YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Dance | REVIEW

Spirited solos drive flamenco

November 15, 2002|Lewis Segal | Times Staff Writer

Once a few curious lapses are remedied, the six-week, Wednesdays-only Cuadro Flamenco series at the Fountain Theatre (through Dec. 18) promises to provide an ideally intimate and varied overview of local contemporary flamenco style.

Along with distinguished flamenco singer Antonio de Jerez, each program features guitarist Antonio Triana, who also serves as artistic director for the series. Unfortunately, Triana neglected to give himself a solo spot on the brief inaugural program. Instead, he concentrated on supplying vibrant accompaniments for the dancing. The evening's trios prioritized formal, gracious interaction but otherwise did little more than summarize the qualities that each participant would develop later in extended solos. But those solos proved memorable.

Marcellina de Luna's solo emphasized hearty attacks and vivid emotional projection. Playoffs between heel- and toe-emphases and a walking passage with artful hesitation steps displayed her very solid technique, but these effects almost always remained subordinate to her expressions of mood or spirit.

In contrast, the solo by La Yeni remained essentially sculptural, marked by dramatic shifts of position and a kind of sinewy pliancy. The tiniest dancer on Wednesday, she could detonate startling explosions of percussive steps, but her performance always seemed more about beautiful design than states of feeling.

Dancing a solo by Roberto Amaral that offered a lot of flamboyant effects but no real shape, Timo Nunez reveled in the mock-surly stances, flashy turns and sudden percussive flurries assigned him. He also used his height brilliantly, sometimes seeming to fill the whole platform stage with a single stretch.

Strangely aimless, the full-company second half of the program offered the shortest of solos by each of the dancers, after which they invited friends and colleagues in the audience to perform. These guests included Suzie Bartes, Sue Connor and Vanessa Acosta.

Besides lending his vocal artistry to the dances, De Jerez sang a robust "Cante Andaluz."

Los Angeles Times Articles