India Flamenco (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

India Flamenco

Mesmerising blend of Indian, flamenco and belly dance styles

A flamenco dance studio down a side street in the Southside provides the stage for three female dancers to show off their impressive skills. A floaty, new age voiceover attempts to weave together the Indian, flamenco and belly dance styles with a garbled narrative about gypsy culture and magic mirrors that doesn't quite work, but the real attraction is the dancing itself.

The opening dance is Odissi, a mesmerising ancient Indian classical dance style, accompanied by a tabla and sitar soundtrack offstage. Each finger bend, knee dip and eye flick helps the jewelled dancer tell her expressive, coy story, and as her painted feet speed up to the dance's climax, the bells around her ankles add percussion to the precise and symmetrical mime.

Next up is a jerky and urgent belly dance routine, where the dancers' hips and spine shake and curve along to a flute song from behind the curtain, before the third dancer, a fierce flamenco diva, arrives. Defiant and proud, she batters out her message on the floorboards, barely noticing when her earring detaches and flies into the crowd. While the narrative might not have worked, a finale from all three dancers ties together the shared emotions of the very diverse styles beautifully.

Alba Flamenco, until 28 Aug (not 17, 24), 6.15pm, £12 (£10).

India Flamenco

  • 3 stars

The performance begins with a narrative, delivered off-stage and set to the music of the sitar. The dance begins with the traditional Bharata Natyam, performed by a young Indian woman full of grace, energy and control. It’s followed by a flirtatious and celebratory gypsy dance, performed excellently by an expressively…