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Posted on March 4, 2014


Carole Edrich blogs from Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival

The friendly café staff at the Stage Door Bar and Café know I’m here to find stories, so as I set up on a nearby table tell me their latest news. Apparently, at lunchtime the people from Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras relax by picking out a palo, with one of them starting and the others joining in, clapping, rapping the tables or stamping to improvise on the rhythmical theme.

At Sadler’s Wells they’re flattered that they’ve been given this glimpse into a different lifestyle and impressed that a flamenco star famous enough to have a Barbie doll named after her is so friendly and open. It’s not so with all the stars: rumours have it that another top flamenco performer refused to enter the café when she heard the author of a fictional autobiography was there.

This makes me wonder about what Baras might have presented in her cancelled photocall. It has become normal, as a press photographer, to be treated to a performance extract involving dancers dressed in black on a very dark stage with black backdrop. Why go to the trouble of setting up a shoot if you plan on sharing a performance’s least photogenic part?


Picture: Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras in La Pepa

Photograph: Carmen Romero


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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