Alba Flamenca @ Alba Flamenca
It is a pleasant surprise to find that it is possible to perform while seated – the musicians and dancers begin with stamping their feet, establishing one beat. When the dancers get up to dance, they establish a second rhythm. The effect this creates is like a conversation between two drummers, only the "drumming" stems from the performers' feet while hands twist and undulate beautifully at their own pace.
It is safe to say the performance pleases its audience; by the end of the hour, a goodly number of people are smiling and clapping excitedly. However, this is a very specialist audience - as with opera, very few people who do not know of flamenco will go into the effort for tickets; in that aspect, it could be said that the performance is a failed one, yet it is a consequence of the way the Fringe and, in general, society works rather than a fault in the performance itself.
It is hard being a dance and theatre critic; it is even harder to be a flamenco critic, since it is easier to say I watched a badly performed ballet than a badly performed flamenco. Thus I am not certain how one can make comparisons in terms of dancing or performing flamenco, aside from comparisons in passion. Alba Flamenca are certainly passionate as a dance company; they dance, teach, eat and breathe flamenco.