(Photo by Marie Daix)
The passion of flamenco music has been well-documented. So why have I never been to a professional performance? Weird. Maybe it's because while living in New Orleans I actually learned about an intense rivalry between two figures in the local flamenco dance community (I crap you negative) in which one of them begged me to cover the controversy. Maybe I was too scared someone was going to drive one of those sharp heels in my gut regardless what I wrote. Call me a coward. I'm used to it.
But this is one performance I hope not to miss: Noche Flamenca & Soledad Barrio are coming to Atlanta on March 15 to perform at Georgia State's Rialto Center for the Arts. Showtime is 8 p.m.; tickets range from $36 to $62 (call 404-413-9TIX).
Founded in 1993 by MartÃn Santangelo and his wife, Soledad Barrio (pictured at right, and not to be confused with CNN's Soledad O'Brien), the group equally balances the holy trinity of flamenco: dance, song and music, and just a brief glance at a performance (see below clip) shows they've pulled off the mix nicely. Barrio received a Bessie Award for outstanding creative achievement.
Don't believe me? Check out this review in the New York Times on Dec. 31, 2007. Here's a sample:
The show concluded with the earthy, sensual Ms. Barrio performing the solea, a cathartic tour de force for which she is perhaps best known. The music pushes her extraordinary athleticism until it appears she is moving by instinct; with her eyes partly closed and her hands twisting deep creases into the folds of her black skirt, she leaves one world and enters another, all the while riding a wave shaped by her quicksilver feet. As her muscular arms rise above her head and her wrists swirl in intricate patterns, Ms. Barrioâs fingers seem to vibrate from a mysterious inner pulse.
To quote Shaggy: Zoinks! Count me in.
Here's the clip:
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