Fri 10 Jul 2009
It’s been nearly a year since I posted about being swept away by Belen Maya in Carlos Saura’s “Flamenco”. Maya and her young Malaguena dance partner, Rocio Molina, recently performed their latest exhibition of Flamenco energy, “Mujeres”, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass.
Due to good fortune (who says 2009 is unlucky?) the stars aligned, and my wife and I made a quick getaway/pilgrimage to the East Coast to see the show. We and our friends were not disappointed. Experiencing in person the tremendous accomplishments of these two women is something I find akin to the feelings I sometimes get while watching this year’s Tour de France every morning: here are athletic artists at the top of their form, giving every moleculue of their body and soul to their craft. And there is the danger that the young artist presents to her mentor, as well.
Once again, I am out of my league as someone who knows absolutely nothing about dance. But you cannot avoid being affected by the physical and emotional confrontation of these two women, or by the music of the cantaores and guitarras who back them up.
You can’t really describe these ephemeral passages of sweat, anger, motion, and despair, with a bit of happiness. After coming home, I got around to reading Alastair Macauley’s words from the New York Times review. There was an extract that resonated with what I cannot put out of my memory of that June evening. “[Rocio Molina's] shoulders are on the high side, but there’s no undue tension in them or in the neck. Just the side tilt of her head or the isolated roll of one shoulder can be unexpected and delectable. Her neck and shoulders can yield creamily, and her head falls back, ecstatically.”
We were seated two rows away from those amazing shoulders. The roll of Molina’s shoulder and her twisting fall can be frightenting as well as delectable. The photo (from a performance in Malaga) captures a little of Molina’s mood.
In the meantime, Saura’s latest film, “Fados”, has come and left the Bay Area too fast for me to catch it, even though the reviews for it had an eerily similar mention of the fado performers’ power and intensity, caught by Saura’s unflinching lens. Maybe it will come back to town or to PFA. I’m there as soon as it does.