Dance Review: Simplicity makes for strong theatre
Fuego Flamenco Bloomsbury Theatre, London
Friday 19 December 1997
Cuentos Flamenco is a small, unpretentious outfit composed of two dancers, two singers, two guitarists and one percussionist - although in flamenco everyone's a percussionist. The dancers, and co-founders of the company, are Talia Cohen and Alejandro Grandos. Flamenco has an innate grandeur and simplicity that enables it to transform the plainest staging into strong theatre. The skills of lighting designer Chris Clay and sound engineer Amos Christie played a large part in the evening's success.
It is hard to predict what the well-dressed bailaor will be wearing these days. Once upon a time you could put money on armpit-hugging strides, a tight waistcoat and a big girl's blouse. But a dance with its roots in one of the most stylish countries in Europe was unlikely to stick with so dated a look, and a male flamenco dancer can turn up in anything from a pair of designer jeans to an ankle length skirt. Grandos, in his first appearance, had opted for a pale grey lounge suit and loose apricot shirt. This rather untheatrical choice of costume reminds us why the old black togs became so popular: they enhanced and exaggerated the sinuous lines of the dance. When the bailaor strikes his pose, arms raised like a matador about to strike, we want to see the emphatic curve of the spine, the long taut line of the thighs, the whole body tense as a drawn bow - not the billowing folds of shirt over waistband. By the farruca Grandos was back in black.
Talia Cohen is more traditionally dressed in various ruffled frocks and demonstrates all the bad-tempered virtuosity so essential to a solea. Cohen hitches up her skirts with a spasm of crabby impatience as if her bottom were itching to dance and shake the heavy dust from her frills. Between them the two dancers created a salty and honest performance on a pleasingly intimate scale.
No doubt somewhere in some godforsaken hotel bar in Torremolinos there is such a thing as lousy flamenco but we do not on the whole tend to import it. Although the artists and production of Fuego Flamenco may not be altogether Premier League, this group of pedigree performers is a welcome reminder that there is always a lot of entertainment to be had in the First Division.
To 20 Dec. 0171-388 8822
Life & Style blogs
Men in crop tops seem to be trending thanks to Kid Cudi, the social media and the catwalk
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Greggs Google fail: bakery chain falls afoul of search engine's algorithms with 'unofficial' logo
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Is this the end of apps? New research says a third of us don't bother to download
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...