Mini-review – Flamenco Gala (Carment Cortes, Rafaela Carrasco, Olga Pericet) – 2012 Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival

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(Blast, a few days after this event and I’m finding myself having a hard time matching names and performances! – ed.)

This year’s flamenco gala at Sadler’s Wells was quite different than the ones I’ve seen before, as instead of operating as a night of short solo performances done in sequence, it was a much more integrated work that had the three stars performing together as well as alternating throughout the evening, with musical interludes and performances by the various male dancers in between the women’s turns on the stage. The result was a more unified flamenco “show,” but one that had much less of the fireworks than previous nights. Highlights included Olga Pericet (in general), who at one point had so much energy going when dancing with two men that I thought there might be blood on the floor (her feet like nervous laughter – I think the song was “I have three hearts”); a trio of men dancing while passing a red hat between them (each trying to be a little bit better than the other, while still sticking to the basic choreography); and Carmen Cort├ęs’ final dance, which showed the young ‘uns how it was done – her musicality taking her entire body and making up for age’s loss of speed and flexibility. Less pleasant were the two female vocal solos done to piano music, and an odd flamenco-done-to-cello thing that just seemed entirely too forced to be pleasant for me. I was dozy and uninvolved during the various vocal interludes, which is odd as I do like flamenco singing but the soloists in this show were not engaging. Overall, this was an enjoyable night, but had too many gaps to be a memorable one.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Saturday, February 1th, 2012. For an alternate view, please see the Guardian’s review.)

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3 Responses to “Mini-review – Flamenco Gala (Carment Cortes, Rafaela Carrasco, Olga Pericet) – 2012 Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival”

  1. Studioincovent Says:

    I agree more with Sanjoy Roy in the Guardian on that one. I really liked it. Olga Pericet was amazing – her arms were so quick – did you notice those double circles she kept doing with them?

    I wasn’t sure about the number with the cello by Rafaela Carrasco either – a little bit too modern, but she is interesting!

    On Sunday night, Carmen Cortes wasn’t as strong as she seemed to have been on Saturday. She looked quite out of breath at the end of some passages (which did add a certain element to her performance, as she just stood there while the music continued to play and the audience clapped – she gave us her all), and her positioning and balance were often off. It was nice to compare her to the younger dancers though. Very different styles!

  2. Studioincovent Says:

    Forgot to say, about Rafaela Carrasco – I loved her opening alegria, the one she danced with the white dress and bata de cola.

    She had this repeated movement, her hand going over or around her breast followed by a kind of jerk of the shoulders, that I really liked. It added something to it – maybe it was related to the song?

    And she is amazing with the bata. My favourite moment was when she turned and turned to the bata gains momentum on the floor and ends up continuing to turn while she has stopped. As it curled around her leg, she followed it with her eyes, laughing. The joy of dancing!

    Also I enjoyed the piano interludes, particularly the one about the three leaves http://www.poesi.as/index244.htm

    Boy, I wasn’t gonna write a review of it but I feel like I ought to now!

  3. Rebecca Says:

    does anyone know the name of the singer? I thought she was brilliant and her voice was so unusual. can’t find her name anywhere.

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