Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Loss and Longing into the Future; DANCE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Loss and Longing into the Future; DANCE

Article excerpt

Byline: JUDITH FLANDERS

Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company Peacock Theatre, WC2

FLAMENCO, despite various wild myths of dancing Phoenicians, in reality only goes back 200 years: it is an art form of the towns, and is rooted in the cafes cantantes - the gypsy version of Toulouse-Lautrec's cafe concerts, with the singers, dancers and musicians performing among the chattering, dining, dancing audience.

Today, with the performers on one side of the proscenium, and the audience on the other, the problem is how to take flamenco forward without losing the give-andtake of this earlier world. The

great flamenco guitarist Paco Pena, working with director Jude Kelly, brings us as close as possible to the original world of the cafes cantantes, and then shows us the future: voices sound, then echo back and forward across time.

Kelly and Pena have structured a show that in less able hands would be corny, but instead is a revelation.

They begin in flamenco's 19th century cafe past, lit in a lovely, glowing sepia, with everyone performing together, for each other, in a faithful reproduction of flamenco's communitarian past. …

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