-garde influences, but also the inventor of what flamenco aficionados have termed historical dance. This anachronistic style, which moved between two eras at the same time, was one of the most original features of his work.
There have been a number of exhibitions that present the visual side of Escudero’s work as a painter and sketch-artist. While they are certainly of interest, the important feature of his paintings and sketches is their relationship with choreographic notation. We must remember that in his visual patterns, Escudero created a whole language with which to annotate his dance, and we must not only see them but read them in the context of his choreographic innovations. This is precisely what this exhibition aims to do, read Vicente Escudero as an artist and performer, a pioneer of what we now call the live arts. His more radical experiences, the dance with motors in 1920s Paris or his dance to silence almost twenty-years ahead of Merce Cunningham, must not obscure the fact that he was one of the best in raising his arms in farrucas and alegrías, or the best at dancing a siguiriya.
Over 500 works and documents are displayed, provided by: Archivo Manuel de Falla, Archivo Val del Omar, Centro Andaluz de Flamenco, Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música, Colección Blanco Quintero, Colección María Ángeles Fraile Sandonis y Julio César Fraile Sandonis, Colección Pedro G. Romero, Colección Víctor Jaenada, Colección Carlos Martín Ballester, Colección Luis Parés, Colección José de la Vega, Els Baluard, Fundació d’Art Serra, Fundación Federico García Lorca de Granada, Fundación Juan March, Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo Nacional del Teatro en Almagro y Sociedad Flamenca El Dorado de Barcelona.
The Consorcio Centro Federico García Lorca and the Fundación Federico García Lorca present the exhibition Choreography. The dance of Vicente, curated by Pedro G. Romero and produced by the Centro Federico García Lorca based on a proposal by the Fundación Federico García Lorca, coordinated by pie.fmc (Plataforma Independiente de Estudios Flamencos Modernos y Contemporáneos) in collaboration with CaixaBank.