The annual flamenco festival is back this year with all its grandeur. After a magnificent celebration of a triumphant decade in 2013, the festival steps into its 11th year this March. Sara Baras, perhaps the biggest Flamenco superstar from Spain is a befitting choice for the opening. La Pepa is choreographed by Sara Baras and her equally talented dancer-choreographer husband Jose Serrano.
The production is a celebration of the historical moment of La Pepa which was The nickname given to the first Spanish constitution of Cadiz. Cadiz born Baras celebrates that unique moment of the country and its women through her production.
Baras is an exquisite performer, whose footwork is comparable to the sound of raining hail. But what she tries to portray from that strong beginning through to the end dwindles with the loosely bound plot.
Through the 90 min duration of her show, Baras takes the audience on a journey of Flamenco which has technique and texture but less drama. Its an exhibition of Baras’s perfection of the art, beautiful dance sequences and eye catching costumes. Loosely woven through snapshots of the nuances of human life La Pepa begins with a battle sequence where men and women all dressed in black are engaged in a duel. Neat choreography and precision of movements in this opening section defines what is to follow. The battle ends with death and destruction. Bodies lie scattered on stage. – Baras’s makes her first appearance of the evening at this stage She laments the death and destruction and questions the cause. She dances her grief and with her tears life spring back in the corpses who rise again into a better world. The village folks are joyous and they portray an enchanting Spanish village scene. The numbers that ensue bring in the fans, the long flamenco skirts, the laced scarves and couple dances. All the essential ingredients of a good Flamenco performance are lined up in the choreography. While the choreography and the dancing by the ensemble is top notch, somehow the narrative fails to evoke the same sense of excitement.