Flamenco Con Fusion
nytheatre.com review by Jo Ann Rosen
March 8, 2007
Ricardo Garcia is both star and backdrop of Flamenco con Fusion, a 50-minute performance fusing the gypsy-style dance and music from Spain with contemporary New York. One of 30 shows presented at FRIGID New York, Garcia's show uses his original compositions to demonstrate the flexibility of flamenco and actually widens the definition of what flamenco is. The demonstration is not only pleasing, but educational as well.
Throughout, Garcia delivers his beautiful compositions so naturally that it seems his guitar is an extension of his body. His compositions range from high-spirited to melancholy. Garcia's rhythms fill the theater as he prepares for his three performers. First is Carlos.
Carlos appears dressed in traditional slimming garb clapping and stamping in familiar flamenco style. The evening heats up when Jen hits the floor, dressed in loose sweats and sneakers, to challenge Carlos with her deft break-dancing. Where Carlos demonstrates control, Jen responds with exuberance. Both dancers exhibit precision, but it is Jen who astonishes with her incredible contortions and precarious balance, even if break-dancing is not your thing. Surprisingly, both dances fit the rhythms of flamenco. The competition between Carlos and Jen could use a more dramatic build up, perhaps more chemistry, but even without, it is interesting to note the mixture of styles and cultures in what I thought was a fixed definition of dance.
The final performer is Sharon, who delivers a mournful flamenco song. From Scotland, she demonstrates the far-reaching appeal of flamenco. She also helped put the show together—a show that proves to be both enlightening and enjoyable.