Theatre Review: Flamenco Festival 2011

Revolutionary dancer Israel Galvan performs like a menacing bird of a paradise to ripples of applause and occasional heckling at FLAMENCO FESTIVAL 2011 at Sadler’s Wells in Islington.

THIS was an excellent taster of world class flamenco on show in Sadler’s Wells eighth annual festival.

La Edad de Oro (The Golden Age) put a contemporary twist on the traditional, showcasing the beauty and strength of this powerful dance form.

Dancer Israel Galvan’s reputation as a post-modern revolutionary is no-doubt well deserved. There wasn’t one part of his body not used to great effect. Like a slightly dark and menacing bird of paradise, all manner of interesting images leapt out from the stage, demonstrating great control and skill.

The singer and guitarist brought a welcome depth and emotion to the performance. The ripples of applause, frequent “Oles” and occasional heckling from around the auditorium, along with truly excellent lighting and sound, transported the audience to the streets of Jerez easily.

As accessible to newcomers as die-hard fans, this festival is an experience to be shared, not observed.

* Flamenco Festival 2011 is showing at Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue, EC1, until Saturday, February 19.