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Some years ago, I wanted to make a musical about la Jota, the music and the dance of my homeland.

 

My friends kept asking me “when are you going to make it?”. Well, the time is now and I am actually about to start the project to direct a music documentary about it. I think that all my previous experience in musical films such as “Bodas de Sangre”, “Carmen”, “El Amor Brujo”, “Tango”, “Sevillanas”, “Flamenco”, “Fados” and finally “Zonda” in 2015, which dealed on the folk music of the northwest of Argentina, allows me to approach this new goalfrom the respect and with dedication and love towards this music originary from Aragon.

La Jota is folk music and dancing so powerful that has been able to attract renowned musical composers such as Listz, Saen Saens, Massenet, Falla, Granados, Albéniz, Tárrega o Bretón, among others great ones. Its influence is evident in most part of the Spanish geography: Castilla, Navarra, Valencia, Murcia, Extremadura and Andalucía. It is also still very present in Philippines and Latin America, especially in Mexico.

 

It is said that, and it seems to me very graphical, that “Jota” comes from the Arabian “Chotar”, that means to jump. La Jota is much more than mere jumping, is an unique rhythm, cheerful and contagious that has kept improving and perfectioning over the years. Nowadays, many dance academies are devoted to teach how to dance and how to sing it, but… how is la Jota evolving?

To us, this is the biggest challenge: to discover new possibilities for rhythm, to dive in the recovery of similar rhythms, both in the past and present.

My intention is to make a musical film that gathers the best existing material on this subject, leaving a visual document of exceptional value, about artists of today and others who are missing; orthodoxy and heterodoxy; songs and rhythms already considered classicals or that are still to come must be worthily represented in our work.

Carlos Saura

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