If you were lacking some loving this Valentine’s Day, I strongly recommend going to see Ballet Flamenco: Sara Baras. It will perfectly seduce you with its deep rooted passion and fire, explored through the sensuous dance practice, Flamenco. In collaboration with The Flamenco Festival London, this show is bold, passionate and celebratory.
Opening the festival, Sara Baras, presents a show that explores the best of Flamenco, paying tribute to artists including Paco de Lucia, Antonio Gades, Enrique Morente and Carmen Amaya, all artists who present influence in the industry. In this show, Sara, directs and choreographs Voces, Suite Flamenca, illuminating Flamenco in a strong fiery heat of ardour. The show discusses the exhilarating emotion that accompanies the culturally centred dance, whilst journeying through different sequences. The show is broken up with excerpts of prerecorded speeches, spoken by the influential artists mentioned above. These speeches form the vignettes of dance specialising in their version and interpretation of Flamenco. The piece is entirely in Spanish, identifying with a notion of identity and reference to the roots of the practice.
As part of Flamenco Festival, this show illuminates the dance practice in an exciting communication of impetuous passion, drive and amusement. A thematically engaged show, it demonstrates love, strength and identity. The show is set in the main space of Sadler’s Wells, and appears sold out for its first performance. The show features complex lighting sequences, live music and sound dynamics that vibrate the auditorium floor. The set includes backdrop silhouettes depicting the influential artists, sustaining an attainable reference throughout the production. Within the show there are also some backdrop mirrors, many fans and capes all working under the stereotype of the dance practice. The production also features several costume changes which are beautiful, and work within the ideology of ‘controlling the dress’ in a fit of passionate expression.
Ballet Flamenco, is a production that bursts with physicality and colour, enduring by identity and cultural reference. However, within the performance I often find the interactions forced, voices pushed and slow lighting and sound cues present. Furthermore, the Spanish dialogue throughout can often appear a barrier to the audience in both terms of understanding and accessibility towards the influences. However, the reference to the artists in the programme is a nice touch, inviting non-native speakers to read the speeches. I reflect on these minor details because apart from them, the production is perfectly pitched. It engages me right from the beginning, entrapping me in a delight of engagement. The classic pairing of dance, costume and music grabs you in a natural draw to the action.
Flamenco ‘pleases your soul; its spirit’ which is an infectious reaction when observing the exciting production. It is a show that offers opportunity for culture to be explored through the impassioned dance practice, Flamenco. The sense of investment by all dancers is astonishing and striking. The contagious nature of the piece, creates an environment of awe. The dialogue of interpretation is inspiring and this can only be embodied in a concluding standing ovation. I leave the production tapping out Flamenco rhythmic sequences with an uncontrollable passion for moving my body. 4/5
Review written by Meg Mattravers.
Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras is currently showing at Sadler’s Wells as part of this year’s Flamenco Festival until Saturday 20th February. For more information on the production, visit here…
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