There are a few occasions in life when you know you have just seen, heard and experienced something rather special. My first Mahler 2, Janaceks “Jenufa”, Sam and Dave and the Stax Soul Tour, Dave Holland Group and The Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Gabarek are a few of those occasions that come to mind.
Last week I was in Madrid and prior to leaving the UK I had booked seats at a concert by Sara Baras an internationally known flamenco dancer but, I have to confess someone I had never heard of.
The PR for the concert went as follows “Sara Baras will lead a company of 15 performers in Voces, Suite Flamenca, a hugely entertaining show that captures all the drama and passion of flamenco. Celebrated for her brilliant footwork and captivating stage presence, Sara Baras has become internationally famous in a career that has spanned over 20 years and earned her dozens of prestigious awards. Set to thrilling live music, and with a truly spectacular free-form finale, Voces, Suite Flamenca is the perfect showcase for Baras’s huge talent.”
Well, I went along to the theatre not really knowing what to expect but hoping for an evenings memorable entertainment.
I emerged just under two hours later in a state of euphoria at what I had just seen and heard. The singing of traditional flamenco songs (think Gypsy Kings but with REAL passion), guitar and percussion playing of exceptional standards and the phenomenal dancing of the group who support Ms Baras.
When we come to Ms Baras all superlatives go out of the window as I am sure they have been used before. This woman is a genius, she communicates with her audience through the sheer passion of her dancing and one solo routine was breathtaking in its creativity and physical virtuosity. I had never seen anything like it before and I doubt if I ever will again. She is the greatest dancer I have ever seen.
What was also wonderful was that throughout the evening members of the audience shouted approval and encouragement during her dancing and her response was a smile and accepting gestures with her arms……………can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if someone did this at a ballet performance?
If Ms Baras is performing anywhere in the vicinity of where you live then I urge you to go and see one of the wolds great artists. As a taster I am posting a video containing extracts from the show “Voces” that I saw in Madrid.