Official Vs Illegal

Selu's Chirigota perform at the Falla Theatre in the Official Singing Contest previous to the party in the streets.

Selu’s Chirigota perform at the Falla Theatre in the Official Singing Contest previous to the party in the streets.

Carnaval-2015_017


THE OFFICIAL CONTEST

Jose Luis García Cossío, aka ‘El Selu’ is a central character of the Cadiz Carnival. He started his own group back in 1992 and has  been involved ever since, winning the Official Contest four times. Known for his sharpness, Selu, creates satire based on typical Gaditanian stereotypes, with lyrics as if they were written by the characters.

Getting dressed before their life performance in a 'peña' near by the Falla.

Getting dressed before their live performance in a ‘peña’ near by The Falla.

Carnaval-2015_004
Carnaval-2015_009
This year he participated with a ‘Chirigota’ named ‘Ahora es cuando se está bien aquí’ – Now is when it’s good here – in reference to the Spanish housewives who hang out at the beach during the summer from early morning to late afternoon, when most people have already gone home. These ladies arrive at ‘La Caleta’ beach, equipped with everything but the kitchen sink, including fridges of food, chairs and sun umbrellas, and dedicate themselves to gossip, Bingo and sunbathing. This year they made it to the semifinals.

The 'Pasacalles' is the moment were the group heads off to The Falla.

The ‘Pasacalles’ is the moment were the group heads off to The Falla.

Carnaval-2015_021

Selu's chirigota member play his character infront local tv interviewer, after their performance at El Falla backstage.

Selu’s chirigota member play his character infront local tv interviewer, after their performance at El Falla backstage.

Four different kind of groups perform in the Official Contest: Coros (Choirs), Comparsas, Chirigotas and Cuartetos (Quartets), each one of them with different characteristics, number of participants and instruments. This year the official contest had 125 different groups. However, the main action is in the streets.

THE ILLEGALs TAKE THE STREETS

Diógenes010
Diogenes064
Diogenes270

In the official week of Carnival the city becomes the biggest open-air theatre in the world as the so-called ‘illegals’ perform on every street corner, and fill the old town with humour and talent.

The ‘illegals’ don’t participate at the official contest, and don’t need to submit their repertoire to any rules. Considering that the Cadiz population is 125.000 inhabitants, the number of artists per square meter is overwhelming. The final result is an incredible census of actors, poets, singers and guitarists, unrivalled by any other city in the world.

Diogenes349

‘Las Diógenes’ are an example of these ‘illegal’ chirigotas. They are a group of four friends who have been involved in the Carnival for 6 consecutive years, performing live in the streets. Their ‘tipo’, Gaditanian word for costume, was created by local artist Arsenio Rodríguez, whose amazing work with colourful recycled plastic containers of all shapes and sizes reaches it’s peak with this satirical dresses of Tenerife’s Carnival Queens, and closely referred to the Diogenes syndrome.

Fantasia-Caletera

Fantasia-Carioca

Fantasia-Disney

Fantasia-Oriental

The Cadiz Carnival is a feast of wit and satire, unknown to most foreigners, although it is getting more and more well known. This big street party involves getting dressed in costumes and enjoying the outrageous humour and vibrant atmosphere, and often getting involved ourselves. The lyrics can be social, political or religious themed, or simply a way to complain or protest, or make light of current affairs. Officially the feast lasts 11 days, but with the Falla Theatre contest and other gastronomic affairs, the spree lasts almost a month. Not forgetting the ‘Carnaval Chiquito’, The Small Carnival, that takes place on Sunday a week after the official conclusion, for the greatest enthusiasts.

 

 

Luzia Photo Holidays logo

Leave a comment


Name*

Email(will not be published)*

Website

Your comment*

Submit Comment

Copyright © Luzia 2013