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Israel Galván’s La Fiesta

Posted on March 20, 2019

Flamenco dancer Israel Galván will present the UK premiere of La Fiesta at Sadler’s Wells on April 27–28, 2019.

Inspired by the experience from his childhood of staying up late to partake in the “fin de fiesta,” the time after a show when the performers would throw off the restrictions of their roles and improvise together, Galván has called La Fiesta his most radical work to date.

Co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, the work brings together a company of dancers and musicians including Jesús Aguilera, Eloísa Cantón, Emilio Caracafé, Ramón Martínez, Niño de Elche, Alejandro Rojas-Marcos, Alia Sellami and Uchi, encouraging them to cross genre divides in this celebration of flamenco.

Galván’s previous performances at Sadler’s Wells include Torobaka, a collaboration with Sadler’s Wells associate artist Akram Khan, and FLA.CO.MEN, his avant-garde production that was presented as part of Sadler’s Wells’ Flamenco Festival in 2017.

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director and chief executive, said: “Israel Galván is, without a doubt, one of the most talented and innovative flamenco performers in the world. La Fiesta is a dazzling and boundary-pushing evening of flamenco, and his most imaginative and unusual production to date. What this evening proves is that Israel, like every great artist, is constantly pushing forward.”

Son of Sevillian bailaores Jose Galván and Eugenia de Los Reyes, Israel grew up at tablaos, fiestas and flamenco dance academies, where he used to accompany his father. In 1994, he joined the Compañía Andaluza de Danza, directed by Mario Maya, and this was the beginning of an unstoppable career.

His first creation, ¡Mira! / Los Zapatos Rojos, received its world premiere in 1998 to critical acclaim. Since then he has presented productions including La Metamorfosis, Galvánicas, Arena, La Edad De Oro, Tábula Rasa, Solo, El Final De Este Estado De Cosas – Redux, Israel vs Los 3000, La Curva and Lo Real/Le Réel/The Real.

Galván is an associate artist of Théâtre de la Ville Paris and Teatros del Canal Madrid. He was awarded the National Dance Prize 2005, in the “Creation” section, by the Culture Department of the Spanish Government, for “his capacity to generate a new creation in an art such as flamenco without forgetting the real roots that have sustained it to the present day and that make of it a universal genre”.

In 2012, he was honoured with the New York Bessie Performance Award for an Outstanding Production and the Fine Arts Medal awarded by the Council of Ministers of Spanish Government. He received three Premios Max de Teatro awards in May 2014 for Lo Real/Le Réel/The Real, for best dance production, best choreography and best dancer. In 2016, he was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award (UK) for Exceptional Artistry.

For more information about La Fiesta or to book tickets, click here.

Main image: Israel Galván in La Fiesta. Photograph by Aliaksandra Kanonchenka

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, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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