Noche Flamenca Presents ENTRE TU Y YO at The Joyce Theater
Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca, the renowned company founded by Artistic Director Martín Santangelo and dancer Soledad Barrio, returns to The Joyce Theater November 19 - December 1 with a new version of Entre Tú y Yo (Between You and Me), an evening-length program of duets, solos, and ensemble works that premiered at the Connelly Theater to acclaim earlier this year. Apollinaire Scherr, in a review for The Financial Times, described Entre Tú y Yo "as flamenco puro-the Spanish art stripped to its flammable core." Brian Seibert wrote in The New York Times, "The visual design is no more elaborate than cafe chairs and a spotlight. The wonderful musicians and the dancers' feet are barely amplified. That's all in accord with the company aesthetic: bare bones, nothing to hide behind, nothing to get in the way." Andrew Gilbert, writing in the San Jose Mercury News, has said of the work, "Starring the incandescent Soledad Barrio, this production features a superlative cast of Spain's leading flamenco artists. While Barrio is unquestionably the star of Entre Tú y Yo, Santangelo is far less concerned about dazzling audiences with fiery footwork than in maintaining the soul-bearing connection between all the artists on stage."
In recent years, Santangelo and Noche Flamenca have sought to strip flamenco down to its core elements and ethos. In the evolving Entre Tú y Yo, that means a turn away from the trend toward what Santangelo calls "spectator sport flamenco." He explains that, for many of the genre's most popular artists and companies, "the dancer has become the main focus and plays to the audience so as to impress them with her or his individual artistry and technical abilities. The same also happens with guitarists and singers. In this approach, unfortunately, the communal essence of flamenco is lost. At the heart of the art form are the song and the singers, and the guitarists and dancers accompany and interpret the song; the three components of flamenco (song, dance, and music) are supposed to be dependent on each other, forever playing off of each other."
In the company's work on Entre Tú y Yo-previously called La Ronde, and then Íntimo-Santangelo has found a technique to facilitate the performers performing to each other, together, rather than for the audience. Audience members are instead simply witnesses to what is occurring onstage.
The cast of Entre Tú y Yo company features dancers Soledad Barrio, Antonio Rodriguez, Marina Elana, and Jasiel Nahin; guitarists Eugenio Iglesias and Salva de María; percussionist David Rodriguez; and singers Carmina Cortes, Manuel Heredia, and Reyes Martín.
Entre Tú y Yo features the latest iteration of "La Ronde," a work inspired by Max Ophüls' 1950 film, and the dizzying carousel of romantic and sexual relationships it presents, that Noche Flamenca has been developing for four years. True to the company's boundary-pushing and emotionally probing style, in "La Ronde," Santangelo uses a series of duets to explore love, hate, jealousy, and death. The piece draws inspiration from Ingmar Bergman's Persona, the pianist James Booker, the story of Cain and Abel, Demeter & Persephone, and other sources, in addition to Ophüls.
Also part of the program is "Refugiados" ("Refugees"), created from poems by children in refugee camps. To develop "Refugiados"-first created 15 years ago, and further developed for the engagement at the Connelly-Santangelo and the company took the children's poems, translated them to Spanish, and set them to song and dance.
Finally, Entre Tú y Yo includes Soledad's Barrio's signature, "Soleá," which exemplifies the catharsis at the heart of flamenco. In it, she displays the singular artistry Tobi Tobias attributed to her in ArtsJournal, where she wrote, "What woman could hold a candle to Soledad Barrio? In modern dance, Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham. In ballet, maybe Nora Kaye, in her Tudor roles. Certainly no one we can go and see today has Barrio's transformative power."
Performances of Entre Tú y Yo take place November 19, 20, 24, 26, and 27 at 7:30pm; November 21-23, 29, and 30 at 8pm; and November 23, 24, 30, and December 1 at 2pm. Tickets, $26-66, can be purchased at www.Joyce.org, or by calling Joyce Charge at 212.242.0800. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at West 19th Street) in Manhattan.