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London Duende

Posted on March 18, 2014

I jaleo with the best of them and don’t seem to be able stop myself. I even find myself saying “ole” while I’m photographing dancers on the stage. But I surprised even myself when I heard the phrase “tan guapo” (too good-looking) from my own mouth at the end of the photocall with Farruquito (pictured).

His dance style demands it. It’s a perfectly synchronised syncretism of stunning zapateo, marvellous musicality and traditional, old-style flamenco. No new Spanish dance here, no fusion, no attempt to be anything other than what he is: a great dancer of pedigree, accompanied by wonderful musicians, who is accustomed to holding the audience’s attention on a world-class stage.

I’m told he’s also an excellent teacher. Even a “principiante” was impressed by his patience and (in our wonderfully British way) slightly embarrassed by his attentiveness. At a masterclass organised by Ilusion Flamenca he expressed a hope that he could return to give a longer course.

I’ll be there if he does.

Photograph: Carole Edrich 

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. Now acting editor of Discover Britain magazine, she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success.

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