Tierra y Mar '23
04/03/2023 - 04/03/2023
25/02/2023 - 25/02/2023
Composer & guitarist: Paul Bosauder
Flamenco guitar, dance, cante (song) and percussion.
Join flamenco guitarist Paul Bosauder and Wellington-based violinist Tristan Carter for a unique one-off performance at Two Fifty-Seven, Wellington. Together they will transport audiences to the heart of Andalusia with a 75-minute performance exploring the boundaries of traditional flamenco, composition, and improvisation.
Paul is New Zealand’s premiere professional flamenco artist, and while living abroad he completed his studies in concert flamenco guitar at ESMUC (Escuela Superior de Musica de Cataluña) receiving the Matricula de Honor (the highest mark possible). He has previously toured extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, Lebanon, the UK, USA and Australasia and has performed live on TV to audiences in Mexico and Spain. He has worked with Spain’s elite flamenco artists garnering huge respect for his authenticity and expanding his fan base with each performance.
Tristan Carter is a Wellington-based violinist, composer, and field recordist with a deep interest in many musical traditions. Alongside session work and free improvisation he plays in a variety
of ensembles including jazz bands The Troubles and The Noveltones, Indian/Jazz crossover project Shades of Shakti, Balkan-inspired band Bazurka, and Balinese percussion ensemble Gamelan
Taniwha Jaya. Since 2015 he has worked as a composer and performer with Java Dance Theatre Company. Recent collaborations include playing on David Long’s soundtrack to the BBC series The
Luminaries, performing the live music for Trick of the Light Theatre’s The Griegol, and Agaram Productions’ The Mourning After.
24 February: Splore, Tapapakanga Regional Park, Franklin, Auckland
25 February: Warkworth Town Hall, Warkworth, Auckland North 7.30pm eventfinda.co.nz $55.00
1 March: Hamilton Arts Festival, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, Waikato
4 March: Wellington Fringe, Hannah Theatre, Wellington 7.30pm fringe.co.nz $55.00
Dancer: Roshanne de Silva Wijayaratene
Singer: Zoe Velez
Percussion: Phill Jones
Sound: Cathal McDonagh
Music , Dance , Flamenco ,
Spinning and pounding the stage floor with sustained passages of fast, syncopated jackhammer blows
Review by Chris Hegan 05th Mar 2023
When the lights went down and Paul Bosauder launched into his opening guitar solo there may well have been a sense of puzzlement among some of the audience. This was billed as an Andalusian Flamenco show but the cascades of sweet notes pouring from Paul Bosauder’s flying fingers did not immediately evoke the fountains and mosaics of the Alhambra. No hint here of the classic Andalusian tetrachord that instantly tells us we are in Spain. This is music that brings to mind waves breaking on shore, the falling of water, something different. Very soon, however, the other characteristic of a first-class Flamenco show is in evidence. Movement in the audience. Feet tapping. Hands softly beating time on knees. Some people even rocking slightly in their chairs, irresistibly animated by the relentless, perfectly measured rhythm of a Tangos Flamenco, impeccably sustained by Phill Jones on the cajon. Then singer Zoë Velez begins a soft keening which clears away all doubt. This is indeed Flamenco, and when dancer Roshanne de Silva Wijayaratene glides forward with a swirling of skirts and flashing eyes and breaks into a startling heel and toe staccato of tremendous power it is Flamenco in full cry.
Bosauder has taken a decade or more of intensive training in one of Spain’s most prestigious Flamenco academies and used it to build a unique compositional style, drawing on a variety of tunings and almost continuously flowing arpeggios to create music that is almost hypnotic during the solo passages, segueing frequently into real powerhouse Flamenco on the back of Velez’s rich, soaring voice and Wijayaratene’s heart-stopping turns at the front of the stage. Small and powerfully built, she does not fit the conventional notion of the matador-sleek Flamenco dancer and it is unexpected, astounding even, when Wijayaratene hurls herself through space, hands talking with all the grace and expression of a Balinese dancer, spinning and pounding the stage floor with sustained passages of fast, syncopated jackhammer blows. Thunderous applause follows, any audience uncertainty thoroughly dispelled.
Flamenco is something of a contradiction, an improvisational music form contained within tight and invariable rhythmic structures. As much as any technique of hands and fingers it is the absorption of the various palos into an almost visceral habit that takes all the years of training. Many of the palos are built in measures of 12, often divided into two bars of three/four and one of six/eight. And if that wasn’t hard enough, the count commonly starts not on beat one but on the twelve. You can’t really count that out while playing with the speed and complexity that Flamenco demands; it has to become as automatic as breath and Bosauder has reached that rarified level of living and breathing the palos.
Bosauder’s compositions, as idiosyncratic as they are beautiful, never stray from these long-ingrained structures. He takes us on a journey as new as it is old, weaving an enchantment that lingers long after the last notes, the last flurry of dancing feet, have died away. He cites the earth and sea of his native New Zealand as his inspiration and there is nothing fanciful about it; this really is music of Aotearoa. New Zealand Flamenco. It is virtuosic, exquisitely melodic, truly unique.
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A Flamenco journey into the depths of human emotion is performed to a sold out audience at this Fringe Festival triumph.
Review by Kassie McLuskie 05th Mar 2023
From the opening bars of the Rondeña played expertly by guitarist Paul Bosauder our transcendence into the world of Flamenco begins. The opening solo sets the scene, played melodically with the underlying pulsating rhythm coming through. We are now ready to begin our journey into this complex and emotional art form from Spain.
Paul is now joined on stage by dancer Roshanne de Silva Wijayaratene, singer Zoë Velez and percussionist Phill Jones who throughout the evening fuse all the elements together working as a seamless ensemble.
The stage warms up in red tones as the haunting voice of Velez sings the opening Tangos, the rhythm of the cajon (precussion drum), and toque (guitar playing) building as de Silva Wijayaratene begins to dance. The joy of dance shows in the sensual and playful style of de Silva Wijayaratene, arms reaching and wrists turning, underplayed with subtle zapateado (footwork.) A bewitching smile plays across her lips and by the end of the first dance she has the audience in the palm of her hand.
During the evening this ensemble treats the audience to all the aspects of Flamenco supporting each other with palmas (hand clapping) and jaleo (words of encouragement.) The cajon, guitar, cante (singing) and baile (dance) take us on a journey through a variety of palos (different musical forms) from the cante jondo (profound or deep song) through to cante chico (light song.)
In the haunting Taranto, de Silva Wijayaratene’s graceful hands move through the air and her body bends fluidly to the music and cante. This is contrasted with outbursts of emphatic footwork which fill the air with an intensity that heats up the atmosphere. Arms, hands reach out to grasp at the air as if longing to hold onto life, as the cante laments with the guitar. As the mood and tempo increase we then build up to a fiery and joyous ending, where I challenge any audience member not to have smile on their face.
At other times in the evening the mood changes when the cante and music can really shine through. This happens in the Tientos where Zoë Velez seems to plead with the audience, inviting us in to her sorrow. The fact that I don’t understand the words is immaterial as the rawness of emotion transcends the boundaries of language. Paul Bosauder’s evocative guitar playing blends seamlessly with the cante, creating a sombre mood.
A highlight of the evening is the joyful Alegrias. From the opening lines of the singing, we are teased by both dancer and singer playfully urging each other along and then pulling back. The infectious joy of this baile (dance) can be seen in the quick turns and head flicks luring us in, driving us onwards to a crescendo when we are hit with the Silencio. There is a moment of stillness followed by slow graceful movements where we are able to feel the deep sorrow that underlies all passion. From there, we are drawn into the zapateado (footwork) urged on by the pulsating rhythm of the palmas, jaleo and cajon – played adeptly by Phill Jones. This builds again to a furious climax and joy reigns once more for the ending. This is a wonderful dance of contrasts where the performers supported each other skilfully to create a powerful performance.
The joy of the Alegria is later contrasted by the Seguiriyas, probably one of the deepest and most profound of all the Flamenco forms. Zoe Velez’s haunting cry calls out to the audience, as the dancer twists and turns winding us up tautly and then exploding into a frenzy of footwork. The deep back bend turns executed, allow us to feel the vulnerability of the dancer as if at any moment she may break.
But Flamenco needs to end on a moment of joy, so now we are transported to a Spanish taberna as the company move to the front of the stage to finish with a lively Bulerias. With music, song, jaleo, palmas and dance you want to get out of your seat and join them on stage.
The truly great thing about this performance was the way the company worked as an ensemble, allowing each other to shine and have room to breathe. A fiery evening of passion where we are left longing for more.
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