Rhythms With Soul (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Rhythms With Soul

Foot-stomping romp through flamenco history

On posters Venezuelan-born flamenco dancer Miguel Vargas appears smouldering and bare-chested. But unlike paparazzi-friendly contemporaries such as Joaquin Cortes he is no peacock, all baby-oil and no substance. There is strut aplenty. There is simmer, as he and his show-stopping eight-strong band (incorporating cello and flute with traditional flamenco elements) build improvised rhythms to near unbearable crescendo. But though highly practised, with human tornado Vargas it all seems pretty raw – his rapid-fire footwork and barely-contained passion seem evoked from some deep, ancient place. The new vehicle Rhythms With Soul, which premieres here, is more rehearsed. A colourfully costumed journey from Flamenco’s gypsy roots to stage-friendly present day it features a series of heavily stylised contemporary-flamenco fusion sequences. The potted flamenco history angle is nothing new and there are more sophisticated flamenco modernisers out there. But this is fun, be-frilled and has the crowd on its feet by second night.

New Town Theatre, Freemason’s Hall, 220 0143, until 29 Aug (not 17) 3.50pm, £11–£13.

Rhythms With Soul

  • 4 stars

This fascinating, contemporary interpretation of traditional flamenco rhythms and melodies is a trip from the cradle of flamenco to the present and from the deepest grief to the holiest joy. Recognised as one of the greatest exponents of flamenco, Vargas is joined by eight dancers and eight musicians for a show of pure…

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