Rasta Thomas, Crossover Dance Show DIONISIO Continues International Tour
"Dionisio - La Vid I Mil Noches" ("Dionisio - the Vines and 1000 Nights") is the name of Rafael Amargo's latest crossover dance show. This production will soon continue its international tour due to an invitation to the 65. International Theatre Festival in Mérida/Spain. The only two performances at the historic Teatro Romano de Mérida (constructed in the years 16 to 15 BCE) will take place July 16th and 17th, 2019 and are expected to be sold out quickly. Presales got already started, tickets bought before May 31st can be purchased with a discount of 30%.
The flamenco star and choreographer Amargo, who was awarded the Gold Medal of Fine Arts by the Spanish King and the Andalusian medal for his current production "Dionisio" is one of Spain's best known and most dazzling artists. From his early youth he was taught by famous flamenco experts but was among others also trained in Martha Graham's Technique in New York some years ago. He performed on major international stages around the world and created numerous productions, mostly mixing up flamenco with other dance styles. He runs his own „Company Amargo" and is also successful as a film actor, TV star, fashion designer and model.
His Greek mythology based dance piece "Dionisio - La Vid I Mil Noches", which combines flamenco, classical ballet, contemporary dance, B-boying, singing and acting, has been already shown with great success in the ancient Roman open air amphitheaters of Malaga, Itálica (Sevilla) and Baelos Claudia (Cádiz) last summer.
For the resumption of "Dionisio", which recently launched its world tour in a newly revised version in the renowned theater "Apolo" in Barcelona/Spain, Amargo brought no one less than US dance star Rasta Thomas as the acclaimed soloist to Europe.
Generally known, Rasta Thomas is widely regarded as one of the best and most versatile dancers of his generation. Further more he has international credits as an successful martial artist, gymnast and choreographer. Last but not least he is known for his brilliant acting abilities which enable him to perform especially expressive on stage.
So Amargo could not have chosen better to find someone who is so convincingly able to embody the main role of the God Apollo in this piece. Due to his charisma, skills and talent, Rasta Thomas is one of the rare artists who can literally spread divinity with every movement, every look, every gesture. He not only visually corresponds to the template, he has first of all studied and internalized his role in all details. Whenever he appears on stage as the God Apollo, he is all that Apollo stands for, in one person: the God of the sun, the light and the clarity, purity, truth, brightness, health, knowledge, beauty and art.
Further more he choreographed most of his wonderful solo parts by himself, not only making his special style of moving a great way to dance, but also setting essential artistic highlights that give the piece a special touch and contribute significantly to the success of the production.
The demanding role of Apollo requires a lot: quietly endured pain, sanity, masculinity and at the same time sensivity as well as spiritual beauty..., like no one else Rasta Thomas is able to show all of these facets in this piece.
Rafael Amargo as his dancing duet partner and antagonist turns on stage into the Greek God Dionysos. A character who - as he says himself - corresponds to his own personality and is very similar to his own lifestyle: bacchanalia, theatricality, exuberant greed for life, excesses, sensuality, but also tragic moments. Dionysos is considered the god of theater, wine, ecstasy and fertility..., in the words of Rafael Amargo "a mythical, magical, complex, manipulative, exciting character, masterful in his wisdom and one of the greatest in Greek mythology". In an interview, Amargo explained that he can identify so well with the character of the God Dionysos because of his "unique madness". Amargo wanted to create a show "with body and soul", powerful and sensitive, sexy and erotic, good and evil - and he succeeded pursuing this plan by realizing his very creative concept which has the potential to fascinate many fans not only in Spain but also worldwide. In this production he presents himself as Dionysos as a character in which there live at the same time creative powers, chaos, bliss, pain and wildness, a recalcitrant who wants to embrace the whole world in its infinite variety. The deep disturbance and excitement but also the desire that rages in this personality and the contrast to the pure character of Apollo is expressed in this piece by wonderful music, drama and excellent dance. The combination of all these ingrediences of this extraordinary piece demands a lot from the 26 protagonists, most of them are long time company members of Amargo's Company („Amargo Family" in his words).
Above all, it's the part of guest star Rasta Thomas to conjure the most touching and powerful moments and every second on stage he fully exploits his qualities in this production. He dances light as a feather and powerful at the same time, technically brilliant, dynamic but also elegant, very aesthetic and harmonious at the same way. He swirls pirouettes like a whirlwind, shows stunning jumps and powerful lifts. In between he uses his special vocabulary of movement to reflect or contrast his duet partners or to refer perfectly to flamenco stylistics, passionately and then again soft and supple. In part, he does not just seem to dance, but literally flys across the stage. A true eye candy that even moves some people in the audience to tears. The combination of his outstanding dancing and acting abilities, his aesthetics and expressiveness make him unique. Even in quiet moments, when he is present on stage without dancing, his body language tells stories that do not require language skills. Among others one literally can heartbreakingly feel the despair when Apollo falls in love with his own sister but isn't allowed to live this love. Rasta Thomas shows Apollo's soul in all its facets: his strength and at the same time vulnerability, his affection and longing, trying to handle his deep feelings in protection of his sensitive soul, his efforts to keep his dignity even in pain, letting his inner peace winning over his inner fights..., inside deeply hurt but not showing broken to the outside.
Further more he is perfectly able to express Apollo's superiority in conflict with the stomping, roaring, loud Dionysos. He showes an Apollo who - due to compassion and sensitivity - don't push Dionysos down into the emotional abyss, but stays untouchable and proud no matter of how rough and rude Dionysos' physical approaches or emotional subjection tries are.
But also in the scene when he don't plays Apollo but dances the role of the fighting bull, Rasta Thomas profits from his versatility: undoubtedly his background as a martial artist benefits him and he blends his skills in the field of martial arts so smoothly with the dance that even a new style seems to emerge. This enables him to create the vivid image of a snorting bull on stage, ready to kill and roll it all down.
In general Rasta Thomas' performance and stage presence also seems to fuel and inspire the other protagonists. Especially the flamenco dancers must be mentioned as masters of their field: astonishing is Daniel Navarro from Argentina, who has such fast feet in his flamenco solos that one's eyes can hardly follow. Expressive and technically very good are as well the Spanish flamenco dancers Daniel Flores, Angel Güell and Inaki Marquez. Remarkable is also the female flamenco duo Sandra Hita and Claudia Martinell as mother and daughter, while talent Sandra Abril Hita convinces in contemporary style and further more her stage partner Mariana Gatto Duran as Afrodita even mixes three styles: flamenco, classical ballet and Contemporary..., she also dances a solo in point shoes and is partnering with Rafael Amargo.
Last but not least as well the three acrobatic and dynamic B-Boys, Ugo Boulard, Diego Garrido and José Daniel Moreira contribute a lot to make the artistical concept even more interesting when they show their impressive hip hop and street dance tricks.
But also the actors of this production are well chosen: Antonio Albella as Zeus plays his role as the father of the Gods convincingly. Perfectly fitting in their roles as Greek Gods are also Rafael Moreira and Gerardo Rojas to name. Gerardo Rojas is also responsible for the dramaturgy and the lovely lyrics that connect the various scenes of the show.
In further roles can be seen Cecilia Sarli as Artemis, as well as Amargo's long time companion Luciana Buongianino as Dionysos' conscience and in funny and sometimes even strange roles appear Jordi Donate, Isabel Llanos, Maite Escobar and Mária Gonzáles.
An important part of the success of this show has of course the wonderful music of the composer Jesús Durán, which one can't get out of the head as soon one hears it. Impressive are also the powerful singers. Musical star Gema Castano delights the audience by her brilliant voice and David Coronel literally sings his heart out interpreting some very emotional songs in traditional flamenco manner.
At the end of the piece, in an emotional dance duet with Rafael Amargo, Rasta Thomas once again has the opportunity to shine and give the show the last unforgettable stardust before all the protagonists return to the stage to sing the epic and powerful final song together.
So after the impressive tour start in Barcelona one can only look forward to the next performances of the Company Amargo and "Dionisio" at the 65. International Theatre Festival in Merida/Spain - more performances in America and Europe to come.
"Dionisio - La Vid I Mil Noches" by Rafael Amargo; crossover dance show
Next performances within the international tour: 16./17. July 2019; 65. International Theatre Festival in Mérida/Spain, Teatro Romano de Mérida.
Tickets from 9.80 to 41 Euro
Ticket presales till including May 31st: 30% discount.