ALBA FLAMENCA – Edinburgh Fringe

In Dance, Regional theatre, Reviews by Thom DibdinLeave a Comment

✭✭✭✭✭  Inviting and inspiring

Alba Flamenca (Venue 237) ​Fri 7 – Mon 31 Aug 2015

With so many shows on offer, it’s easy to forget a lot of what you see at the fringe. But you’ll never forget the way something makes you feel. Alba Flamenca is an emotive and fiery fiesta that inspires as much as it entertains.

Set a little off the beaten track, Alba Flamenca is hidden away in its own intimate venue crowded with seats so you have to get cosy with the performers and the rest of the audience.

The performers enter the stage and immediately there’s a sense that this show is going to be different. There’s no nerves, there’s no need to psyche themselves up for the performance. This is what they do. They’re relaxed, they’re chatting, they’re laughing and joking with each other. You can’t help but feel a part of their community, you can’t help but feel you’re in a late night Flamenco club in Andalucia.

The performers have already got underway when Daniel Olivera, singer and host, announces that due to a personal emergency one of the dances has had to be replaced today. It’s not the same show as yesterday, the whole show has been redesigned. You can’t tell. The performers are comfortable enough and flexible enough to take it all in their stride.

Is it perfect flamenco dancing? Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? It’s not perfection that inspires, it’s heart and it’s soul. Two things that Alba Flamenco has in abundance.

The dancers, Aroa Paredes and Gabriela Pouso are captivating to watch. They’re passionate, they’re fiery, their feet move faster that should be possible. But watching their faces, there’s this fantastic element of control, and it’s mixed with joy. They love what they’re doing.

Andalucian passion

In honesty, it’s the dancing is what everyone is here to see. That Andalucian passion, the exotic costumes, the amazing footwork. And the talented dancers certainly don’t disappoint – but Alba Flamenca is also so much more than that.

One of the highlights of the show is Inma Montero singing Quieres que me beses? (Do you want to kiss me?). The powerful music, played by guitarist Daniel Martinez and cajon player Pedro Morote, positively thunders through the crowd. Montero’s voice is remarkable – bursting with emotion, she’s electrifying as her song invites you to dance. It’s impossible not to join in from your seat.

Alba Flamenco is an overwhelming success. It’s  inclusive, friendly, impressive and exciting all in one, with rhythms sure to inspire even the most fearful dancers. The only problem is that it has to end, and as its a 4pm matinee, it’s not quite the right time to continue and dance the night away.

But as Alba Flamenca isn’t just here for the fringe – they have regular Flamenco Noches and teach classes all year round – the next experience doesn’t have to be a year away!

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Alba Flamenca (Venue 237) ​74 East Crosscauseway, EH8 9HQ
Friday 7 – Monday 31 August 2015
Daily: 8pm; Fri-Sat: 4pm
Book tickets on the EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alba-flamenca
Alba Flamenca’s website: http://www.albaflamenca.co.uk/

Alba Flamenca is also staging India Flamenco during the Fringe.
Daily (not Weds): 6.15pm.
Details from the EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/india-flamenco

ENDS

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Thom Dibdin
Thom Dibdin has been reviewing and writing about theatre in Scotland since the last millennium. He is currently Scotland Correspondent for The Stage newspaper. In 2010, he founded AllEdinburghTheatre.com. The city's only dedicated theatre website, it covers all Edinburgh theatre year-round - and all theatre made in Edinburgh during EdFringe. Thom is passionate about quality in theatre criticism and is a member of the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. He tweets from @AllEdinTheatre and, personally, from @ThomDibdin.

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