September 23, 2009

Flamenco. Why? {Boulder Theater coming up}

Pre-view by Julia Schwab.
Art Saves Lives, a slogan that works for me. Of late, I could use a boost of that optimism. As a world community, things don’t look so great. Hence, when asked to preview Paco Pena’s Flamenco performance, I pondered the “so what?” question. And it is because the arts do integrate; the arts do embrace diversity; the arts do celebrate the individual’s uniqueness; the arts do insist on teamwork; the arts do bring out new and possible solutions;  and, the arts enhance humanity. All of these tenants hold true in Paco Pena’s upcoming Flamenco performance as quitarists, singers, dancers, and percussionists bring to the stage a spontaneous collaboration.
Who can resist the raw energy of impeccably timed hands claps and exquisite footwork? Within a rhythmic coherence, the metaphor for global peace-making is plain. Intimacy meets community. There you have it guys, in visceral emotion. I want to call Oabma, at least Udall, if only my neighbors, to join me in this riveting performance. I really do believe that art saves lives.
Julia Schwab of BoulderArtTherapy.com A longtime Boulder painter and art therapist, Julia’s work combines delight and efficiency in the healing play of colors and strokes.
More info, from bouldertheater.com:

KUVO presents
As guitarist, composer, dramatist, producer and artistic mentor, Paco Peña embodies both the authenticity and innovation in flamenco and has transformed perceptions of this archetypal Spanish art form. The soul of flamenco lies in the authentic expression of emotions through music and dance.

Since 1970 Paco Peña has performed regularly with his own hand-picked company of dancers, guitarists and singers in a succession of groundbreaking shows. The Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company has taken flamenco into the realm of music-theatre with regular seasons in London (Royal Festival Hall, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Barbican) and festival appearances in Edinburgh, Adelaide, Amsterdam, Athens, Israel, Istanbul, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Born in the Andalucian city of Córdoba, Paco Peña began learning guitar from his brother at the age of six and made his first professional appearance at the age of 12. In the late 1960s he left Spain for London, where his recitals of flamenco music captured the public imagination.

From the early days in which Paco Peña decided to launch his now world famous company, he set out to bring onto the stage a true rendition of what the art of flamenco represents: a spontaneous collaboration between artists of different disciplines, i.e. musicians, dancers and singers who inspire one-another to reach as far as possible into their artistic endeavors to create a unique and unrepeatable experience every time; a performance that is new and surprising to themselves as much as it is to any audience present.

His newest presentation, A Compás ! transmits to the audience the compelling nature of a range of flamenco rhythms, from the almost “tribal”, trance-inducing quality of the “alboreá’” to the razor – sharp complexity of the “bulería”. Each artist is isolated at one point in the show and is thrown onto the naked reality of a given rhythmic structure (or compás). By fusing the performers’ individual interpretations of each rhythm, the ensemble creates an experience that not only intimate, but equally inviting and communal.
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