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BWW Review: A Fantastic Close to the Flamenco Festival New York with BALLET FLAMENCO DE ANDALUCIA


The Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía concluded the festivities at the New York City Center, March 18 to 19 as part of the 2016 Flamenco Festival New York. In a program entitled Images: 20 Years, the company dedicated this performance to celebrating its two-decade history as an internationally beloved flamenco dance ambassador by revisiting five of their most celebrated works in its repertoire. Each piece is a tribute to some of the most innovative and influential flamenco dancers: Mario Maya, María Pagés, José Antonio Ruiz, Cristina Hoyos, and Rubén Olmo.

The show opened with a tribute to Mario Maya in a piece entitled Del maestro. What struck me about this work was that the dancers performed while sitting on stools. What talent it takes to do the fast footwork and the wonderful arms as they were sitting! I also loved the synchronization and precision among the dancers. En la oscuridad de la luz, a tribute to María Pagés, featured a projection of the moon while the women danced in lovely dresses that flowed very nicely as they moved. What a beautiful ambience as the lighting made it as if the dancers were floating in the sky! I enjoyed the moments of unison, but the break out sections were so exciting.

The program continued with a tribute to José Antonio Ruiz entitled Leyendo. I was intrigued by how the women performed in these dresses with very long skirts. They make it seem so easy. One dress was as long as half the stage! Mirando al Sur, a tribute to Cristina Hoyos, featured the dancers performing on top of what appeared to be wooden suitcases. I loved it! Just when you think they can't get any better, they do something else to blow you away!

The evening concluded with a tribute to Rubén Olmo in Las cuarto esquinas. I was fascinated as the dancers performed with these very beautiful, but very large shawls as they turned, flipped, and transferred the shawl from person to person. The second half had so much intensity and energy. It was great. It brought the audience to their feet for a standing ovation. What a way to end the show!

The Flamenco Festival USA was founded in 2001 and has been showcased in cities across the country including Washington DC, Miami, and Boston as a way to promote flamenco artists outside of Spain. The festival here in New York has become a much anticipated event and one of the year's biggest dance programs in the City.

Photo Credit: Luis Casilla

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