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Reviews

Alma Flamenca

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Presented by and at Thalia Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside, NY, Nov. 14-Dec. 15.

Flamenco dance is really a solo art form and while "Alma Flamenca" features some nifty group choreography performed by the Andrea Del Conte Danza Espan~a, the show is driven largely, and rightly, by the highly individualized performances of the company's first-rate solo dancers.

Spanish guest artist Jose Junco sends hearts a–throbbing with his slyly under-heated style of dancing—the clean, intense movements of his long, lean body conjuring a cool sexuality. The rapid patter of his footwork mesmerizes as his arms slice quick lines up, out, or across his face. A stunning flamenco artist, Junco possesses the demeanor of a ballet danseur noble. He is as easily imagined gracing a royal court as stomping around a gypsy campfire.

By contrast, the plumpish Yloy Ybarra dances with an earthiness fired by animalistic energy. A very accurate, warm, and exciting dancer, Ybarra brilliantly balances his powerhouse movement quality with the sporadic execution of light balletic pirouettes.

The company's other scintillating dancers include seasoned performer (and artistic director) Andrea Del Conte who offered two ambitious solos; Mieko Seto, who is developing an original, classy-looking "Fosse-meets-flamenco" movement style; and Laura Montes, whose pretty, precise dancing is deliciously girlish.

Presented at Thalia Spanish Theatre, "Alma Flamenca" is enhanced by some striking lighting effects designed by producer Angel Gil Orrios. And, as always, we appreciate this theatre's commitment to presenting live musical accompaniment for all its dance shows: in this case, the mellow-voiced singers Alfonso Cid and Chayito Champion; the quirky percussionist Sean Kupisz, who beats on a wooden box; and the luscious guitar playing of Arturo Martinez and Cristian Puig.

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