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Sadler’s Wells, London

Paco Peña is something of an institution within the flamenco world. His latest show, Flamencura, is an assortment of ten pieces – most traditional, some with a contemporary twist – performed by an ensemble of three dancers, two vocalists, a percussionist and three guitarists, including Peña himself.

Flamencura is pared back and simple: the stage typically bare, with faintly choreographed scenarios. There are a couple of unusual turns: a Petenera (an infrequently performed dance of death) and a Martinete with a guest appearance from the soul singer Vimala Rowe, in which the bluesy undertones of the form are foregrounded. Otherwise the programme offers a range of classics: a soulful Soleá and a sprightly Alegrias.

It’s an entertaining evening – well balanced and the right length. Carmen “La Talegona”, Charo Espino and Angel Muñoz give controlled performances, with an underlying intensity that is matched by Jose Angel Carmona and Immaculada’s vocals. The real star of the show, however, is Peña – who early on in the show plays an impassioned and virtuoso Rondeña that silences the room.

  • Dance Theatre
  • By Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company
  • Sadler’s Wells, London
  • Until 28th June 2015
  • Review by Luke Davies
  • 25 June 2015

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