Monday, 10 March 2008

Flamenco at Sadlers Wells

I went to see a beautiful show at Sadlers Wells last thursday night. There has been a Flamenco Festival happening there, finishing on sunday 16th march and I thoroughly recommend seeing one of the performances. I have no knowledge of flamenco, but was interested to know more and randomly chose to get tickets to the show on thursday 6th march. 

The acclaimed Maria Pages is one of the leading innovators in the development of modern flamenco. In this production, she created "Sevilla" a tribute to her hometown. It really was stunning - the music, costumes and, of course, the dancing. I felt like I had been transported to a balmy evening in Spain and had been invited into a private celebration in a small village. Maria organically contorts her body as she stamps out the signature dance and all of this is accentuated by her stunning costumes. At one point she is wearing a shimmering tight red dress that fans out at the bottom into an enormous fish tale that she dramatically swings round with her foot as she spins around. At another point she is dressed as a bull fighter and her accompanying dancers hold up a red fabric as a makeshift bullring for her to perform. Just as I was thinking how great it would be to see the foot work close up, they did a piece where all you could see were their dancing flourescent shoes against a black backdrop. And the final piece evoked midnight, where the dancers wore shades of midnight blue. Even the simplest items were used to great effect, such as a piece where a group of women sat in a semi circle and flapped their fans to create their own music and then danced with their shawls to create a beautiful swirling effect. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of flamenco and will definately be going back for more!

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