THE FLAMENCO PROJECT
22/03/2018 - 23/03/2018
Follow international Spanish Flamenco dancer Isabel Rivera and her troupe as they weave song, rhythm and guitar into a powerful performance of this highly complex art.
Isabel Rivera’s career began at the age of four, when her family, from the flamenco heartland of southern Spain, realized she had a gift for the art. Today that career flourishes with growing audiences across Spain and Latin America. Her enthusiasm for working with local artists has already won her many fans here in New Zealand.
Singer Anna Colom :
Anna Colom’s unique voice has carried her across the globe, from China to the USA, the UK , and Latin America. Born in Barcelona, Anna’s road to professional flamenco singing began at the age of eight. Today she sings in Barcelona’s top flamenco clubs: Tarantos, the Flamenco Palace, and Patio Andaluz. Anna also holds master classes in this highly complex art.
Flamenco guitarist Ian Sinclair
Ian is better known as a television journalist, reporting for TVNZ across the globe both as a foreign correspondent and reporter for the Sunday Programme. But for most of his life, Ian has also played flamenco and is a pupil of gypsy maestro, Juan del Gastor of Seville.
Exequiel Coria, Buenos Aires:
Exequiel Coria’s love affair with flamenco began in his homeland of Argentina where he graduated with a degree in guitar technique from the Buenos Aires Music Conservatory. By the time he arrived in Spain in 2013, Exequiel was already a seasoned professional, with extensive experience in Argentina’s top flamenco clubs. In Seville he studied with Flamenco artists like Pedro Sierta, Rafael Riqueni, Pedro Sanchez, Nino de Pura, Paco Cortes and Eduardo Rebollar. But it didn’t take long for his talent to shine through and he was soon promoted to flamenco guitar teacher at the city’s prestigious Cristina Heeren Foundation. By 2015 Exequiel was winning spots in some of Seville’s leading venues, performing at the Teatro de la Maestranza, the Monastery of the Cartuja, and the Flamenqueria as well as venues in Barcelona where he currently resides.
This cross over between Spain and Latin America is typical of flamenco, which is in itself a hybrid of ancient Christian, Jewish and Islamic influences. Like the blues, flamenco began as a music in the rural south, with guitar as its main instrument, but built around lyrics which may be changed at will by the singer. In the twentieth century flamenco artists carried the music from the Andalucia, the southern region closest to Africa, up to the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, where new influences emerged.
At the heart of almost all flamenco is the compass, or rhythm cycles which are very similar to the Indian raga. Many believe the gypsies, who migrated to Spain from the Indus River Valley, can take some credit for this.
Te Auaha – Theatre 2, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Thursday 22 and Friday 23 March 2018
Fringe Addict $25 | General Admission $35
Little show huge in impact
Review by Jennifer Shennan 23rd Mar 2018
This brave ‘little’ show is huge in content and impact. Thread a line through the earth from New Zealand and you’ll come out close enough to Spain. Geographical borders keep nation states distinct, but dance and music this fine are the opposite of walls, quotas, tariffs and boundaries. Jordi Savall recently brought a stunning combination of Spanish and Mexican performers together into a concert of sublime music and dance in the New Zealand Festival. We saw in this Flamenco Project a miniature darling version of the same arts in tandem. Go The Fringe.
Isabel Rivera Cuenca, based in Barcelona, is a terrific dancer of the flamenco school and style. Singer Anna Collom and guitarist Exequiel Coria also hail from Spain, and are a warm close duo. They team up with Auckland-based guitarist, Ian Sinclair, and have made a number of visits to New Zealand where audiences respond with much spirit. Let this not be their last.
Everyone has to deal with loss and how to live in spite of that, and the contrasting ways cultures develop their dance traditions to portray that is a source of endless intrigue. The opening seguidillas is a lament, with the force of a Maori waiata tangi, or a haumate Tokelau – deep emotion, shared. The final alegrias in a gorgeous bright dress of blue and gold, is a kind of ode to joy, so the spectrum is covered though not in any pedestrian or perfunctory way.
Rivera Cuenca is at once teasingly light yet has great strength, is impeccably clean in technique and zapateado footwork, lithe in torso and arms, mercurial in her hummingbird castagnetta, swift to change profiles, performing now to us now to her musicians, a tiny bit wicked in her sinuosity, fun when she kicks away the comb that has fallen from her hair onto the stage, a wink to us and we’re all in this together. She is fully in love with what she does, yet able to share it in a sweet and fresh way with an audience rapt at the deep emotion and vitality that combine in the duende of flamenco communication.
Go The Fringe
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