Antonio Canales, surrounded by singers, dancers and musicians at the Gala Flamenca. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu.
Antonio Canales, surrounded by singers, dancers and musicians at the Gala Flamenca. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu.

The New York Flamenco Festival, in town for its fourteenth edition, opened last night with a Gala Flamenca featuring Antonio Canales, Karime Amaya (grand-niece of Carmen Amaya), Carlos Rodríguez, and Jesús Carmona. It was a well-orchestrated, well-paced show, directed by Ángel Rojas of Nuevo Ballet Español, with a varied mix of solos, pas de deux, and ensembles. Each of the featured performers has a clearly-defined style: Canales’s is blustery and authoritative; Amaya’s austere and monumental; Rodríguez’s clean and showy. But Jesús Carmona, new to the festival, was the show-stopper, a dancer of endless invention and chispa. You’ll find my review for DanceTabs here.

Despite the star turns, though, there was also a lively air of inclusiveness, a sense of everyone being part of an extended family. In one number, the entire cast—musicians, singers, dancers—gathered onstage, around Antonio Canales, and held a kind of party. It was one of the highlights of the night.

In this clip, Jesús Carmona does an alegrías:

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