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Flamenco Festival London 2019

Posted on February 12, 2019


Now in its 16th edition, Sadler’s Wells’ annual Flamenco Festival London returns later than usual this year, running from July 2 to 14 for a fortnight of dance shows featuring some of the world’s finest flamenco dancers and musicians.

Sara Baras returns to Sadler’s Wells to open this year’s festival with Sombras (Shadows) on July 2. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of her company, the work draws on the dance form that has woven through her career, La Farruca. Renowned for its dramatic fast footwork, traditionally danced by men, La Farruca is danced by Baras in Sombras alongside six dancers to claim the dance form as her own.

On July 6, acclaimed musician Amir ElSaffar brings together an ensemble of flamenco artists, including vocalist Gema Caballero, dancer Vanesa Aibar, percussionist Pablo Martin Jones and mastermind electronic musician Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch. Using elegant, melodic arabesques, this special line-up merges east and west in a unique evening of soulful dance and music.

Flamenco singer Miguel Poveda, returns in his first show at Sadler’s Wells since 2014 with his latest work Recital de Cante on July 8. Poveda takes the audience on a tour of the traditional musical forms of flamenco, from the cantinas of Cadiz to the demanding la soleá repertoire, while sharing his personal connection to the music with a spontaneity that ensures a unique performance.

The following day, July 9, Rocío Molina presents Fallen From Heaven. Molina shakes up the traditional guitar, cajón and clapping hands combination with a drum kit and electric guitar, in a piece that draws on both male and animalistic movement to explore gender, sex and flamenco itself.

Photographs: Artists taking part in this year’s Flamenco Festival. Photographs by Paco Villaltaa, Juan Conca, Santana de Yepes and Pablo Guidali

Three exceptional artists who have been prominent in breaking barriers in music, flamenco pianist Dorantes, double bass phenomenon and multi-instrumentalist Adam Ben Ezra, and master of tenor and soprano saxophones Tim Ries, who tours with the Rolling Stones, together present Flamenco Meets Jazz on July 10.

On July 11, Olga Pericet, who won the Spanish National Dance Prize in 2018, combines theatre and dance in The Thorn That Dreamed of Being a Flower or The Flower That Dreamed of Being a Dancer.

From July 12 to 13, Sadler’s Wells showcases the best in flamenco in the annual Gala Flamenca. Manuel Liñan returns as director and this year’s line-up features dancers Mercedes Ruiz, Eduardo Guerrero and María Moreno. They are also joined on stage by singer María Terremoto – the youngest ever recipient of the Giraldillo award for new artist at the Seville Flamenco Biennial.

Closing the festival on July 14, Patricia Guerrero stars in Catedral. Joining her on stage are three dancers, a guitarist, two percussionists, two opera singers and a flamenco singer. The rising star steps into a shadowy world of repression and sacrifice as she draws on the binding constraints of religion and society. Catedral won her the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Performance at Seville’s Bienal de Flamenco.

For further details on Flamenco Festival London and to book tickets, click here.

Main image: Rocío Molina. Photograph by Simone Fratini.


Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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