BWW Review: Olga Pericet Presents Her Unique Flamenco Flair In LA ESPINA at John Anson Ford Theatre
September 21, 2019
Olga Pericet presents her unique flamenco flair, in "La Espina... que quiso ser flor o la flor que soñó con ser bailaora" or "The Thorn That Wanted to Be a Flower, or The Flower That Dreamed of Being a Dancer"
Having recently been the recipient of the National dance prize in 2018, one of the highest acknowledgments that can be received in Spain, and bestowed with innumerable honors and awards previously, Pericet, now in her 15th year as a choreographer, brings her original, unique and authentic performance to the John Anson Ford Theatre.
Mercurial, mysterious, intriguing and mesmerizing, Olga Pericet is a pioneer in the future of Flamenco and Spanish Dance. She has taken her life-long acquired knowledge and applied it to a new format that is both revolutionary and bold. It is a matter of taking your God-given talent and mastering it, then merging it with your inner instincts, feelings and what you have learned along your way. Personal. She is courageous and daring, following her inner self, instead of just tradition alone, and her sense of humor and other emotions speak through her body movement and language to make entrancing theatre. And even though she has stepped out upon that limb, she is still reverent of the incredible foundation and history of Flamenco.
Mind you, everything about traditional Flamenco is under her belt. So much so, that she has pushed forward and stylized herself into a new phase of The Dance, putting her indelible mark on the history of Flamenco itself. She has crafted a unique journey through her own experiences, adding humor, pathos, memories, wisdom, reflection and hope. A titillating performance, abundant with personal memories conveyed splendidly through dance.
When she first appears onstage, she is in a confrontational mood, daring us to tune in to her imaginative memory. She runs the gamut with past confrontations, past love affairs, past experiences that have shaped her up to this moment. and lets us in to the secret manifestations of her past and present. It is ultra theatrical and filled with passion, exuberance and fervor.
Her ability to find the humor, the two sides of every situation, be it feminine vs. masculine, good vs. evil, ugliness vs. beauty, serious vs. comical, she explores and makes a statement about each. All within the context of movement, to express those emotions and circumstances.
In the first segment, she crazily goes off what might be her meds, and uses physical comedy to reach outside of traditional interpretation to express her emotions and opinions. Her use of props is exemplary, turning high-heeled shoes into guns and ammunition, very convincingly, which only adds to the enchantment of her performance. She is so committed to each emotion she is conveying. The ability to let loose and take it to the extreme is evident. Brava!
Throughout the different segments she presents, you always get the feeling that she is in control, no matter what the visual is. The staging is masterful, and though it may seem she is not, she is always center and the heart of the matter at hand.
Some delicious dancing was served up when Jesús Fernández joined Olga on stage, for a magnificent tit-for-tat challenge among the two. She holds her own and more, each time, commanding attention as she embodies different events in her life. Her message is clear: Examine and own your past, respect it, and work towards enlightenment in the future. Hopeful and encouraging.
Her comrades throughout the evening are each representative of the memories she conveys, and are all accomplished vocalists, musicians and Flamenco artists. They blend within the overall story she is conveying, yet each is a beautiful solo artist on their own.
Excellent mood-creating lighting and staging and usage of the background of the Ford Amphitheater to great advantage.
An inspiring and exciting performance!
For further appearance dates:
Stage direction and dramaturgy: Carlota Ferrer
Artistic, choreographic and dance direction: Olga Pericet.
Assistant to the choreographic management and consulting: Marco Flores
Musical direction: Olga Pericet and Marco Flores
Musical composition: Antonia Jiménez and Pino Losada
Sound space: Pablo Martín Jones
Singers: Miguel Ortega and Miguel Lavi
Guitarists: Antonia Jiménez and Pino Losada
Special collaboration in dance and accompanying: Jesús Fernández
Illumination design: Gloria Montesinos A.a.i.
Sound design: Ángel Olalla
Wardrobe design: Ana López Cobos
Wardrobe creation: Gabi Besa
Scenography: Silvia de Marta
Graphic design: La playa
Photography: Paco Villalta
Executive production, distribution and management: Ana Carrasco (Peineta Producciones)
Production: Olga Pericet
Photographs courtesy of Lindsey Best