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Sara Baras en USA   You are logged in as Guest
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Joined: Nov. 21 2010

Sara Baras en USA
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2015 17:51:12

Posts: 3359
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Sara Baras en USA (in reply to Morante

Sara Baras Performed in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center last Monday, March 9, as part of the current series entitled "Iberian Suite." I did not see her performance, but the Washington Post's dance critic Sarah Kaufman's review is quoted below. It was a decidedly mixed review.

"The simplest moments of Sara Baras’s “Voces, Suite Flamenca” were the best. These were the segments of her 90-minute show that were not slashed by blinding spotlights, or jolted by self-admiring poses, or dragged down by rambling recorded voiceovers in Spanish while the live performers sat in chairs and stared at their feet.

Those were the tiresome moments, and there were too many of them as Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras made its Kennedy Center debut Monday night. Baras, her earnest dancer husband, Jose Serrano, their excellent corps de ballet and ardent musicians performed at the Eisenhower Theater as part of the center’s Iberian Suite festival. The voiceovers we heard belonged to five deceased flamenco artists to whom Baras paid tribute (the voces, or voices, of the title), including guitarists Paco de Lucia and Moraito Chico and “Blood Wedding” star Antonio Gades.

Yet Baras’s noble intentions were too often undercut by the rock-concert lighting and ta-dah aesthetic more common to the music spectacles that air during public broadcasting pledge drives. The glitzy packaging felt out of place for a relatively small ensemble. It felt especially out of place for an art of intimacy, as flamenco has the great potential to be.

Baras achieved that intimacy in her few unfussy solos. She looked chic throughout the evening in sleek contemporary gowns, but in “Farruca,” her most mesmerizing turn, she adopted an androgynous and unadorned look in black pants and T-shirt, very postmodern, hair slicked back, not a fleck of makeup. The fireworks came from her feet alone. Bathed in a golden light that made her elegant hands and face glow in the darkness, Baras drilled her heels slowly at first, nibbling at the stage, then built their roar into the staccato flurry for which she is famous, her arms whipping around her like angry snakes.

Baras maintained such exquisite control and focus that her deceleration of steps, click by click, was just as dramatic. It sounded like time ominously ticking away, a countdown to a silent, flamenco-less void. A saxophone player joined the guitarist and drummer onstage; as the music took a jazzy turn, Baras seemed to rise and expand like the surging of a fountain, rocking her hips, her whole body twisting and spiraling as the horn wailed.

She made it look so easy, holding the audience in her thrall. So why trowel on the cheesy parts?

These belonged mostly to Serrano, who worked terribly hard to impress us. Apparently he wasn’t at all sure that we were noticing how magnificent he was, because he kept snapping his head around to see how much we appreciated his arcing poses with arms tossed high. The corps dancers were far less pushy; their precise Rockettes timing was softened with bright, youthful zeal. But we didn’t see much of them.

One hopes those dancers spend their down time in the wings, watching and learning from the master. Baras possesses unforced charisma, and her dancing boils from within. It radiates outward from her posture, high and proud, shoulders tossed back with authority. (What a lesson she offers in self-possession!) From that stance, she can do anything: buzz along the stage with those drilling heels, her upper body barely moving; or blur into a micro-cyclone, with her arms windmilling.

Baras should trust her own powers more and ditch the melodrama. A minimal aesthetic suits her best, whether drumming her heels with a male dancer’s technique or spinning in a fringed dress as she did at the end of the evening, looking like a spiky sea urchin, dangerous and rare. She is her own special effect."



And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2015 19:31:35
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