FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA
May 25, 2015
Guadalupe Torres made her US debut as a soloist with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (FVCS) in their BAM Fisher 2015 season. A Madrilena, this Conservatory trained performer has many gifts, one being how she immediately captured the audience. The FVCS company led by Associate Artistic Director, dancer, and choreographer Antonio Hidalgo performs a technically perfect show; but Torres dances as though flamenco is her first language.
Her “Ausencia” begins with her twirling a large lush “manton” (shawl) as though it were a beloved, a second skin she couldn’t shed, no matter how hard she tried. When she does drop the manton, she registers the change with a subtle loss of force. Dressed in a stunning black sheath that she slides up and over an orange skirt, she moves as one so full of emotion that she has to seize upon the flamenco vocabulary to release each feeling. Torres, a two-time winner of Madrid’s Certamen de Coreografía competition, frequently turned to connect with the musicians, guitarist Gaspar Rodriquez, Pedro Medina, singers: Pedro Obregon, Felix de Lola, and percussionist Jose Moreno, thus affirming an experience unique to that moment.
Also featured in FVCS program A, was the world premiere of “Angeles/Almas,” choreographed and performed by Ángel Muñoz, a Spanish charmer who is reminiscent of Gene Kelly for the masculine pleasure he exudes. The solos, duets and ensemble sections of this piece included Hidalgo, his wife Charo Espino, and Isaac Tovar.
Over the last 32 years of FVCS, founded by Carlota Santana with Roberto Lorca, the company has switched from featuring American artists to importing Spanish artists. So, what a delight to see how well the FVCS American dancers Alice Blumenfeld, Eliza Llewellyn, and percussionist/dancer Jose Moreno fared along side the Spaniards. Blumenfeld and Llewellyn brought an exciting crispness to the “Martinete-Sequiriya,” choreographed by Enrique Vicent and Antonio Lopez, snapping their fans so that their sound added to the score. A repertory staple by Hidalgo, “Mujeres,” also showed them off nicely. In the Fin de Fiesta/Bulerias, Moreno, a third generation flamenco, demonstrated just how at home he is with flamenco - it’s his playground, a chance to be wild, and nimble, and always, in compas.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY --Deirdre Towers