to you by
New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women
and girls. Click here to see a sample of our products and a
list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance at its best.
Go back to Flash Reviews
Flashback, 3-30: El Amor Greco
Greco, Velasco Bring Flamenco to Eugene
By Martha Ullman West
Copyright 2000, 2005 Martha Ullman West
(Editor's Note: To
celebrate its fifth anniversary of being online, the Dance Insider
is revisiting its Flash Review Archives. This Flash originally appeared
on January 22, 2000. Have a favorite Flash you'd like us to revisit?
-- Sometimes it's worth it to travel for eight hours out of 24 to
see 20 minutes of brilliant dancing, and so it was on Thursday when
I took the train from Portland to Eugene and the Hult Center for
the Performing Arts to see a tribute to the art of flamenco put
together by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor and music director of
the Eugene Symphony and Hector Zaraspe, ballet master at the Juilliard
School, with six dancers who have been associated with the National
Ballet of Spain.
minutes of brilliant, dramatic, virtuosic dancing were performed
primarily by Lola Greco and Francisco Velasco. (Greco left the NBS
in 1998.) The first half of the program opened with a zarzuela overture,
played with authentic panache by the orchestra, and closed with
Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, a staple (is it ever!)
of the guitar repertoire beautifully performed by 23-year-old guitarist
Jorge Caballero. In between were four traditional zarzuelas, danced
in a highly restricted stage space (full-sized orchestra ranged
behind) which Greco managed to fill entirely and, in fact, transform.
In the La Maja
solo from Granados's "Goyescas," arms twining above her head, heels
subtly but firmly tapping the floor, Greco managed to look like
the naked Maja, even though she was covered from head to toe in
white lace ruffles. The orchestra was completely subsumed by her
dancing: in fact, it looked like a backdrop! Velasco, interpreting
that extraordinary zapateado, a set piece intended to demonstrate
virtuosic footwork (music is by Sarasate), reduced the 2000 people
in the audience to complete silence (you could have heard a tissue
drop!) with the precision and subtlety and rapidity of his heel
work in the a capella section.
zarzuela "El Gato Montes," really a burlesque of the arrogance of
the matador, was loudly applauded although lost on this audience,
which did not laugh at all as Jose Porcel staggered around the stage,
swishing a cape around and mugging at the bull.
The best of
the evening, really, came in the second half when Zaraspe's version
of Manuel de Falla's ballet, "El Amor Brujo" (Love the Magician)
was performed by all six dancers and a dozen students from the Eugene
Ballet School who acquitted themselves magnificently as a corps
of gypsy girls. The restricted space was forgotten entirely as Greco
in the role of Candelas, a gypsy girl so haunted by the ghost of
a dead lover she cannot accept the courting of a new one, danced
with unrestrained obsession, grief, and passion, her body curving
in ways that are reminiscent not of the straight arrow arabesque
of classical ballet, but the arabesques that are such a moving feature
of Arab architecture and design. At one point, she poured onto the
stage barefoot, in a nightgown, and still managed to create the
illusion of heel-stamping passion.
The show, a
joint production of the Eugene Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic,
will have nine performances in the Los Angeles area in February.
While a bit ragged in places in the first half, it's worth traveling
to see, if only for Greco and Velasco, whose performances, to coin
a Spanish superlative, are estupendo!
Go back to Flash Reviews