The Flamenco Festival Returns to Sadler's Wells in June

The event runs from Tuesday 4 – Saturday 15 June.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
The Flamenco Festival Returns to Sadler's Wells in June
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The Flamenco Festival returns to Sadler’s Wells this summer for its 19th edition from Tuesday 4 – Saturday 15 June. This year’s festival features seven UK premieres and thrilling performances from flamenco luminaries, with a varied programme of dance performances and concerts. 

Rocío Molina opens the Flamenco Festival 2024 with her trademark subversion of flamenco traditions in Al Fondo Riela on Tuesday 4 June. Using the original flamenco trio of dance, song and guitar, Al Fondo Riela is a piece about reflection and the loss of reality. On stage, she is accompanied by two contrasting guitarists, Oscar Lago with his traditional, technical skill, and Yerai Cortés with his innovative flair. 

Molina returns after her appearance at the Flamenco Festival in 2019, the same year she won the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for outstanding female performance in Caída del Cielo (Fallen from Heaven). In 2022, she became the first flamenco dancer to win the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale. 

Premier flamenco guitarist and Latin Grammy Award-winner Vicente Amigo has been dubbed one of the most accomplished flamenco guitarists of his generation. He presents a concert that bridges classical and nuevo flamenco on Wednesday 5 June, fusing jazz, folk and South American rhythms without losing the essence of flamenco. Amigo is seen as a successor to the composer and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. 

Virtuoso performers Patricia Guerrero and Alfonso Losa strip flamenco bare and explore personal connection in Alter Ego on Thursday 6 June. Developed from a series of improvisations in the studio, Alter Ego is an intense duet that combines conventional flamenco with unbridled movement. Guerrero draws geometric figures with her dance, dismantling her movements and recreating them anew. Losa develops new schemes without breaking the mould and stays true to his roots. 

Eva Yerbabuena reflects on her 20-year career in Yerbagüena (bright dark), as she takes to the stage from Friday 7 – Saturday 8 June with her musical director, guitarist and husband, Paco Jarana, as well as two singers and two percussionists. 

Yerbabuena is known for exploring the tension between traditional and nuevo flamenco, and most famously for her interpretations of the soleá - the dance of solitude. Her career has included an invitation from Pina Bausch to perform at the Tanztheater Wuppertal 25th anniversary festival, choreographing Mi Niña Manuela for the Ballet Nacional de España, and working with film director Mike Figgis, for the documentary Flamenco Women.  

Celebrated flamenco musician Israel Fernández presents his latest album Pura Sangre on Sunday 9 June in collaboration with renowned Jerez guitarist Diego del Morao. In his most personal work to date, Pura Sangre is an intimate look at Fernández’s surroundings and his way of interacting with the outside world. Fernández’s album Amor won the Premio Odeón and he has also been nominated for Best Flamenco Album in the Latin Grammy Awards. 
 
On Monday 10 June, choreographer David Coria and singer David Lagos converge in a contemporary interpretation of the fandango, a popular and festive musical style from Andalusia with more than 500 years of history. From flamenco to contemporary movement, traditional song to electronic music, ¡Fandango! draws on Iberian folk culture to celebrate Spanish history and tradition. Coria has collaborated with numerous Spanish dance companies including Compañía Andaluza de Danza, Ballet Nacional de España, Rafaela Carrasco and Rocío Molina. Lagos won four awards at the Biennal of Flamenco in Seville in 2020 including the award for the best performance. 

Ballet Nacional de España Will Close the festival in an extravaganza of music, movement and colour with Invocación from Wednesday 12 – Saturday 15 June. Artistic Director Rubén Olmo curates this all-encompassing evening featuring 38 dancers and four works that cover the cornerstones of Spanish dance, from vibrant flamenco and traditional bolero to contemporary dance and classical ballet. De lo Flamenco is a tribute to the legendary dancer and choreographer Mario Maya. Olmo choreographs two works; Jauleña, performed by a different soloist from the company each night, and the colourful, ensemble piece, Invocación Bolera. Finally, Antonio Najarro’s Eterna Iberia features the signature elements of Spanish dance – castanets, the Spanish Cape, and the Cordobes Hat. 

As one of the main cultural ambassadors of Spain to the world, Ballet Nacional de España highlights Spain’s rich choreographic heritage. The National Ballet, founded by the Ministry of Culture in 1978, continues to set the standard for Spanish dance. 

Miguel Marín, director of Flamenco Festival said “This year’s festival offers a window into the dynamic and vibrant landscape of contemporary flamenco. From the groundbreaking artistry of Rocio Molina to the timeless mastery embodied in Mario Maya's BNE piece, the award-winning innovation of emerging talent like David Coria and the profound flamenco expressions of the esteemed Eva Yerbabuena – the queen of deep flamenco. The festival also showcases unparalleled virtuosity with performances by Alfonso Losa and Patricia Guerrero. In the realm of music, we are graced by the brilliance of guitar virtuoso, Vicente Amigo, and the resonant voice of today, Israel Fernandez, hailed as the most acclaimed singer in the current flamenco landscape.” 

Flamenco Festival 2024 takes places across Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Lilian Baylis Studio, with further shows in the Lilian Baylis Studio to be announced soon.   




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