India Flamenco

This exploration of the relationship between traditional Indian dancing and flamenco does exactly what it says on the tin. A trio of dancers and a quick fingered guitarist who has a rough, grizzled voice similar to that of Nicholas Reyes from the Gipsy Kings, present an hour of flamenco and Indian dance exploring the similar gypsy roots which each style shares. The dancing itself is impressive and full of panache but the show doesn't have much in the way of backbone or drive. The development is non-existent and then there's a very ropey, pre-recorded tale of gypsy magic (a recording, I should add, that feels biblically long) desperately trying to tie the whole thing together.

I must stress, though, that the weakness of the show is certainly not with the performers. The dancers bring all the stomps, fluidity, grace and sexiness you'd expect from the two genres. The three dancers were infinitely watchable and the finale piece, where the three styles all meld together, was an absolute joy. The musical accompaniment is equally superb and shockingly underused. However, the concept, albeit interesting, is never really fully realised and so this production becomes little more than a number of dance pieces strung together for little or no reason.

Hopefully a more solid structure and thread can be found for this time next year and the performers given something to really get their teeth into. If this was achieved, and the guitarist given a larger supporting role, this show could easily be elevated from a mediocre display of some fine dancing to a must see, insightful and fully realised reflection on two fascinating cultural staples.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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Performances

The Blurb

Ancient beauty and grace of Odissi Indian classical dance embraces the seductions and passion of Andalucian flamenco! Be captivated by the visual narrative that weaves its story across the continents! ‘…unbelievable grace and passion … powerful, raw…’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com, 2012).