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 Post subject: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:13 am 
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<img src="http://www.sadlers-wells.com/whats_on/2003_2004/images/side_farruquito.jpg" alt="" />

Blood on the dancefloor
Flamenco's hottest new star has put his foot down: it's time the dance got back to lawlessness, passion and pride. He talks to Judith Mackrell for The Guardian


Now, 21-year-old Juan Manuel Fernandez - aka Farruquito - is poised to succeed Cortes as flamenco's El Guapo, or handsome one. Officially crowned by People Magazine as one of the world's most beautiful people, Farruquito looks even more the prototype of the Gypsy king: long black hair tousles his fiercely chiselled cheekbones; his slender body moves with a remote, aristocratic grace. Yet Farruquito showcases his beauty in a very different manner from Cortes. While the latter flaunts his style and sexiness with showbiz glitz, Farruquito is being hailed as a reincarnation of old flamenco. The contrast between the two dancers couldn't be more extreme - and it has pushed them to the heart of a debate that is dividing flamenco between purists and modernisers.

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<small>[ 26 January 2004, 04:02 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:59 pm 
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<img src="http://www.sadlers-wells.com/images/toplogo_4.gif" alt="" />

<img src="http://www.sadlers-wells.com/whats_on/2003_2004/titles/title_flamenco.gif" alt="" />

<img src="http://www.sadlers-wells.com/whats_on/2003_2004/images/side_flamenco_3.jpg" alt="" />

Passion, emotion and drama come to Sadler's Wells in the first ever Flamenco Festival to be held in London.

Over two weeks the varied styles of Flamenco dance and music will be represented by a selection of some of the best contemporary artists from Spain.

The Spanish influence will not just be felt onstage. Rioja, olives, tapas and free sherry sampling will be available at the bars, which will be staying open for an hour post show. At Sadler's Wells Shop and the various sales points you can purchase high quality Spanish products from Brindisa. Archive Flamenco Festival posters will be exhibited and traditional guitar music will fill the air.

Gala de Sevilla - Sold Out 5 February
José Mercé 9 February
Maria Pagés 10 - 14 February
Farruquito 15 - 17 February

Full details are available here

<small>[ 26 January 2004, 04:01 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:15 pm 
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Wow, if I could, I'd run for tickets to see Farruquito every night. He really tore up the floor when he was out here in Berkeley, CA last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:42 pm 
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<img src="http://www.sadlers-wells.com/whats_on/2003_2004/images/side_flamenco.jpg" alt="" />
<small>Manuela Carrasco</small>

The Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival kicked off last night with “Gala de Sevilla”. With a succession of flamenco artists and fino and slivers of Spanish ham in the interval, it could hardly miss.

However, the festivities got off to a shaky start. In the absence of another performer, Juan de Juan gave two solos, which showed off his pyrotechnic footwork. The problem lay with his dull upper body and arms and his lack of grace as he strove to increase the speed of his steps. By the end of the second solo I had switched off completely and was left pondering the eternal dance virtues of centred movement and restraint.

To restore our faith in flamenco the first half closed with Rocío Molina. This 20-year old performer started dancing at the age of 3; gave her first show at 13 and choreographed a work in collaboration with a poet a year later. She is a stunning and distinctive dancer, introducing movement with swinging arms and bent legs to the classical repertoire of steps. Her self confidence was such that she danced with primarily upper body movement for several minutes to set a context for her later bursts of footwork. Her turns are smooth, as if on ball bearings, and there was that centred focus of energy that we had missed earlier. Molina is one of the most interesting young dance artists I have seen for quite a while.

The second half exploded into life with Compañia Manuela Carrasco. The fiesta atmosphere showed us seniors dancing without inhibitions, singers twirling and a large woman with a voice like sandpaper extracting emotion from an angry song. These festivities were underpinned by the marvellous dancing of Manuela Carrasco herself. Tall, full-bodied and proud, she commanded the stage in her solos. This was classic flamenco, again with a controlled fury rather than a scatter-gun approach. From the slow upward stretches of her arms to her rapid footwork she held the audience in rapt attention.

We’ll be covering the remainder of the festival here, as we believe that flamenco is an important art form. Although the Gala was sold out I understand that there are seats left for the remaining performances, but book soon to be safe.

<small>[ 09 February 2004, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:50 am 
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Gala de Sevilla
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian


It was women's night at Thursday's Gala de Sevilla - and not because one of the two virtuoso boys had to cancel. The group of middle- aged to elderly Sevillean women who took over the show's second half had simply had a life of ruling the roost - both off and on stage.

Forty-six-year-old Manuela Carrasco danced the Soleá with a punitive explosion of footwork, her energy concentrated into an implacable assumption of power.

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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:24 am 
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Location: London, England
Flamenco Festival
Gala de Sevilla
Sadler's Wells – 5th Feb 2004

Flamenco's popularity seems to be ever increasing, and the gala opening of the Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells showed why this is as fertile and flourishing an art form as ever.

Two performers really stood out – one a matron of the old school, flamenco puro, the other a young woman who brings new vitality and a fresh slant to this proudly traditional dance.

Rocio Molina is barely 20 years old, yet carries herself with the grace, poise and presence of a seasoned performer. A prize-winning dancer, she was until recently working with Compania Maria Pages (who are at Sadler's Wells this week), but she is clearly a solo star. Molina is effortlessly imposing, her strong arms and generous curves seem to suck in all the surrounding energy, and all eyes are drawn to her.

She finds new ways to express the pain, sorrow and longing that characterise flamenco. Her hands play out a delicate story, scrolling across her body in traditional style but they also slice the air in dead straight lines and curl into fists thrust into the sky. Molina is bursting with passion; her body and face contort, overwhelmed by it all, and her heels dig into the floor, making their mark just like this young dancer.

In the second half of the gala, flamenco returns to its roots and Manuela Carrasco, the so-called 'Empress of Flamenco', demonstrates exactly why she is worthy of the title. This haughty, domineering doña is a force to be reckoned with. Surrounded by seated musicians and dancers, she recreates scenes from the bars of Triana, Seville, where she grew up. Carrasco instills all of life into her art. Body, soul, music, dance, pain, joy, love and loss are all fused together in one masterful figure.

The evening's third guest performer, Juan de Juan, has all the blistering technique and firecracker footwork you'd expect of a Bright Young Thing. He struts and stamps and begs us all to love him, but in the end it's all show off and no soul. Still, there's no doubt that these dancers really know how to throw a good fiesta.


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:22 am 
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Making a passion statement
By Donald Hutera for The Times


IN FLAMENCO, old and large are no hindrance. There is much to be said for a culture that respects its elders, who can be as weighty in experience as flesh. The Gala de Sevilla, with which Sadler’s Wells kicked off its Flamenco Festival last Thursday, actually did a fine job of showcasing talent right across the generations.

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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:04 am 
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Gala de Sevilla
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

Sadler's Wells is devoting most of the next fortnight to a flamenco festival. It showcases a range of performers: singers and dancers, traditionalists and innovators. There are celebrated names and live music throughout the two weeks. The opening gala presented several generations of flamenco artists, ranging in age from their twenties to their seventies.

click for more

********************************

José Mercé
By Robin Denselow for The Guardian


Flamenco is the music of passion, and José Mercé specialises in passion. He comes on like some well-turned-out 1970s rock star, in dark velvet suit, white shirt and a haircut that might have impressed Jim Morrison. He has a potentially fine, very powerful voice that he uses to maximum effect, starting out with a gutsy roar that comes from somewhere in the back of his throat, and then continuing at full tilt.

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<small>[ 11 February 2004, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:04 am 
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Maria Pages and Company
Flamenco Festival
Tuesday, 10th February, 2004

I have hesitated in putting pen to paper on the subject of Maria Pages. A conflict of interest has been holding me back. I wholeheartedly support the concept of a flamenco festival in London and, whilst I still feel that flamenco is at its best when enacted in smoky bars in the mother country, I will take it in any form I can get it. Sanitised and self-contained on stage will do if improvised and spontaneous flamenco, in an intimate bar with close together tables, is not available. The ‘but’ is that Maria Pages’ Company looked like a company using the word ‘flamenco’ to procure airtime to deliver something completely different. There are many forms of dance that loosely fall under the generic heading ‘flamenco’ and Pages seemed tired of all of them. It is possible to develop flamenco, to fuse it with contemporary dance, to reduce if to the sum of its parts, to alter the basic model…but the heart has to stay in tact. Rafael Amargo’s take on Garcia Lorca’s “Poeta en Nueva York” (“Poet in New York”) is a perfect example of the legitimate development of flamenco. [See Rafael Amargo review] Amargo keeps coming back to flamenco’s central core, its soul. If the choreographer does not do this, something emerges which is not flamenco at all. Which would be fine if the something else captured your attention. “El perro andaluz. Burlerias” and “Flamenco Republic,” however, left me cold and indifferent to what they might be.

That Pages is a seasoned flamenco dancer is not in question. There were glimmers of meaningful dance from her throughout the evening, all worthy of her origins in Sevilla, Antonio Gades’ Company, Rafael Aguilar’s Company and Saura’s films. Rather, it was her attempts to make flamenco something else that palled. The nadir of the evening was the tango set to Piazzolla. Anyone who knows anything about tango knows how challenging it is to attempt to set tango dance to it, let alone flamenco. Piazzolla was practically drummed out of the tango fraternity because, it was alleged, he had taken the music to a place where it was impossible to dance. Later, it was discovered that actually he had produced music that demanded attention first – you have to listen to each piece for several minutes to really understand what it means before you dare dance a step. (In Buenos Aires now, this is the approach common for ‘all’ types of tango music – couples do not link arms for several chords.) Pages had the company careering across the stage in what we tango aficionados condescendingly call ‘European tango’ complete with flicking heads but minus intricate footwork and inner passion. Too ambitious, too little tango, let alone flamenco, and too long.

Part of the problem is that Pages outshines the rest of the Company. The dancers are technically accomplished but have little spark of independence and that, I thought, was the whole point of flamenco. However much it is choreographed, it has to leave room for individual expression because each performer, however young or inexperienced, has his or her own flamenco soul. (Which is why we love the older flamenco singers to break rank and hoist their skirts for an impromptu performance – unbridled expression and the need to dance set flamenco apart from other dance forms.) Perhaps this habit of homogeneity is one picked up from Pages’ days as the flamenco feature with “Riverdance” where long lines of dancers barely distinguishable from the rest create a spectacle of uniform movement akin to the Russian army marching across Red Square. The only distinguishable figure was that of Pages. That may have been deliberate of accidental – I couldn’t tell which. Even her partner, Angel Munoz, looked more like an accessory rather than her leading man.

Matters improved after the tango fiasco but I (and my Spanish companions) had been alienated. Even with more traditional fare I saw too many attempts to “de-flamenco” the point of the evening. Ironically the surrounding paraphernalia of the performance is good. Costumes are simple but cut effectively to create big and meaningful movement out of mere weight changes. Jose Maria Sanchez’s lighting plan for “el perro andaluz” is quite brilliant. Lights isolate the dancers to produce an illumination with a spectral effect – the company of clicking heels moving in dead-pan unison across the stage is powerful. Yet the overall effect of the evening is one of form over substance: too much choreography and not enough dance.

<small>[ 15 February 2004, 05:05 AM: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:19 am 
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Olé good show - flamenco goes back to its roots
In flamenco, old Spanish practices work best, says Clifford Bishop [The Times]


Quote:
The Flamenco Festival under way at Sadler’s Wells leans heavily towards the innovators, those artists trying to drag flamenco kicking and screaming — how else? — into the present day, or to a point later than the culture-knackering blow that was the invention of the package holiday, at any rate. In the Gala de Sevilla that opened the festival, however, the emphasis was on tradition, and the more traditional it got, the better it became. Juan de Juan, who opened the show, is a slight, hyperactive bantam in his mid-twenties.
more...


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:54 pm 
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Thanks Emma... I have to say, I've been lurking and reading the reviews because flamenco is something I really love, and we're about to get Eva Yerbabuena performing in my neck of the woods.

The reviews on Pages have been not positive, but I'm very excited to see what you all think of Farruquito.


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:37 am 
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Eva Yerbebuena was a hit when she came to the UK and her approach to pushing the boundaries of flamenco works better than most. Here is the topic about her UK visit:

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=001404

<small>[ 17 February 2004, 08:38 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:12 pm 
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I noticed a few reviews here from this festival, so just in case anyone missed them, follow this link.


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 Post subject: Re: Flamenco Festival at Sadler's Wells - 2004
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:06 am 
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Quote:
Farruquito, Sadler's Wells London

By ZOE ANDERSON
The Independent
February 23, 2004

Juan Manuel Fernandez, called "Farruquito", headlines the last and most impressive show of the Sadler's Wells flamenco festival. It's also the most traditional, with old songs, good musicians and a whole family of dancers.
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