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Posted on March 3, 2014

Carole Edrich blogs from Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival

afarruquito 2013 dsc 8758zBallet Flamenco Sara Baras opened Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival with a production of La Pepa, which started 40 minutes late. This meant the audience was a tad twitchy, although I think it’s part of the fun to reminisce about flamenco-related mañana moments over a drink with friends.

Baras represented La Pepa – the first Spanish constitution – as “an attitude” and “the voice of the people in female form”, though I struggled to find a narrative. Components included her signature tableaux, stunning solo virtuosity and a level of self-indulgence I couldn’t bring myself to dislike.

Reviewers rush off at the first curtain call to file their work, so I was probably the only journalist left when, after several, Baras announced: “The loss of Paco [de Lucia] has left me with half my heart dead.” In a show already dedicated to him, the tiny encore that followed felt more painfully authentic than the rest of the night, even when a coruscating torrent of sparkling confetti poured down upon their final tableau.

Did last-minute tears cause the delay? I have a week to find out.

Picture: Farruquito dancing Abolengo last year. He returns this year with Improvisao.
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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