Feature: Dot Dot Dot Dance - the top pick list

Thursday 4 February 2016

dot dot dot dance.

dotdotdot dance (Noemí Luz, Yinka Esi Graves and Magdalena Mannion) are UK based artists who use flamenco as a medium to create boundary crossing work. Their recent No Frills was an experiment in stripping back the aesthetic of flamenco to find an expression that reflected their backgrounds as British flamenco dancers – whilst staying within relatively traditional flamenco structures. So who better to ask for top tips of what not to miss the packed two week season of Flamenco Festival London, coming soon to Sadler’s Wells…

Noemí Luz
I would recommend catching Marco Flores and Olga Pericet (27 Feb) hands down! Not only will you get a chance to see two of the most highly technical dancers around today, you’ll witness what happens when a dancer surpasses technical boundaries and becomes completely free. It is magical for me when aesthetic, expression and honesty come together and it gets even more interesting when those artists have had plenty of experience and dance with real ‘peso’ (weight). Marco Flores is a creator who has successfully explored the concept of bringing flamenco to the theatre. I feel that sometimes flamenco can get lost on a big stage and it is an interesting challenge to keep that electricity alive for a large audience. I will be interested to see the artistic decisions Marco has made in Paso a Dos and how the two of them complement each other.

To swing in completely the other direction, I would also love to see Farruquito and Farruco (Buen Arate) (23 & 24 Feb). Farruquito really is a rhythmical genius and whether you are a fan of the family’s style or not, they always deliver excellence and complete devotion to what they do. Just to see them in action por bulerías is a shot of adrenaline for me and I can’t resist their ‘soniquete’ (groove/swing)!

Yinka Esi Graves
I’m very excited by this year’s Flamenco Festival, the line-up really reflects the diversity of talent and artistry in flamenco today, from the big names like Sara Baras (16 – 20 Feb); to the cutting edge like Niño de Elche (27 Feb) or Olga Pericet (26 Feb); to a place where the two meet. Belen Maya and Patricio Hidalgo’s show in the Lilian Baylis Studio (27 Feb) calls me for that very reason. Belen Maya is a reference and an inspiration for many flamenco dancers, here she joins forces with the young action painter Patricio Hidalgo. I had the honour of working on a project of his a few years back, and he is as much a painter as he is a musician in his way of reacting to dance and rhythm. One of his seminal pieces to date was a homage to the great Mario Maya. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity to see how the painter now weaves into the work of the master’s incredible daughter.

Esperanza Fernandez, Marina Heredia and Ana Morales (28 Feb) is another show that I will definitely see. Ana Morales is a powerhouse! Trained in Seville, she has the references of tradition in her dancing whilst being very versatile and contemporary in her expression. Alongside her, two touching yet distinct voices; Esperanza Fernandez with the style and air of Seville and the more modern Marina Heredia. I’ve never seen all three artists perform together but I sense this could be a beautiful encounter of three women who are currently making their mark in the world of flamenco.

Magdalena Mannion
I saw Olga Pericet’s latest work Pisadas (26 Feb) in Madrid last year and can honestly say it was one of the best dance shows I have ever seen! Olga has the incredible ability to transmit real flamenco power and transform fleetingly into different characters. Her total control of energy and flawless movement combine to create a show that is both visceral and ephemeral. Alternating abstraction, humour and rawness, Pisadas is perfectly polished and totally alive. It also features the amazing dancers La Tacha and Juan Carlos Lérida; two of my favourite singers Miguel Lavi and Herminia Borges; a pair of antlers; and a dress that could be from a Bjork video.

For a totally different experience, I would also recommend seeing the Gala where you can see extracts of the prizewinning shows from last year’s Bienal de Sevilla, including Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, directed and choreographed by the great Rafaela Carrasco and featuring the amazing Ana Morales.

Flamenco Festival London
16 – 28 February 2016

dot dot dot dance curate a Wild Card evening at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells on 26 May, showcasing three new works in progress, and collaborating with interactive sound and spoken word artists Yuli Levtov and Toni Stuart.

Photo: Dot Dot Dot Dance

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