Although called Flamenco Directo, this show is actually rather indirect flamenco. We get the famous zapateado fast stamping, lots of it, but also much vaguely expressive modern-dance in between. The theory is to enhance the old style - some would say it is simply diluted.
Joint artistic directors, choreographers and principal dancers Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez were both 21 and had jointly won a national best male dancer award when they founded the company nine years ago.
Rodriguez looks to have developed better, with more stamina, more charisma and a sharper edge to his technique. His main solo, Mil Besos, treats its “thousand kisses” theme rather coyly but is impressively sustained, with a powerful encore too. But does he really need to introduce so often sequences that tell the audience “applaud me now”? Rojas cheats a bit on the encore to his solo, De Corazon, by bringing the two singers down front to join in physically. Jose Ibanez achieves sweet manly tone, while Mara Rey’s voice is harsher. They both get short dance solos in the show’s finale.
Gaspar Rodriguez, on guitar, leads the five instrumentalists and wrote most of the tunes. There are two supporting male dancers and five women, all very able and well matched. They make a good effect in spite of sadly drab costumes. The female solos are pretty fairly shared out. Maybe tall Maria Lomez comes off best for the humour and charm she brings to her solo La Paloma and for wittily teasing the other women in the immediately succeeding Dunas.