FLAMENCO DANCE FESTIVAL GALA
March 2, 2012
Sparks crackled when salty, and dramatically honed dancers, musicians and singers commandeered the City Center stage for the Gala opening of the Flamenco Festival. Near the end, hairpins flew accenting deeply weighted hips pushing against the body length dress' tail ruffles, and rhythmically tapping feet pushed forward, skidding Carmen Cortes across the floor. Whatever technique was lost to age, Ms. Cortes made up for in style. A proponent of "flamenco puro," the venerable Cortes, formed the heart of the opening night flamenco festival.
Musicians and dancers will converge in a sampling of fuller flamenco meals to come, but on this evening, the spotlight dropped
forcefully on the women who expressed flamenco's roots and new extensions.
A tight, fiery dancer, Olga Pericet widens the repertory with hopping turns that lunge forward framed by sharply etched arms announcing fierce independence of form and personality. Florid hands and a saucy demeanor announce Rafaela Carrasco whose fingers flutter like butterfly wings over her head and supple torso. Apparently pleased with their female forms, all the ladies rock their sumptuous hips carnally side to side.
Musicians and singers back up the performers including an onstage piano played by Pablo R. Madonado and Jose Luis Lopez on cello. And, despite the relatively few male solos, their brief turns on stage confirm individual personalities defined by sophisticated rhythmic patterns, taut legs, clean taps and fierce looks.
Programs to follow include: Suspiro Flamenco (2009), Manuela Carrasco’s newest work, inspired by the purity and essence of Gypsy flamenco;
Compañia Olga Pericet's presentation of the New York premiere of Rosa, Metal, Ceniza (Rose, Metal, Ash (2011); and
Compañia Rafaela Carrasco's performance the New York premiere of Vamos al Tiroteo (2008). Ole!
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis