Posted on March 14, 2014
Always a safe bet, the Gala attracts those who love flamenco but are hedging their bets, and aficionados who are attracted to the people performing. This year the calibre and variety of styles of dancers and musicians was well balanced. Each performer shared their joy in flamenco, creating a sunny seamless whole.
Laura Rozalén‘s impressive hand movements inspired me to practise more at home. Olga Pericet’s expertise with the twirling manton was particularly impressive when she danced close to others. Marco Flores’ stance, clear zapateo and humour were a joy, but Mercedes Ruiz made my evening. She was huge on the stage, her dance brought the cliché “on fire” to life, every atom of her twisting body was a statement of elegant strength while her moves spoke of generous lives well lived. On stage she’s so much larger than life that I’m always surprised how small she really is.
But I don’t understand the title. Why call it The Five Seasons? The five stations – or stages – would surely be closer.
Photograph: Carole Edrich