3 Jul 2009

Visiting Hogueras: Calvo Sotelo

So this was my second favourite Hoguera because of a) its theme and b) the elegance!

In only their second year in the Categoría Especial, and with a budget approximately half of the bigger ones (~60 000€), the Hoguera Calvo Sotelo entrusted artist Francisco Santonja (who has been creating their Hoguera for 6 straight years) to build their monument according the theme "El Lenguaje del Mundo" (The Language of the World), and with it they won 4th Prize in this category! They also got a special prize for "Inovación".

I haven't been able to find out much more info online about this Hoguera, so I'll just have to let the photos do the talking! Hmm, with the help of the little notes the artists are so kind to include at the foot of each figure (I've done a translation, hope it's clear enough!) ;o)

This is how it all looked as I walked in from one of the back streets. You can see the Hoguera Infantil in the foreground and the main statue of the monument, the ballerina, in the background.

Let's move in a bit closer...

Remember the face on the ground when I showed you images from the preparations? Here he is, looking much better!

I love the details!
Just to the side of out lady are these two fellows:

"Ante la crisis, incluso ante cualquier batalla, deben nacer danzas tribales que nos recordarán que sólo con trabajo y constancia se vence a cualquier circunstancia"
(In a crisis, or in any battle, tribal dances are born that remind us that only with work and perseverance can we beat any circumstance)

Let's take a look at what's around the ballerina's feet, shall we?

"Danzad, danzad alrededor de la Foguera, y no dejéis de danzar, que mientras el mundo gira, danza ante vosotros la vida misma...
Danzad, danzad, y no dejéis de danzar, ya que todo lo danzado, nunca os lo podrán quitar."
(Dance, dance around the Hoguera, and don't stop dancing; while the world turns it is life itself that dances before you. Dance, dance, and don't stop sancing, since no one can take away form you the dances that you have danced.)

As a biologist how could I not enjoy this?!

I loved this beautiful ninot, a pair of local dancers:

"Sobreviven nuestras danzas, junto a sombras y demonios de una vida ajetreada.
Sólo cuenta el día a día, y ya no importan ni costumbres ni historia, que cada vez menos arraigadas, será díficil que se impongan,...
Por el momento en Alicante a todos ellos quemaremos, con la esperanza de vencer y recuperar nuestros anhelos."
(Our dances survive, next to the shadows and demons of a busy life. Only the day to day counts, and customs or history don't matter any more. For now in Alicante we'll burn them all, in the hopes of vanquishing and recouperating our longings.)

How about these whirling dervishes?!

The writing below the biggest one states:
"Como si fueran "dervishes" parecen entrar en trance los políticos, y no saben como danzar, para engatusar al personal."
(Our politicians appear to be as dervishes, in a trance, and no longer know how to dance in order to sweet talk the personnel.)

So, you like?


  1. She is my favorite! I would love to have that in my front yard and build a beautiful garden around it!

  2. oooh! that would be a nice idea! if I had a garden... and it would have to be a big one, lol! ;o)

  3. I love the ballerina, but the sentiments expressed are so moving and thought-provoking.

    "Dance, dance, and don't stop dancing, since no one can take away from you the dances that you have danced." Reading this after the one about burning the demons in the hope of vanquishing them and recuperating our longings.

    Wow, Cris, how many people around the globe feel this way today? All those who feel betrayed by their leaders and the movers and shakers of the world. Powerful words on this Hoguera. Wow, I could go on, but I won't. BUT, thank you again for taking the time to post these words along with your photos, it tells me so much about the people of Spain and what they're going through. I know that people gobally are suffering from the events that are taking place, but to see it expressed here brings it to a personal level for me. Thank you my new friend.

  4. I'm glad it moves you so Rhonda!

    The Hogueras (and the Fallas in Valencia) are a combination of beauty and satire, a critique (frequently laced with humour) of the world we live in. Messages for a moment in time which are then burnt and reduced to ashes, hopefully purifying it all in the fire.


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)