|Ora Brafman <email@example.com>||Sat, Mar 26, 7:12 PM (2 days ago)|
When Israel Galvan (b.1973) entered the stage, the thunderous applause was overwhelming before he took a single step forward. The arrival of that highly celebrated dancer-choreographer enflamed the audience as no other flamenco dancer could today. Galvan rose to fame as the one who single handedly revolutionized the perception of traditional flamenco.
Considering that he grew up in Seville, homeland of the Flamenco, within a family of traditional flamenco dancers, his career took an unexpected turn when he challenge the conventions of "pure" flamenco. His visit here was the ultimate treat for all the attendees at the festival- 'Flamenco Days' .
Galvan was invited to present an earlier solo work 'La Edad De Oro' (The Golden Age) which solidified his worldwide reputation. He tried in the past to explain his approach as said: First I deconstruct and then I re-build it, yet, it is still flamenco. To be precise it is the neo- flamenco,
The performance had changed since I first saw it a decade and a half ago. It was a pleasure to notice that the current version includes a greater degree of freedom of conventions and a richer movement's vocabulary, particularly in its gentle nuances. The purists must've had a hard time trying to absorb the changes, but soon after Galvan won an international recognition as an innovative choreographer /dancer, others tried to follow his path, adopted a similar approach and explored their own way within the new arena.
It was a one man's show, as far as Galvan's presence. He can actually stand still on one foot, gently spread his fingers above his head and electrify the hall. Most of the time he crossed the stage walking in profile which is a rare chorographic decision. One could watch how differently he move and hold his body in comparison to the rigid upper body of the traditional male flamenco dancer. His feet are very powerful and swift, his rhythms could accelerate until the heels' clicks sound like a fast sawing machine, while concurrently, his arms fly gently up like a bird's wings.
There is no end to his innovating lexicon, shifting between complex rhythms while his face reflects his tensions, thoughts and emotions, and is constantly active.
Although he dances solo, he is never alone since he is accompanied by his long time trusted partners; the flamenco singer- David Lagos and Alfredo Lagos- on the flamenco guitar. With their support, they echo his moves which become music through endless ways of body percussion on his torso, soles, teeth, elbows or knees and toes knocking on the floor.
The longest standing ovation was reciprocated when Galvan tried to sing, the singer pretended to play the guitar and the guitarist tried to dance or vice versa. It was a typical hilarious ending, flamenco style.