Show of the Week -Playing until 20th February
Sara Baras’s latest show opened the Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells and is a homage to those who have influenced her such as guitarists Paco de Lucía and Moraito, dancers Carmen Amaya and Antonio Gades and singers Enrique Morente and Camarón de la Isla. Baras was so upset by Paco de Lucía’s death that she did not want to dance because she did not want to hear the guitar. She has turned this immense feeling of loss into something spectacular, something passionate and uplifting. The show played to a full house and there was loud applause at the end and lots of calling out during the show: “olé”, “brava” and “guapa” were just some of the shouts indicating the many Spanish speakers in the audience. The most astonishing part of Baras’ performance was the “zapateado” or extreme percussive use of the feet. At times, seeming to glide across the floor while banging her heels, she mesmerized and delighted the audience.
The exquisite lighting design by Oscar Gómez de los Reyes added to the dramatic nature of the dance and the music as did Torres-Cosano’s costume designs. These were not the stereotypical flamenco dresses with large frills. Instead Baras chose to wear a narrower full length dress with black and white polka dots and later she changed into a white dress which had a full skirt and another layer which could be used to make large swirling movements around the dancer’s body. A green dress had three layers of fringes which fanned out when Baras turned around dipping her body forward and holding her arms curved above her head. The visual imagery throughout the show was beautiful and was complimented by the virtuosity of the musicians and dancers.
Review by Gail Deal.