El baile de flamenco, has been around since the late eightieth century. A preliminary gypsy crusade that embodies the essence of Southwestern Europe and its many different cultural influences. For Spain, it has become a staple, a rhythm, a vision, and an action of España’s rich history and society. Flamenco throughout the years has taken many twists and turns of inspirations and interpretations. The music and dance have been featured all over the world from quaint restaurants to large concert venues. Today, a highly acclaimed and talked about stage work is that of artistic director, teacher, dancer, and choreographer Siudy Garrido. Her company’s performance in Los Angeles embodied a blended fusion of traditional flamenco classics and a contemporary style vibe.
On June 3, 2022, a large crowd of smiling Siudy enthusiasts rushed to their seats at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California for one night only. The curtain opened, Siudy Garrido was in the light, a golden goddess with a back row of five finely dressed male singers and musicians. Ms. Garrido’s dress resembles that of a mermaid which contains a traditional flamenco skirt extension, “con una larga batá de cola,” with a long tail, swaying in her swing. Her arms were silky as if she were moving in water. Siudy focuses more of her attention in general toward the audience, it is them she came to dance for. The next segment, an ensemble of five ladies Daniela Rosi, Carolina Melcon, Andrea Gonzalez, Anabella Amanu, and Oriana Torres utilizing chairs while dressed in black fringed jumpsuits. They were strong, solid, and sexy. A robust piece that reminded me of the femme fatals in the Broadway show “Chicago.” Ms. Garrido then brings in a stunning extra-large scarf called a Mantón de Manila. Here, her embodiment was of a flying bird, stretching out the flowing fabric and twirling it around her space and body. A beautiful moment of agility and arm strength. An especially profound and spellbinding section in the choreography was when all the women knocked the stage floor with their knuckles. This is a customary tactic used for percussion on a table or floor, Siudy Garrido use of this metronome tempo turned into a reflective, exciting, and impeccable connection of unified love for her craft.
The super list of talented musicians and singers had their time to shine and played together exquisitely. Both Manuel Gago and Ismael Fernandez displayed a superb skill of symbiotic song and timing and what a treat it was to enjoy award winning guitarist and composer Jose Luis de la Paz whose mastery is so natural and smooth in connecting each of his selections. Flutist Juan Parilla was delightfully playful, and percussionist Adolfo Herrera’s witty spirited aptitude directly connected with the crowd. The ensemble of dancers collectively seduced when entering again, this time as warriors with canes, purposefully stomping the beats out on the floor. The rest of the dance sections were fun and fiery bring great smiles from the performers. A standout was Carolina Melcon whose personality shined. Flamenco has an extended past of integrating props which was continuously exhibited with the adding of scarves, canes, fans, and candles.
The Siudy Garrido Flamenco Company’s entire performance was beautifully rehearsed and exceptionally choreographed. There were essential flamenco elements not seen, such as the array of wrist motions, head association, and torso leaning, which seemed to be left out intentionally. Siudy and her sparkling crystal heels were a remarkably unrelentingly beating machine, paving her way to a bright future. A motion in heel exertion called taconeo, is one that she has conquered. As a flamenco force, she exudes an enormous amount of energy and is people driven. She makes the show relatable to everyone from all ages. As many onlookers, in true flamenco fashion, shouted to the stage throughout the show, “Eso!”
To find out more about the Siudy Garrido Flamenco Company, please visit their website.
To see the full list of performances appearing at The Wilshire Ebell Theater, please visit their website.
Written by Alice Alyse for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: Siudy Garrido Flamenco Company – Caña – Photo courtesy of the company.