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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. 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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