Classical Spanish dance conveys an image of supremely vibrant, refined energy--the body restlessly reflecting the shifting moods in the music, yet always majestic in placement, silken in technique. This image dominates Mayte Bajo's solo "De Azabache y Playa," new to the repertory of the National Ballet of Spain.
Saturday afternoon at the Wilshire Theatre, Bajo danced this technically demanding showpiece with assurance, looking willowy in a glittering black gown but making every turn, jump, high kick and castanet flourish convey the gathering speed and force of taped music by Javier Coble.
No less a test of dancer prowess, the flamenco solo "Entreverao (Farruca)" found Oscar Jimenez diligently working through the choreography two days after its premiere with another dancer.
Jimenez can make an audience hold its breath simply by adjusting his vest or suddenly pausing in the midst of high-speed dancing with one leg floating in the air behind him.
But as yet, the different tasks and moods created by Manuel Santiago Maya in "Manolete" look assigned rather than driven by some inner imperative.
Now led by Primitivo Daza and Alberto Ferrero, the men's "Estampio" showcase had tightened impressively since its Thursday premiere, with the sustained unison flamenco footwork more than ever an index of this company's impressive training and coaching.
Dancing with spirit and charm, Cristina Gomez replaced Kira Gimeno as a soloist in the opening section of the previously reviewed "Concierto de Aranjuez." "Mujeres" and "Grito" again completed the program.