Performing Arts: Dance
February 25, 2018
Love and Desolation interweaved in Intimo, flamenco and Spanish theatre dance fusion at The Joyce Theater. Noche Flamenca, directed by New Yorker, Marín Santangelo and his wife, acclaimed flamenco dancer, Soledad Barrio, gathered an eclectic company of Ida y Vuelta emerging local and savored Spanish artists for their 2018 winter season. The evening´s menu comprised two main courses: La Ronde, a theatre-dance narrative, and a flamenco medley of Alegrías, Farruca, Zambra Caracolera, and Soleá.

Choreographed by Martín Santangelo, La Ronde explored the love and despair cycles depicted by Arthur Schnitzler in his 1897 theatrical play adapted into the film by Max Opu¨ls in 1950. The company was introduced through a dark canvas crossed by a diagonal beam of light inhabited by a file of dancers seated in tangent to a line of musicians.

Gago, Carmina Cortés, and Emilio Florido' voices echoed in cannon to the lyrics of La Historia de Un Amor (The story of one love): “Ya no estás más a mi lado, corazón…”. Soledad Barrio broke the dancer´s series of sitting gestures, taking a stand in anguish. As the company disseminated, Soledad´s interaction with her accompanist put in orbit a series of traditional duets between baile, cante, and toque artists, breaking the norm with an intricate percussion dispute between Emilio Florido with a pair of canes and David “Chupete” Rodríguez playing cajón.

Dissonance stirred within the flamenco fandangos, Soleá por Bulerías and other palos when an inner city young man started krumping with a femme fatal. In the absence of program notes for this 40-minute piece, the audience was susceptible to bewilderment encountering the foreign art form, aggravated by the Spanish and calé lyrics within the Andalusian accent and flamenco cante aesthetics. However, the plasticity explored by Soledad in her contemporary duet with Carlos Menchaca recaptured the disengaging larghetto pace prevailing in the piece’s compás and transitions.

Without intermission, the evening’s second course offered a refreshing gust of salty breeze from Cadiz in Alegrías. Marina Elana and Carlos Menchaca depicted the celebration of new love, in a coquettish dialogue between their escobillas and the sensual caress in their silencio.

In isolated reflection, Juan Ogalla distilled his farruca imprinting his solera, distantly accompanied by the harmonic chords insinuated by Eugenio Iglesias’s guitar.

Commanding the stage, Soledad Barrio closed the program exposing profound sorrow through her Soleá, pacing herself with unblemished zapateado discourse and empowered crescendos, drawing the audience further in the appreciation of her legacy.

After the final bow, the night was animated by the traditional closing pataítas por bulería where each dancer took turns to show-off charisma and pellizco, leading the ensemble’s exit as they all sang the coletilla. EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada

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