REVIEW ‌ Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras 

Sara Baras captures the colors of flamenco

From the slender frame of performer Sara Baras comes an undeniable energy that is at once engaging and ultimately expressive. Ballet Flamenco is an impressive group of musicians and great-looking flamenco dancers who presented Sabores, a well-crafted and thoroughly entertaining work. For nearly two hours one mesmerizing performance after another filled the stage in a sequence of costume, fiery footwork, and sounds of the Spanish art form, which began as a folk dance from the gypsies, but here it is far from its crude beginnings. The piece is a professional and refined theatrical production without a story. The concept is simple enough, explained as dances that show the different styles of Flamenco music. There are many beautifully costumed tableaus and the images sometimes don’t last for long, making you want more, but then isn’t Flamenco all about yearning?

The musical talent is as strong as the dancing with two fine vocalists and a virtuosic group of guitarists, a percussionist, and a violin. The dancers come and go being led by the music. The featured dancers besides Baras are two men: Luis Ortega and Jose Serrano. The rest of the talented Corps de Ballet is made up of nine dancers.

In a section called “Seguiriya,” Ortega displayed masterful castanet and footwork. His commanding presence and intriguing movements are dramatic and mesmerizing.

Another highlight was “Alagrias” danced by Sorrano who was the essence of the Spanish masculine. A powerhouse in cream colored suit his feet hammered the floor while the body danced over them in an all out show-off-his-stuff solo.

When Baras dances, it’s as if she hears the rhythm and motion come from the very ground under her feet. Her feet ricochet, her body turns on a dime, and her hands weave a spidery web. There is a bound energy that is at times unleashed, but the restraint of this energy is what gives her such an edge. Whether she is dancing about tragic love, or joyous love it is the stillness in between her movement that is so telling. She often uses the fabric of her skirts as a prop, as it swings, whips, and wraps around her. In one tour de force section, she is dressed in black chap-like pants, exhibiting a macho persona. The tempo of her footwork was unbelievably fast and her small body exploded with energy as she played off of the energy from the audience.

It was a treat to see dancing that was so visceral and so authentic. The theatrical nature of the production like the sparse but effective set, the polished lighting, and the ravishing costumes gave the show a flare I have not seen in any other dance during the festival. The uncomplicated expression of the dance and music brought everyone to their feet with the final applause.

BALLET FLAMENCO SARA BARAS • Spoleto Festival USA • June 8 and 10 at 8 p.m.; June 2 at 2 p.m. • Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. • 579-3100

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Classified Listings

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2017, Charleston City Paper   RSS