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Posted on March 5, 2014

Carole Edrich blogs from Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival 

Even knowing that he’s an internationally acknowledged master, hugely respected for the quality of his old-world jondo and the way he interprets modern flamenco styles, it was difficult to reconcile the glimpses caught of the diminutive Miguel Poveda (pictured) backstage with his stage presence and voice, which has the depth, power and range of a romantic giant.

His sense of play, however, is as clear on the stage as off, while singing alone and performing with the adorably expressive flamenco dancer La Lupi. While singing bulerías, his dance poked gentle fun at displays of male virility, and a dance duet with La Lupi changed gender roles in a way that had the audience practically rolling in the aisles.

Unlike Paco de Lucia (to whom he dedicated the show) Miguel Poveda is not from Andalusia. He breaks traditional flamenco expectations. Mine too: I had expected the show perhaps to drag – flamenco is not known for its restraint – instead I agreed with the audience when, at its end they shouted “too short!”

Photograph: Maxi del Campo 

 

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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