Flame’n’co @ The Spaces

Dondeduendes look for the spirit of flamenco in everything, even in Edinburgh on a fairly drizzly August evening

Feature by Ruth Christie | 22 Aug 2011
  • Flame’n’co

Dondeduendes’s passion for flamenco drives Flame’n’co. With simple staging – no props, no lighting changes – it is clear from the outset that any drama will be created purely by flamenco.

Lost in the performance, Dondeduendes are at times whipped into a frenzy at the climax of a song, and at other times, relaxed, sitting around as a group of friends, exchanging jokes. As singer Danielo Olivera says at one point, flamenco is “a soul, passionate and deep.” He also says “it’s happiness, like tinto de verano” – summer wine, the kind you might drink with friends on an August night. This combination of intensity and fun surfaces again and again throughout Flame’n’co.

Dancer Mayte Beltran is stunning. Fierce and bold, she attacks the stage, marvellously in control as beautiful muñecas – wrist curls – unfold from her arms. Her capacity to know when to break the tension, pausing, suspended, just long enough to allow the audience to grab another breath, is special.

Although Dondeduendes clearly love flamenco, they don’t take it too seriously, playing around until they accidentally fall into jazz. The easy swing of the jazz is in sharp contrast to the intensely rhythmic flamenco but surprisingly complementary. Musicians keep the distinctive flamenco rhythm going, even clapping through the jazz, a reminder that they feel flamenco everywhere. The jazz guitar’s reverb bends the sound of the music and Beltran leaves her staccato heel stamps behind to curve her body into new shapes.

Flame’n’co is quietly striking. Dondeduendes look for the spirit of flamenco in everything, even in Edinburgh on a fairly drizzly August evening.

Flame’n,co, 5-27 (not every day) August 2011, 8.10pm, theSpaces North Bridge

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