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Review: Paco Peña, at Sadler’s Wells

10 August, 2017 — By Sam Jones

Flamenco – what dance is all about: Paco Pena at Sadler’s Wells. PHOTO: JEREMY TOTH

FLAMENCO is what dance should be all about: discipline, rigour, energy, passion and community. Of course, Paco Peña and his company are masters of their craft. Yet as his bufala singer Inmaculada Rivero proves, even a fat lady can stir the audience with some incisive moves.

Peña appears himself on his guitar, starting out with a single chair draped in a shawl centre stage, and the sauntering entry of the company looking like the start of a night on the tiles.

The first half introduces the two dancers, Charo Espino and Yolanda Osuna, and what is frustrating is that their skirts are just a little too long to see the footwork. These silky dresses show off their gorgeous sinuous moves and arms but the male dancer Angel Munoz has a built-in advantage that we can see his heels.

So the first half was far less interesting than the second when the ladies donned trousers and skirts riding up at the knee, making the intricacy of their footwork clear.

Thankfully most of the dresses of the second half exposed the feet. One exception was Granaina, where the shawl became a soaring wing as Osuna’s lilting moves and Pena’s serene guitar gave this tasselled wrap a life of its own. Beautiful.

An excellent, invigorating and thrilling show. Try to catch this very short run before it ends.

0207 863 8000


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