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Flash Review 3, 11-12:
Symphony Space Bursts with Flamenco Song
By Darrah Carr
Copyright 2000 Darrah Carr
Anger, defiance, strength,
frustration, loss, longing -- an amazing range of emotions were
expressed in the songs and dances of the Flamenco performers at
Symphony Space Friday night.The program featured singer La Macanita
and dancer Concha Vargas, Gypsy flamencas from Andalucia who are
regarded as among the most faithful exponents of flamenco puro.
They were joined on-stage by guitarists Diego de Morao and Antonio
Moya; male vocalists Curro Fernandez and Antonio de la Malena; and
the expert palmeros pair, Gregorio and Chicarito.
La Macanita treated the
audience to a complete rendition of the essential styles of flamenco
singing, including solea, tientos, tangos, and bulerias, while Concha
Vargas opened and closed the program with two impassioned dances.
While dance lovers like myself may have been anxious to see more
dancing in the program overall, it was nevertheless an inspired
and moving performance. The most compelling aspect lay in the performers'
powerful stage presence. A single curl of Concha Vargas's wrist,
a single penetrating glance she gave the musicians, a single turn
that she finished with her head tossed back -- these were captivating
La Macanita, too, had
an incredible command of the stage. When she sang, her entire torso,
arms, and face reacted so strongly that she seemed ready to spring
from her chair. Indeed, at times she would end a song by approaching
the audience, standing at the edge of the stage, and gesturing wildly,
all while singing as loudly and strongly unaccompanied as she had
behind the microphone.
The energy and passion
released by Concha Vargas and La Macanita were infectious. By the
end of the performance, most of the audience members were on their
feet. We then enjoyed several spontaneous finales during which the
palmeros pair and the male vocalists demonstrated their own dance
talents, executing smooth, graceful, sensuous solos in the midst
of a circle of furious palmas.
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