Bodas de sangre & Suite flamenca

Bogas de sangre (Blood Wedding) flamenco dance piece and Suite flamenca. Performed at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Choreography and light design are both by Antonio Gades.

1. Bodas de sangre is based on the theatre play by Federico García Lorca. Stars Cristina Carnero, Ángel Gil, Vanesa Vento, Joaquín Mulero, and Maite Chico. Also stars Alberto Ferrero, Alfredo Tejada, Antonio Mulero, Antonio Solera, Camarón de Pitita, Carolina Pozuelo, Conchi Gómez, David Martín, Elías Morales, Enrique Pantoja, Jairo Rodríguez, Joni Cortés, Mª José López, María Nadal, Merche Recio, Miguel Lara, and Virginia Guiñales. Adaptation for ballet by Alfreho Mañas; set and costume designs by Francisco Nieva. Music by Emilio de Diego, Perelló y Monreal (¡Ay, mi Sombrero!), and Felipe Campuzano (Rumba).

2. Suite flamenca features Stella Arauzo and Miguel Lara. Also features women dancers Carolina Pozuelo, Conchi Gómez, Cristina Carnero, Maite Chico, María José López, María Nadal, Merche Recio, Vanesa Vento, and Virginia Guiñales. Men dancers are Alberto Ferrero, Ángel Gil, Antonio Mulero, David Martín, Elías Morales, Jairo Rodríguez, and Jaoquín Mulero.  Flamenco dancers are Alfredo Tejada, Enrique Pantoja, Gabriel Cortés, and Joni Cortés. Guitarists are Antonio Solerá and Camarón de Pitita. Music by Antonio Gades, Ricardo Freire, and Juan Antonio Zafra. Choreography for Soleá por bulerías and Tanguillos by Cristina Hoyos.

Television producer was Ángela Álvarez Rilla. Released 2012, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound.  For both titles Grade: A

These works appear to be the two most important and successful "classic" flamenco productions, and they are performed in the most important theater in the Spanish-language world. They are long, formal, and theatrical when compared to the collection of short numbers we saw in the HDVD title Flamenco-Flamenco. Trying to describe flamenco is like trying to describe the sound, say, of a cello. You can't do it very well in words, so let's see if we can make a little progress with screenshots. We start with Bodas de sangre.

Here we meet an old mother (Vanesa Vento) and her son the groom (Joaquín Mulero). They joyfully contemplating his wedding:

Now we meet a new and jilted mother (Maite Chico). Leonardo (Ángel Gil) is the father standing behind. (Leonardo is the only character in the libretto with a given name.)

The jilted mother begs Leonardo to marry her, but he rejects her yet again:

The jilted mother leaves with her baby:

So why is Leonardo so callous? Because he is in love with the bride. The bride had previously abandoned her hopes of being with Leonardo, and she had accepted the groom's proposal of marriage. But now the love between Leonardo and the bride is showing its power:

Next day, the wedding party:

Leonardo shows up for the party. When his dancing with the bride grows too intimate, the jilted mother intervenes and Leonard leaves:

The dancing continues to build in ferocity:

Until the bride breaks down:

And steps aside (to rest, thinks the groom):

But the jilted mother follows and sees the bride mount Leonardo's horse. The jilted woman gives the alarm of elopement:

And the mother gives the groom his knife:

After a long chase, there's a fight. To find out who wins, buy the disc:

The Suite flamenca doesn't tell a story; it is a compilation of traditional flamenco dance forms plus some choreography based on flamenco. It starts with a magnificent male duet:

Stella Arauzo has a lifetime of experience at being the Alpha female in her pack:

Miguel Lara doesn't exactly look like a Latin Alpha male, but he must have the fastest flamenco feet found:

Now we get into larger formations that I don't normally associate with flamenco. I would not want to get into a fight with these guys:

Nor would I want to be chased by this posse:

Now I think the entire corps is on stage:

The fierce, irrepressible individuality of flamenco is here harnessed into a fierce, irrepressible dance of a single line:

Supporting an Alpha duet:

A small flash of color:

And a bit of flamenco bump and grind!

This is the concluding scene, but there are a lot of encores yet to be danced:

Including silly antics by the singers: