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Siudy Garrido: "Flamenco must be treated with deep respect, since it is an art much bigger than its performers"

We interviewed the Venezuelan bailaora, the first Latin American flamenco dancer to be nominated twice at the Latin Grammy Awards.

siudy-garrido-flamenco-must-be-treated-with-deep-respect-since-it-is-an-art-much-bigger-than-its-performers

Siudy Garrido is a kaleidoscopic bailaora: wherever she dances, she is accompanied by her background as a composer, choreographer and actress. Therefore, it is not surprising that her latest work, "Bailaora, mis pies son mi voz", has become a multidisciplinary project that includes album, show and documentary. A daring concept that has completely seduced the Latin Grammy Academy, from which she has achieved two nominations, thus becoming the first Latin American flamenco artist to achieve it.

In ALL FLAMENCO we have been fortunate to be able to interview Siudy Garrido and learn first hand how flamenco is lived when it is your job, your source of success and your greatest passion. 

Interviewer: Siudy, your work "Bailaora, mis pies son mi voz" has culminated with the successful premiere of the documentary at the Teatro Capitol Gran Vía in Madrid. Tell us, when and how was this audiovisual project born?
Siudy Garrido: The project began in 2019, initially as a show. First we created the music by the hand of Juan Parrilla and Manuel Fernández. Then we spent the whole year preparing the live show, in co-production with the Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts in Miami. But then, when everything was ready to start the tour, the pandemic arrived.

E.: How did it affect the project?
S.: At first it paralyzed us all... But those moments of waiting were also moments of listening: we saw that the music we had created was very current, even with its flamenco roots, and we felt the need to capture it in time and turn it into an album.
In parallel, my husband Pablo Croce, director of the documentary, was filming this whole creative process in a very organic way, until there was enough material to produce a documentary -with which he has achieved his fifth Latin Grammy nomination.
This is how, finally, a 360 project of live show, record album and documentary film was born.

E.: Accustomed to the nerves of live performances and feeling the audience in the theater, how was the experience of being in front of the camera?
S.: This is the second documentary that Pablo has made of our work, so in a way we are already used to the cameras during rehearsals. In fact, both Pablo and two of his cameramen are part of the company, so the atmosphere is so familiar that we forget we are being filmed. And that's when the magic happens, because they capture our most unique and intimate moments of the creative process.
Then there are the transitions shots that were produced for the documentary and which I enjoyed so much: I love dancing for the camera and working under the direction of a master like Pablo Croce, a great blessing in my life and a constant source of learning.

The Latin Grammys, a way to "contribute my grain in the diffusion of flamenco art as a universal art".
E.: "Bailaora, mis pies son mi voz" has been nominated for the Latin Grammys in two categories, what do you think is the key to the success of this great documentary?

S.: This work does something rare, showing the bailaora from a musician and creator perspective. "La voz" goes beyond the vocal cords: the voice is the concept, the lyrics, the structure of the songs, the composer's melody and, as the title says, even my zapateo is voice. Another interesting aspect of the documentary is that it reveals aspects of flamenco that, probably, for those of us who dedicate ourselves to this art, are commonplace, but the reality is that it is a world totally unknown to the general public.  

E.: With this documentary you seek to show the world that flamenco crosses borders as long as there is feeling and passion, what does flamenco mean to you?
S.: Of course. I hope with my work to contribute my grain of sand in the diffusion of flamenco as a universal art. Here we have put all the feeling, but also work and constant study, which is our way of showing a deep respect for flamenco, since it is an art much bigger than its interpreters.  
However, I think that in the end, the important thing is to put the heart. Heart because nowadays it is very difficult to dedicate yourself to this art, when other genres such as urban or contemporary monopolize the media. And above all, heart because, at least in my case, when I have been afraid to follow my instinct and have listened to the noise from outside, is when I have been most wrong: all the answers are within ourselves.

Siudy Garrido's future: the shows continue... and the recordings...
E.: Are there more projects like this one planned for the future? What are your next steps?

S.: We want to continue working on concepts that go hand in hand with visuals and musical recordings. What we do on stage is totally ephemeral and can only be enjoyed by those who were there at the time. On the other hand, documentaries, films and music albums last over time and become important references for new generations. My love of flamenco would probably not be the same without Antonio Gades, Carlos Saura and Cristina Hoyos.
As for this year, we are still on tour with my show Flamenco Intimo: in October and November we will be performing in Miami, Puerto Rico, New York and Tampa. And in the first quarter of next year we will start touring with "Bailaora, Mis Pies Son Mi Voz".