Saturday, July 22, 2006

American Dance Festival: Noche Flamenca & Soledad Barrio

The CompanyIt's sad to think that tonight was the last night of ADF this season! It seemed to go by way too fast. I was privileged to see every performer, from Paul Taylor on the 2nd day of ADF through Spanish flamenco (alternatively spelled flamenca, I believe) tonight, with the exception of Emanuel Gat Dance (which again used ADF to premiere a work, this time K626 ["10 women, 45 minutes of music, 20 minutes of silence, 65 minutes of dance"] and last year Rite of Spring), Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Doug Varone & Dancers (whom I've never seen), all of which I had to miss due to being out-of-town.

We felt fortunate to see the Soledad Barrio and Manuel Gagostrong dancers, singers, and musicians of Noche Flamenca & Soledad Barrio from Spain tonight. We also briefly met several of them outside after the performance. According to their website, Noche Flamenca was formed in 1993 by artistic director Martín Santangelo and his wife Soledad Barrio.

My wife, an aficionado of good vocals, shared my admiration for the amazing impassioned voices that reminded us both of qawaali music, with, at least to us, similar arm and hand gestures and style of singing - though neither of us know Spanish and couldn't understand the words. The music itself was traditional Spanish flamenca guitar (toque), along with hand clapping and feet stomping.

The dance seemed to me to be traditional in the Spanish flamenca style. I'm not sure why traditional dance was included in ADF, but I'm certainly not complaining - and since I know next to nothing about flamenca, for all I know there may have been modern interpretations presented tonight.

Sometimes the dancer would be Soledad Barrio solo, sometimes one of two men solo, and Manuel Gago and Antonio Vizarraga with Soledad Barriosometimes some combination thereof. Most of the performers were dressed primarily in black with a black backdrop, but Soledad had a beautiful red dress on. Except for a few years ago at the first "Festival of the Feet" at ADF, I don't think I've ever seen flamenca dancing, but what I saw tonight was powerful, skillfully fast, and beautiful to see. The News & Observer's ADF blog refers to a glossary of terms that could be shouted out to show appreciation, and I did often hear Olé! ring out - which I echo! I can't wait for ADF's return next June and July.

Postscript: There is a strong review of the performance in the July 26 issue of The Independent. Also, the pieces that were peformed, according to the program, were "La Plaza", "Tangos", "Solo de Guitar", "'Maria' -- Alegrias", all before the intermission. The second half consisted of "Solea por Bulerias", "Solo de Cante y Martinete", "Siguiriya", and "Esta noche no es mi día".

All pictures from the company's website gallery, © Noche Flamenca.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Sat Aug 12, 02:01:00 AM PDT  

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