Flamenco pays tribute to Spanish Civil War at Sadler’s Wells

Paco Pena Dance Company

Paco Pena Dance Company - Credit: Archant

Guitarist Paco Pena plays in Patrias, combining flamenco, spoken word and imagery

It’s nearly 80 years since legendary playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca was arrested and shot by Franco’s right wing troops at the start of the Spanish Civil War.

To mark the anniversary and explore the emotional and cultural impact of the three year conflict on his country, Flamenco guitarist Paco Pena brings his deeply personal new work Patrias to Sadler’s Wells.

Derived from the Spanish for motherland, Patrias is a multi-layered, impressionistic performance combining flamenco with spoken word, audio effects and video that charts the country’s bitter and bloody division during a war that left an estimated 500,000 dead.

Featuring choreography by Fernando Romero and performances by Angel Muñoz and Mayte Bajo, Patrias uses original recordings of music performed on the piano by the Andalusian writer whose works Yerma, House of Bernarda Alba and Blood Wedding established him as the greatest Spanish writer of the 20th century.

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He was executed in August 1936 for his political views. Pena, who was born in Cordoba in the aftermath of the Civil War, grew up in the repressive climate of Franco’s Spain before moving to the UK fifty years ago.

The piece also features poetry such as work by Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda, and imagery including Pablo Picasso’s monumental protest painting Guernica which marks the bombing of the Basque town during the civil war.

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Patrias by Paco Pena Dance Company runs until July 16 at Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue.

Tickets cost £12-£38 from 020 7863 8000 or sadlerswells.com

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