When it comes to flamenco, they say, sentiment and passion are more important than technique. But it is also true that flamenco is an art form with complex and strict rhythmical conventions and that it is anything but easy to bring new ideas to this deeply rooted tradition and convince a demanding audience. Rocío Molina is one of the few virtuoso flamenco dancers who nevertheless seek out new ways. Her experiments with improvisation are highly challenging for herself as well as for her musicians.
Emilio Belmonte’s film allows us to feel the tremendous concentration of this exceptional artist during her working process. Each of her captivating performances is a search and requires a high level of openness, precision, strength and courage. Belmonte captures this intensive labour in all its aspects. Thanks to the greatly sensitive editing that aligns with the flamenco rhythms, his film maintains the immediacy of a fascinating dance experience. With his portrait, the filmmaker intensively celebrates and explores the layers of Molina’s art and still leaves enough space to acknowledge the excellent musicians who accompany her.
With her experimental work, Rocío Molina does not simply reject tradition, instead she uses it as point of reference which becomes obvious in a moving performance with the flamenco legend La Chana. This appearance is one of the film’s highlights and serves as proof that it takes a truly great artist to break with tradition and then reinvent it by way of radical change.
Emilio Belmonte is a Spanish filmmaker and poet. After having studied engineering and literature at the University of Valencia, Emilio moved to France in 1999 and started directing documentaries for television. Impulso is his first feature-length documentary and a return to his Andalusian roots.