The Black Heritage Choir’s gospel spirituality brings Christmas to the Palace

The Black Heritage Choir pays tribute to Aretha Franklin in their show. / DM

The programming of the penultimate week of the year is completed with ‘Diptych on the fall’ on Intimate Wednesday’

Pilar Gonzalez Ruiz

Dance and music mark the programming of the Palacio de Festivales in the penultimate week of the year. The last date of ‘Intimate Wednesdays’ will have Marina Pravkina and Adrián Vega presenting the show ‘Diptych on the Fall’ in the Sala Argenta (7:30 p.m.). In the same space, on Thursday (7:30 p.m.), The Black Heritage Choir will offer the show ‘Amazing Grace. A gospel celebration to Aretha Franklin’, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of one of the recordings that has most influenced and continues to do so in the interpretation standards of African-American music.


  • Wednesday 21.
    Dance. ‘Diptych on the fall’. With the creators Marina Pravkina and Adrián Vega. (Argent Room, 7:30 p.m.). Tickets 18 euros.

  • Thursday 22.
    The Black Heritage Choir. ‘Amazing Grace 50th. A gospel celebration to Aretha Franklin’. (Argent Room, 7:30 p.m.). Tickets from 14 to 30 euros depending on the seating area. Duration: 90 minutes.

As in other artistic disciplines, dance also had a breeding ground for new proposals during the pandemic. This is the case of ‘Diptych on the fall’. Marina and Adrián decided to support each other to separate the directions and to be able to explore the individual universes together. The result is two totally different choreographies, although with a very similar point of view; ‘Grooves’ and ‘We are just okey’, with two perspectives on dance and common links.

‘Grooves’ is the result of the search for the essence of clubbing. The daily movements within a club inspire this piece to create groove scores that include movements of dj’s, dancers and the crowd in the form of a duet and transmit it to the public.

Apparently abstract, ‘We are just okay’ is a range of reflections that require the complicity and imagination of the viewer. The proposal is built from the concept of the fall and evolves towards the sound of the impact and the qualities of the abyss, the loss of verticality, fatigue.

Marina Pravkina and Adrián Vega meet in the context of hip hop battles in 2011. Thanks to common interests, they begin to collaborate by organizing workshops in Greece, Belarus, Russia and Spain. In 2018 they began working together on proposals such as ‘Subject 725’ and ‘Re. Titled’ (winning piece at Sabadell 2020).

Marina Pravkina is an artist who currently lives in Barcelona and perceives herself from the ‘jazz not jazz’ philosophy. In 2016 she begins to organize the first JazzBetween meetings where her main focus is on experimentation and feedback between live music and dance without labels. Her interest lies in the renewal of the relationship between dance and music, between jazz culture and contemporary ways of making sound and movement.

Adrián Vega, an award-winning artist in the Madrid 2021 choreographic competition, is a choreographer graduated from the Institut del Teatre, a visiting professor at the Barcelona professional dance conservatory and considers himself a post-hip hop artist who works from dance.

Aretha Franklin recorded the live album ‘Amazing Grace’ in 1972. A concert at the New Los Angeles Missionary Temple Baptist Church. An album published by the legendary Atlantic Records label that was a critical and sales success, with more than two million copies sold, certification as a double platinum disc and the Grammy for best gospel album in 1973. To this day it continues being considered one of the most outstanding pieces of his career and the best-selling gospel record in history.

Among the expectant audience of neighborhood fans and a handful of California hipsters shone some stars from black America and an international rock legend who still didn’t know he was immortal. Clara Ward, one of Aretha’s great influences and founder of the Famous Ward Singers, Reverend CL Franklin, the man with a million-dollar voice, father of the ‘queen of soul’ and main supporter of Martin Luther King and a very young Mick Jagger, who always recognized his debt to generations of bluesmen and anonymous musicians.

The Black Heritage Choir pays homage to that collection of songs by performing them live at the ‘Amazing Grace 50th. A gospel celebration to Aretha Franklin’, which, as its title indicates, is a musical celebration.

‘Mary Don’t You Weep’ or ‘Precious Memories’ will sound in the Sala Argenta with the spectacularity of one of the most powerful choral groups in the world and that shows the ability of its director, Jerry Calvin Smith, to address all kinds of repertoires.

With 22 years of history and 16 singers selected from more than 400 candidates, The Black Heritage Choir is one of the exponents of the evangelical choral tradition that emerged in the 17th century in different American churches and remains current. to this day, not only as a religious manifestation, but as a musical genre in itself.

The Black Heritage Choir’s gospel spirituality brings Christmas to the Palace