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The Legacy of Casa Patas at GALA Theater Flamenco at its Finest

Featured The Legacy of Casa Patas at GALA Theater Flamenco at its Finest

It has been 15 years now since the experiment of presenting, on a yearly basis, the finest flamenco in the world began at GALA Theater in Washington DC. Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas, the renown center for the study and promotion of the authentic expression of flamenco, has been at the center of this initiative from the very beginning. This Madrid based foundation is among the most serious and dedicated preservationists of the folkloric music of Andalusia. The study of the art form is limited to a few highly distinguished performance sites throughout Madrid, Barcelona and southern Spain. The roots of the music trace back to Moorish Africa, gypsy populations of eastern Europe and the Middle East and as far as India. Each year the Casa Patas performing group tours the United States and Latin America with performances that test the limits of flamenco expression and expand the range and artistry of the music.
On this tour the performers, led by Director / Choreographer and dancer Rafael Peral, dig deep into the origins of the music with a traditional ensemble that includes a female dancer, guitarist, two singers and a percussionist. In prior journeys to the new world the Casa Patas ensemble has included violin, clarinetist, saxophonist and multiple and sundry percussion players. This year "Raiz de 4", title of the performance, is a much more classic and basic flamenco ensemble, one you might find in the 'tablaos' of Madrid, Seville or Cadiz.
There are, nevertheless, interesting features to this latest work. What "Raiz de 4" does is pare back flamenco to its most basic elements and break them down. Each performance within the show highlights a different aspect of this beautifully passionate, emotional and inspiring music. They begin the show with two dancers swaying and swirling to the guitar, the singers and percussionist. They proceed with a solo guitar performance and then the 2 singers and percussionist take turns at their own solos. Mr. Peral returns by himself doing a breath taking pieces without the singers and then Marisa Adame, the female dancer, performs alone on the stage as well. Then at the end of the show all of these elements are fused back together once again and the company leaves the stage in one boisterous, cheering finale.
The presentations of flamenco at GALA Theater, including its own repertory company headed by the remarkable Edwin Aparicio, represent a rare and highly qualified opportunity to preserve and present the artistry of flamenco to local audiences. They enrich and amplify Spanish culture and make Washington DC what it is, a truly international urban center. It is a remarkable effort achieved under great strain. GALA not only stretches to bring a company such as Casa Patas to Washington DC, but through its local work attempts to popularize the art form in our community. The partnership with Casa Patas guarantees a top quality result.

Last modified onWednesday, 20 November 2019 02:00

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