As soon as we’d heaped our Glasto gear into the wash we slipped into something a lil more fitting for another summer festival – mmno, not House Festival; something with even fierier beats, Andalusian flavour and sass – it’s July after all and time to celebrate the dynamism of flamenco.
Sadler’s Wells’ Flamenco Festival returns for its 16th year this fortnight. And to save you time we have cherry picked the best of the fest so all you need to do is grab a friend – or not, solo dates are a vibe right now… and a ticket and ready yourself for some of the world’s finest and fieriest flamenco footwork.
Opening this year’s festival with ‘Sombras’ is Sara Baras – a flamenco legend who summons La Farruca, the dance form that has woven its way through her career. Sara Baras dances alongside six dancers, her feet so precise we hear every single beat as she claims La Farruca as her own. The footwork is fast, ferocious, feverish, impassioned and well-deserved of its standing ovation. Usually performed by men, Sara moves through each act with impeccable grace and wow. This was certified stare-worthy.
Taking things up a notch, on Monday 8th July flamenco singer Miguel Poveda returns to Sadler’s Wells with his latest work Recital de Cante. Resisting the temptation to pour myself a glass of Rioja and book a flight back to Ibiza as I type this and drift to the soothing evening sounds of live Spanish guitar dancing through the courtyards of San Juan – Poveda takes the audience on a tour of the more traditional flamenco, from the cantinas of Cadiz to the demanding la soleá repertoire.
On Tuesday 9th July, Olivier Award-winning choreographer, Rocio Molina disrupts the traditional guitar, cajón and clapping hands combo with a drum kit and electric guitar in her latest show Fallen From Heaven. Expect male and animalistic movement as an exploration of gender, sex and flamenco itself.
Wednesday 10th July brings together three artists all prominent in breaking barriers in music: pianist Dorantes dubbed ‘the jewel of the flamenco piano’, double bass phenomenon and multi- instrumentalist, Adam Ben Ezra, and master of tenor and soprano saxophones who tours with the Rolling Stones, Tim Ries. Former principal dancer with Nacional de España and pioneer in flamenco’s evolution, Jesus Carmona completes the ensemble and together, they present
Flamenco Meets Jazz.
On Saturday 13th July Sergio de Lope, award-winning flautist and saxophonist, who has collaborated with flamenco stars such as Farruquito, presents Ser de Luz in his London debut.
Patricia Guerrero closes the festival on Sunday 14th July with Critics Choice award-winner Catedral. Joined on stage by three dancers, a guitarist, two percussionists, two opera singers and a flamenco singer, Guerrero steps into a shadowy world of repression and sacrifice to reflect on the binding constraints of religion and society.
This huns, is just a slice of the action. For the full festival line up go to www.sadlerswells.com
For the adventurous who have an inkling to strum on the strings, on Sunday 14th July there is a music workshop focussing on flamenco guitar.
£15 – £55
Performances at Sadler’s Wells, Tuesday – Sunday at 7:30pm
Saturday matinee performances at 3:30pm & Sunday matinee performances at 4pm
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000