There are many forms of expression and how we communicate, however when it comes to movement and communication through our bodies, we tend to forget how dance and connecting with music on an almost sacred level can tell a story… and what a sumptuous story you are in store for!
More often than not our bodies are instruments of first-class expression and the way we move tells a lot about a person, their character, and what they want to portray. As the saying goes; Dance is the hidden language of the soul and this couldn’t be more apt in House of Flamenka, a new dance extravaganza that introduces and intertwines the artistry of movement with the grandeur of music.
When one hears the word ‘Flamenco’ we immediately associate it with seduction, Spanish dancers, the distinct sound of a castanet, the enveloping tapping of a shoe, the beating of a drum, and that undeniably powerful connection between movement and music. House of Flamenka imbues an almost surreal androgynous world where movement and the energetic fusion between bodies collide in one glorious showcase. It’s an almost spiritual vacation and one where we see artistry on stage in all its forms. Flamenco dance certainly makes an appearance throughout however, the production embodies a more burlesque look and feel with cabaret-style energy which makes the show even more appealing. The staging is large and enveloping with an unquestionably loud beat of contemporary and at times more traditional music at its core. The sets are sumptuous with just the right amount of colourful splendour and stark darkness effectively adding to the ebb and flow of the show’s trajectory. It’s as if the dancers are solely performing for you, and you alone. It’s very intoxicating and that’s due to the mastermind behind it.
Arlene Phillips, a name that is synonymous with dance and evocative choreography is the creator and director so you know you will be in for a treat. She doesn’t disappoint and epitomizes the true spirit of dance in its natural form. She is a showbiz legend after all, so it’s hard to imagine anything less from that ingenious mind of hers.
The production in all honestly doesn’t require a storyline. The dancing is so enveloping it’s up to the audience to decide what to make of it however, there is one, and it’s rather unworldly how it unfolds. House of Flamenka does in fact take place in a so-called ‘house’, the house of a Goddess to be precise (expertly played by Karen Ruimy) who is surrounded by her so-called ‘prize possessions’, 22 of probably the most talented group of male dancers you will see on stage this year. These dancing aficionados all play their part in a fantasy world of indulgence and forbidden experiences with Ruimy at the forefront, passing through like the goodness she portrays with variations of song and dance all intertwining into a make-believe world. The costumes are truly magnificent with just the right amount of Spanish and modern appeal. Bolero jackets, leather harnesses (Yes you heard right), and glorious colourful fabrics together with an abundant supply of sultry eyes are worth the ticket!
The production is divided into 2 acts and with James Cousins chorography shepherding the performers through in remarkable unison you will get to behold something quite exceptional on stage. Act one sees the effective use of hats, fans and skirts while Act two delves into rituals, rhythm and ultimate celebration. It’s hard not to find yourself swaying to the music or tapping a restless foot, the energy is quite electric. It evolves from the subdued to an invigorating crescendo.
If you are passionate about dance and the art of movement then this production is most certainly for you!
It runs unit the 8th of October.
Review: David Simmons Photo: Pamela Raith