Review-Gala Flamenca-Hong Kong Arts Festival


By: Cindy Kim


As part of the 43rd annual Hong Kong Arts Festival, Gala Flamenca comes to Hong Kong to showcase some of the world’s renowned flamenco dancers: Antonio Canales, Carlos Rodríguez, Jesús Carmona and Karime Amaya. The HKAF promotes local and international talent with the aim of facilitating cultural exchange, and the Gala Flamenca definitely is a unique cultural experience you don’t usually get the chance to see in Hong Kong.


The lighting design by David Pérez did an amazing job of accentuating the choreography as well as providing a sense of theatrical flair that flamenco is so renowned for. The spotlights shined through fog gave the piece “Cantes” absolute ethereality, accompanied by the to become a very striking opener to the performance. However, in the more festive pieces, the solid-tone light emitting backdrop was turned on and it had me blinking away tears; not because I was overcome by the artistry of the performance, but rather because going from zero to a hundred in two seconds will make tears stream from anyone’s eyes. I’m sure the effect would be more appreciated by the audience unable to see as well further back, but as it was the lighting outshone the performers at times.


Although the performance was an hour and a half long with no intermission, it was divided into ten different snippets, ranging from melancholy to passion to cheerful festivity, as well as group dances, solos and duets, the most impressive featuring Karime Amaya and the Corp de Ballet Lucía Campillo and Carmen Coy. 


The sheer level of skill and control it takes to perform on a level as shown on stage is stunning, and their passion is evident in every step that they take; stamping to the point of making the stage shake. The intensity is almost overwhelming at times, and I was definitely caught up in the act as Jesús Carmona played out a staccato burst to its conclusion.


The live singing and percussion was a vitally important aspect, and seamlessly complemented the tap dancing on center stage. The singing was amplified by speakers on either side of the stage, and I had no issues with the audio whatsoever. 


I was lucky enough to be seated close enough to see the emotion on the performer’s faces and it really contributes to the intensity of the performance, so I would suggest making an extra effort to find tickets for the stalls if you can. The expressive voice and dance combined with the flamboyantly ruffled costumes makes for a genuine and vibrant visual spectacle I would absolutely recommend.


Gala Flamenca is playing through March 1. For more information, click here.

Related articles:

dance, review, hongkong

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