A night out at the 'Teatro Calderon'.....
I say a night out and not just an evening out, as the perfomance, which wasn't due to begin until 9pm as is the custom in this part of the world, didn't actually begin until ten minutes or so past the hour which again seemed to be perfectly normal, people sitting quite happily waiting, chatting, no mutterings or tuttings about the lateness to be heard anywhere.
The curtains eventually parted to reveal a giant cinema screen showing images of previous Easter Parades with close ups of the Saints and the Virgin Mary on the huge, beautifully decorated, candle covered floats carried by members of the Cofradia, brotherhood. At each side of the stage stood Cofrades, members of the Brotherhood, perfectly still in their white robes with their heads covered by tall conical red satin hoods. They each carried a tall candle topped with a lighted candle bulb.
Behind the screen, as the film began, the sixty piece band with Trumpets & Drums, Banda Nuestra Señora del Rosario, burst into sound.
Another Cofrade came down from the stage to the centre front and held up a large wooden cross that had been resting there after which, the others came down and joined him, standing silently in front of us with their eyes eerily glinting through the slits in their hoods.
There was no doubt whatsoever as to who was responsible for putting together this evening's entertainment as we sat mesmerised by the sights and sounds in front of us for the next fifteen minutes or so. Was it a promotional display, a come and support us event or was it just a chance to show the complete, passionate commitment that these brothers have for their Cofradia?
The advertising poster with it's promise of Flamenco Passion had given us no reason to suspect this Religious Passion which culminated with a lyrical, soul searching rendering from a talented Tenor above us in the 'gods'. Utterly beautiful.
The film over, the screen lifted, we were given our first sight of the Band in their blue and red regalia which was impressive to say the least. They marched four steps forward to the front of the stage and proceeded to deafen us with their trumpeting and drumming. With fingers in ears it was just about bearable.
When the band begins to practise in the weeks running up to 'Semana Santa', Easter week, it can quite clearly be heard from Cortijo Azahar which is some 2/3 kilometres from Motril city centre and with the 'Teatro Calderon' being on the small side as theatres go, this might give an indication as to the noise level experienced inside.
The mood changed, the curtains opened once again and the Presenter made his appearance.
He was casually, scruffily dressed in faded jeans, a grey/beige coloured leather lookalike jacket, with a long burgundy scarf wound around his neck, carrying his A4 notes to which he continually referred.
What followed was a series of contributions from the pupils of various academies around Motril...
beginning with a lovely gentle Arabian dance from some younger students.....
then a complete contrast, teenagers copying the English dance group, 'Diversity'....
a small group of disadvantaged girl students gave a touching display and received a rapturous applause....
later, a choir consisting of 6 men, 3 guitarists and 9 women powerfully sang their way through some Andalusian tales, the Sevillana being a mood uplifting favourite which had everyone clapping along.
Finally came the Flamenco dancers, so graceful, so passionately uninhibited. You have to be born Spanish to dance the Flamenco. It is in the blood.
But no, the evening wasn't yet over, back came the Presenter to announce the band. We escaped to listen outside in front of the theatre awaiting friends who had stayed in their seats.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening and credit to the various Motrilenian Academies that had contributed their talents so generously, the price of the ticket being a mere 5 euros.