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Flamenco Areti

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It is thrilling to be back at the Space Theatre for another series of exciting Sessions gigs – and especially to witness the extremely unique and awe-inspiring Spanish style of music and dance known as flamenco.

Saturday night’s performance of Flamenco Areti was so dazzling that even my companion, who has a background in dance that spans more than 24 years, said she had never seen anything like it.

The fiery production of Flamenco Areti was performed by an ensemble from Norwood-based dance school Flamenco Dance Areti, led by director Areti Boyaci, who has previously toured as a principal dancer in Flamenco Fire and taught the Spanish dance program at the Australian Ballet School.

The production also featured a number of special guests who are highly regarded in the world of flamenco, including Spanish-born singer Antonio Soria, who has a goosebump-inducing voice this is simply magic, and guitar player Kieran Ray.

The guest dancers were Tomás Arroquero, whose energy and precision have been honed by more than 15 years dancing throughout Spain as well as in Australia, and Rosalie Cochiaro, whose feet ignited the floor while her facial expressions conveyed a striking a range of emotions.

As a relative newcomer to this genre, I discovered that in addition to the core components of guitar, song and dance, clapping is paramount to the compelling and dramatic sounds of flamenco. It may sound simple, but within these elements there is extreme sophistication in how they work together and complement each other.

The individual and ensemble performances of Flamenco Areti seemed to convey that as well as being a visual display of storytelling through dance and movement, flamenco is also a celebration of the female form. The women were captivating – whether in sultry black costumes or dressed in fiery red and white garments, integrating fans or shawls in their precise and powerful movements.

This production was extremely impressive. It was a beautiful blend of what felt like a very tight structure with bursts of fluid, almost spontaneous performances, spurred on by the occasional “olé”, from the crowd. I was left wondering where flamenco had been all my life.

Flamenco Areti was performed at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre as part of the Sessions series of live music gigs taking place throughout January.

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