London’s annual flamenco festival is back in town, and it seems that Sadler’s Wells has castanet… and hauled in some of Spain’s hottest dance talent for the occasion.
It’s returning for its 18th year this July, when the tepid warmth of a London summer will at last be matched by the fiery passion of flamenco, the 200 year old art form from southern Spain.
If you’re unfamiliar with flamenco, it consists of three key ingredients – guitar (guitarra), dance (baile) and song (cante) – and winds up a captivating mix of sultry costumes, expressive vocals and pulsing dance sequences. It’s said to have its roots in the cobbled streets of Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost region, as far back as the 15th century. Since then it’s gone global, resulting in celebrations like the flamenco festival right here.
Sí, quiero – Beatrix Mexi-Molnar
Over the space of two weeks some of the genre’s most lauded choreographers, performers and musicians will be descending on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells. A tightly-curated line-up of six shows will satisfy every kind of flamenco fan: purists yearning for bit of old-school flavour, those seeking new-age interpretations, and those who are literally reading about the dance for the first time now.
The living legend Sara Baras (a.k.a the ‘Queen of Flamenco’) will be kicking off proceedings with Alma, an effortless fusion of traditional flamenco and one of its 19th century predecessors, bolero, with an incredible live band and ensemble of dancers. As Sadler’s Wells puts it, “you don’t need to know what the words mean, you just need to feel it.”
La Confluencia – Beatrix Mexi-Molnar
Up next is the insanely dextrous guitarist Vicente Amigo; an avant-garde solo performance from the award-winning Olga Pericet; a dive into the multicultural roots of flamenco with five male dancers in La Confluencia; an all-female troupe create a flamenco wedding in Sí, quiero, and, capping off the festival, Manuel Liñán returns after last year’s acclaimed, gender-subverting show ¡VIVA!, with a cast of guest dancers including the 83 year-old legend Carrete de Málaga.
Limited to just the single show? Whatever you choose….
You can’t put a foot wrong.
NOTE: The Flamenco Festival 2023 takes place from 5th-15th July. Tickets start at £15, and you can nab ’em right HERE.
Sadler’s Wells Theatre | Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN
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