Performing Arts: Dance
March 17, 2017
Olga Pericet might have been fighting against type all her life, and now she has broadened her scope; she has embraced the women’s movement. Pericet’s program at City Center closing the 2017 Flamenco Festival, Pisadas: A Woman’s End and Beginning, shows her many sides: feminine, indefatigable, playful, inventive, subtle, and rhythmically immaculate.

Divided into seven parts, Pisadas begins with Romerillo que naces, with Pericet blossoming with a slow delicacy few dancers of any discipline could emulate. Surrounded by her bata di cola, tinkling bells lacing her waist, Pericet shares the stage with just one guitarist. She finishes with a touch of performance art, an Epilogo choreographed with assistance from Paco Villalta in which she “breaks the mold.” Wrapped in a papier mache skirt and cloak, she briefly assumes the elusive air of a saint, and then unceremoniously tosses the costume aside.

Dancer Juan Carlos Lerida, wearing enormous antlers, offers a comical variation on the deer dances that figure prominently in both Latin and Asian cultures. After his solo to a Garrotin, Pericet enters to alternately dodge (slipping between his legs) and struggle (leaning against Lerida who pushes her across the stage), until she conquers, putting her foot on the antlers.

For the bulk of the program, Pericet sticks to the heart of flamenco - compas (rhythm), matching the intensity of the singers, and musicians. She has a tasteful approach, knowing when to rein it in and when to cut loose. She appears in a black, sleeveless body suit, accented with a gold trimmed bolero with her long hair loose, ready to be tossed and twirled.

In one of the more enigmatic sections, Pericet appears in the light wrapped in white fabric. Once Pericet is unveiled, the cloth rises and drapes fetchingly midway to the ceiling. Another set features large holed netting where copper pots and pans hang. The scenery was created by Holly Waddington during a residency at Sadler’s Wells London for the 2013 Flamenco Festival London.

Also joining her in this imaginative program was Tacha Gonzalez who performs a Bulerias, a traditionally flirtatious party dance; Herminia Borja, a singer with a fierce piercing presence, the singers Miguel Lavi and Miguel Ortega, guitarists Paco Iglesias and Victor Marquez “El Tomate. Marco Flores is credited with choreographing the Alborea.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers

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