From 2-14 July, Flamenco Festival swept into London with captivating fluidity, passion and precision. #CocoCouple, Eulanda and Omo, attended the Gala Flamenca show at the famous Sadlers Wells for a date night full of sumptuous movement grounded in the historical legacy of Flamenco.
Two weeks have passed, and I can still hear her voice. Even in the dripping heat of London, amidst the deluge of hot, uncomfortable bodies packed onto a train, the aching purity of her voice creates it’s own space; where coolness and heat collide into perfection.
The first high-powered note that rang out from lead singer Maria Teremoto immediately caused the hairs on our necks and arms to stand on edge. Her dulcet voice filled the silence that had descended across the Sadlers Wells concert hall, cutting through the anticipation that had built up before.
Her voice seemed to be a blend between a lover’s wail, a heartbreaking cry and call to some higher purpose or place. With a limited understanding of Spanish, we stopped trying to desperately translate, and let her vocal prowess speak to our souls, inviting us to come with her on the incredible dance journey that was about to begin.
Star Studded Gala
Flamenco! The raw energy, passion, sensuality and intensity are hard to describe in words. This star-studded cast of Mercedez Ruiz, Eduardo Guerrero and Maria Moreno were backed by singers/musicians Maria Terremoto, Emilio Florido and Ismael el Bola.
Under the directorship of choreographer and multi award-winning dancer Manuel Liñán, they weaved their magic through each song and each dance performance, telling stories of love and anger, of turmoil and peace.
Every number in the programme was an artistic masterpiece, however, Pas de Deux stood out as a voracious duet between Ruiz and Terremoto. Both women (singer and dancer) performed in the style of call and response. Terremoto did not back Ruiz as a solo singer. Rather, she intricately wove her voice around Ruiz as both responded to each other, with passionate precision.
Duet of Dreams
Also in Pas de Deux, Ruiz departed from traditional gender norms in Flamenco attire, by donning black trousers with a short fitted jacket. She also displayed her expertise in fusing both contemporary and traditional styles while playing the palillos (castanets). Her fingers and wrist moved like the most delicate of flowers in bloom, whilst her arms hit staccato movements, demanding our full attention.
While another number later in the program with the same name, Pas de Deux began with a stunning visual of Guerrero and Moreno, clad in red attire head to toe, it failed to conclude with the same passionate connection that the former Pas de Deux piece wielded. Perhaps this was due to the length of the duet, as it seemed to be the shortest piece in the programme.
In the solo number Caña, Guerrero set the stage alight with a mixture of stunning fluidity, grace, and his own brand of raw machismo energy, to which one female audience responded by crying out “Guapo!” In English her words translate to handsome;– although keenly accurate, it’s not an all encompassing description for this enigmatic and powerful performer.
Guerrero’s performance in Caña was almost surreal. He seemed to have an out-of-body experience while dancing and in the process, transported the captivated audience to some other world, his world. And we willingly followed every step, every move, and every twist.
Liñan’s Flamenco Legacy
Artistic director Manuel Liñan has several shows currently on tour. As the winner of the Critics Prize in the Festival of Jerez in 2018, we believe Liñan certainly has another winning show and cast with Gala Flamenca. One thing is for certain…Teremoto’s voice will never depart from our visceral memory.
Booking info: 2019 marked the Flamenco Festival London’s sixteenth consecutive year. Held at Sadler Wells Theatre each July, tickets can be booked once the programme is announced online.