REVIEW: House of Flamenka, Peacock Theatre

Fusing contemporary dance and Flamenco, this is a show filled with drama and passion that thrills from start to finish.

(c)Pamela Raith Photography

Prepare to enter a world of pure decadence and fantasy in this new show directed and created by Arlene Phillips and co-created by Karen Ruimy (who also shows off the versatility of her performance talents). Blending contemporary dance and flamenco, the show is suitably stylish to capture the audience’s attention, but it also cleverly breaks down many of the different aspects that are key to flamenco dancing – such as fans and skirts – to feel also informative as well.

The concept behind the show is that it is set in a fantasy world of a goddess of music and dance who adores collecting beautiful objects – such as the 22 dancers and musicians who perform exclusively for her pleasure. However, an element of drama is added to this when it becomes clear she has defied the gods and shown nothing but contempt for their rules and so the House of Flamenka is condemned to eternal punishment, stripping her and her dancers of every aspect of their luxurious lifestyle.

Co-created by Arlene Phillips and Karen Ruimy, the fluidity of the show runs through every aspect of the show which is divided into different segments but still manages to stay coherent, allowing the choreography of James Cousins and Francisco Hidalgo to fully take centre stage.

The work of both choreographers in House of Flamenka is so sharp and compliments every part of the show wonderfully well. A particular favourite section is the focus on rhythm, with the choreography really highlighting the importance of music and listening to every beat – but doing so in a playful way. Elsewhere, with the use of fans – I have seen movements I have never seen before that kept me mesmerised throughout, with not one foot or movement out of place from any of the dancers.

Elsewhere, Jasmine Swan’s set and costume designs compliment the contrasting nature of the show. In the first act the costumes are bold and colourful and the set dazzlingly sumptuous – highlighting the glamorous and frivolous lifestyle the goddess and her dancers live in, while the second act to takes a darker and more sombre approach visually.

At the heart of it all, the incredible performances from all of the dancers vividly bring this show to life in an electrifying way. Their precision, passion and energy are on full display from start to finish. There is no let up in their dedication on delivering an excellent performance.

Filled with energy, playfulness, drama and precision this is certainly a show that constantly dazzles and keeps the audience hooked from start to finish.

By Emma Clarendon

House of Flamenka will continue to play at the Peacock Theatre until the 8th October. To book tickets click here.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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