London Flamenco Festival kicks off tomorrow as Sadler’s Wells presents two weeks of top flight flamenco from some of the world’s best dancers, singers and musicians. Having become an annual feature of the international dance calendar, the London Flamenco Festival brings the world’s greatest flamenco talents to the capital for two very special weeks from the 7-19 February.
This year’s highlights include the Antonio Gades Company performing Fuenteovejuna, an Andalusian folk-dance-drama boasting stunning ensemble sequences, beautiful period costumes and jaw-dropping dance. Another unmissable show comes in the form Rafael Amargo’s Poet in New York. Previously nominated for an Olivier Award for his take on Zorro, rebel of the Flamenco world, Amargo’s Poet in New York is a multimedia extravaganza inspired by Lorca that has wowed international critics and been described as “in a class by itself” (New York Times).
Flamenco is the traditional song and dance of the Gypsies (flamencos) of Andalusia in southern Spain. The art form developed over several centuries from Gypsy, Moorish, Andalusian, and other roots. Flamenco music and dance became popular in the early 19th century as café entertainment. Cante Jondomeans 'deep song' and it is the style that most other forms of flamenco derive from. Flamenco is made up of four elements: cante(voice), baile(dance), toque(guitar) and jaleowhich roughly translates as 'hell raising' and involves handclapping, foot stomping and shouts of encouragement. In this respect, jaleois often performed by the audiences as well as the artistes as anyone who feels the urge to participate is encouraged to do so.
Here is a clip of Compania Antonio Gades performing Fuenteovejuna.