Flamenco Festival London 2023: Wed 5 – Sat 15 July 2023, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Lilian Baylis Studio
Get ready to surrender to the rhythms of the Flamenco Festival London 2023. This year’s festivities aim to rekindle the sizzling flamenco spirit in the heart of London, promising a two-week-long feast of dance, music, and culture that pulsates with the fiery energy of Andalusia.
For those uninitiated, flamenco is more than just a dance or music form – it’s a rich cultural expression that evolved over centuries. Rooted in the Romani communities of southern Spain, flamenco encompasses a colourful array of influences from Andalusian, Islamic, Sephardic, and Gypsy cultures. This eclectic blend of cultural elements makes flamenco a vibrant and intricate tapestry of passion, emotion, and rhythm.
The Flamenco Festival London aims to honour this heritage by showcasing performances as diverse and dynamic as the history of flamenco itself. It doesn’t just bring together a line-up of the world’s most accomplished flamenco artists; it also seeks to delve deep into the Romani roots of this art form. Prepare for a bold fusion of tradition and innovation, an evocative blend of legacy and modernity. From established performers’ passionate precision to emerging talents’ daring creativity, every act is a homage to flamenco’s rich history and vibrant present.
The festival’s return is no ordinary event. On the contrary, it’s a reawakening of the Andalusian spirit, a reignition of the fiery passion that burns at the heart of flamenco. So get ready to lose yourself in the intoxicating beats, be mesmerised by the intricate footwork, and be moved by the poignant strumming of the flamenco guitar.
The Dance of Emotion: Sara Baras presents Alma (5 – 9 July)
This summer extravaganza begins with the amazing grace of Olivier Award-winning dancer and choreographer Sara Baras. She will present Alma, an ode to the origins of flamenco. Watch as Baras brings traditional flamenco elements to life with her unique, modern touch. An energetic live band and a cast of accomplished dancers join her to provide an unforgettable opening to the festival.
Strings of Passion: Vicente Amigo’s boundary-pushing Concert (10 July)
On 10 July, Latin Grammy Award-winning Vicente Amigo will take to the stage, showcasing his mastery of flamenco guitar. Amigo draws from a rich palette of worldwide influences, intertwining jazz, folk, and South American rhythms. Known as a successor to the legendary Paco de Lucía, Amigo will serve a musical feast that ventures beyond flamenco’s traditional boundaries.
Powerful Intimacy: Olga Pericet in La Leona (11 July)
Olga Pericet, Spain’s National Dance Prize 2018 winner, returns to the Flamenco Festival with her new solo, La Leona. Expect a groundbreaking performance as Pericet combines elements of theatre and dance, promising an intimate and deeply personal exploration of her artistry.
A Journey through History: Estévez & Paños present La Confluencia (12 July)
Next up, on 12 July, Spain’s National Dance Award 2019 winners, Estévez & Paños, take the audience on a historical voyage through flamenco. Their performance promises a powerful interpretation of flamenco codes, merging the diverse cultural influences of Andalusia.
Celebration of Life: Mercedes de Córdoba’s Sí, quiero (13 July)
Mercedes de Córdoba and an ensemble of female flamenco dancers stage a heartfelt wedding ceremony in Sí, quiero. This celebration of life, as seen through women’s eyes, will tug at your heartstrings with its intriguing blend of calm and passion, hope and madness.
Challenge of Gender Roles: Gala Flamenca (14 & 15 July)
Gala Flamenca is a much-anticipated intergenerational all-male production that features Manuel Liñán, Alfonso de Losa, El Yiyo, and Carrete de Málaga. Their combined charisma and talent are set to disrupt traditional flamenco gender roles, promising a spectacle unlike any other.
Lilian Baylis Studio: An Intimate Stage for Dance and Music (Second week)
Complementing the main festival, Lilian Baylis Studio offers a series of intimate dance and music performances throughout the second week. Manuel Liñan’s Muerta de Amor (12 July) and Julio Ruiz and Javier De La Asunción’s Tocar a un hombre (14 July) are noteworthy performances on this stage.
Unleashing Guitar Magic
Running parallel to the dance performances, renowned guitarists Rafael Riqueni (12 July), Nino Josele (14 July), and José María Gallardo with Miguel Ángel Cortés (15 July) promise unforgettable evenings of musical mastery.
Closing Night: A Dancefloor Fusion (15 July)
No festival is complete without a grand finale, and Flamenco Festival London is no exception. On 15 July, the closing night invites you to join the dancefloor and immerse yourself in an energetic blend of avant-garde electronica, queer flamenco, and experimental reggaeton. The line-up features Álvaro Romero, Pedro da Linha, and Branko, who will explore the impacts of colonialism on Spain and Portugal’s music scenes. So expect an evening of enthralling beats, innovative remixes, and shared enthusiasm as Flamenco Festival London 2023 comes to a close.
Whether you’re a flamenco devotee or a first-time explorer, Flamenco Festival London 2023 is an event to remember. From the grace and intensity of traditional flamenco to contemporary interpretations and boundary-breaking performances, this festival embodies the spirit of Andalusian culture in all its vibrant facets. So get ready to be moved by the rhythm, the dance, the music, and the undeniable allure of flamenco.
Tickets for Flamenco Festival London 2023 are available now. Visit the Sadler’s Wells Theatre website.
Main image: La Confluencia © Beatrix Mexi Molnar