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Archive for the ‘Performances and Shows’ Category


Spanish film-maker Carlos Saura’s first live stage production, ‘Flamenco Hoy’, had the audience at the 2013 Adelaide Festival on their feet!

‘Flamenco Hoy’, is an expedition through past, present and future of flamenco, incorporating the sounds of jazz, classical and tango, but maintaining a strong flamenco heart-beat. Carlos Saura’s conception of light and space, tempo and movement is visually captivating.

The ballet and contemporary influences in Rafael Estevez and Nani Paño’s choreography adds a rich expressiveness. The eleven dancers show their astounding versatility in their ability to move from traditional flamenco dances like the Nanas, Sevillanas, Tangos, Peteneras, Farrucas, Saetas, Fandangos, Guajiras, Malagueñas, Seguiriyas, Soleares, Zambras, Alegrías, Bulerías, to tango, ballet and contemporary with great ease and skill.

The heart-stopping execution of the compositions and arrangements by Chano Dominguez and Antonio Rey, transport the audience into the depths of flamenco through the lens of jazz, incorporating the piano, saxophone and flute. The highlight for me was Seguiriyas. The incorporation of the piano heightened the drama, whilst the saxophone brought out the sultriness of each dance. The Sevillanas started out at an unusually slow tempo, but then exploded into a heart-racing scene of movement and jubilation.

In Carlos Saura’s own words, “this is a theatrical music show that is respectful, rhythmic, profound, and beautiful to look at, using the diversity of interwoven factors that have shaped flamenco…the Arab contributions, the Jewish laments, the African rhythms, the Gypsy people that one day came from far away India, the rhythms that come and go to and from Cuba and South America to Spain, jazz, and of course the imprints of the Gypsy and Andalucian people which intertwine to form the musical structure of what today we call flamenco” – Carlos Saura

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Yasmin Levy: Australian Tour

Yasmin Levy is one of the world’s finest interpreters of Ladino music of the Sephardim, the Spanish Jewish tradition that developed after the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

In November 2012, she was interviewed by ABC Radio National on the Music Show ahead of her Australian Tour. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/musicshow/yasmin-levy/4386246

She performed at the Factory Theatre Marrickville on Saturday 17th November http://www.liveguide.com.au/Events/795790/Yasmin_Levy/Yasmin_Levy_Australian_Tour_2012

Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/ishayamir?feature=watch

Website http://www.yasminlevy.net/

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Flamenco sin Fronteras meanng “Flamenco without borders,” combined classical flamenco with the songs and dance of various Latin American countries, particularly those of South America, and explores the musical relationship between Spain and its former colony Venezuela.

In the first set, the two cultures are presented as separate entities, the flamenco musicians –  in black seated on one side of the stage, and the Venezuelans – in white – on the other. In the second set, the cultures merge as Pena joins the Venezuelan musicians in a mesmerising, polyrhythmic Afro-Latin medley. The finale features the whole troupe, playfully exchanging ideas and improvisations in a demonstration of shared cultures and irresistible joy.

For the last forty or so years Paco Pena has been sharing his art with Australia.In the seventies he toured his solo guitar shows and more recently returned to Australia with his flamenco dance company of  flamenco musicians, singers, and dancers. Recent performances by Paco Pena and his flamenco dance company at the Sydney Theatre include ‘Flamenco sin Fronteras – Flamenco without borders’ 2010,  ‘A Compas! To the Rhythm’ in 2008 and Art Y Pasion  in 2005.

References:

http://www.australianstage.com.au/201107284609/reviews/melbourne/flamenco-sin-fronteras-|-paco-pena-flamenco-dance-company.html

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/paco-pena-flamenco-sin-fronteras-20110727-1i032.html#ixzz2FHjMe9Db

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Dunas – Interview and Rehearsal August 2012

‘María Pagés is the ‘flamenco dancer with the endless arms’, and Sidi Larbi is like liquid in the way he moves. The music, the lights, everything about it just takes you away.’ Rafael Bonachela
Another unforgettable performance during the opening of the 2012 Spring Dance Festival at the Sydney Opera House. With a live score composed by Szymon Brzoska and Rubén Lebaniegos, ‘Dunas’ meaning sand dunes, combined touches of Flamenco and Arabic music featuring two singers, piano, guitar, violin and percussion.

In London last year Pagés performance in Dunas inspired the critic, Clement Crisp, into an uncharacteristic shiver of delight: “Her feet [are] driven by the trills and thunders of her art, with castanets that purr and cry and live. Every step, every action, every stormy flurry and every yielding pose, speak of movement as hypnotic as any you may wish to see. Her demons become ours as she dances”

References:

http://flamencoaustralia.org/live/shows/maria-pages-to-perform-in-sydney/

http://dancelines.com.au/spain-morocco-merge-amber-glow/

Website http://www.mariapages.com/en_index.php

YouTube account http://www.youtube.com/user/mariapages?feature=watch

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Paloma Gomez is a former principal dancer with both the Ballet Nacional de Espana and Nuevo Ballet Espanol. I will never forget the experience of seeing  her perform at the Adelaide Festival Centre  in 2010.

Her tour was  funded by the Ministerio de Cultura de España (Spanish Ministry of Culture), The Australian National University and Arts SA.

Paloma regularly travels to Australia to give workshops to local flamenco schools. See http://flamencoaustralia.org/tag/paloma/

Website http://www.palomagomez.com.es

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