Metro Weekly

Francisco Hidalgo is the centerpiece of GALA’s Fuego Flamenco

Spain's legendary dancer returns to Gala's Flamenco festival with a U.S. Premiere

Francisco Hidalgo – Photo: Ana Palma

Break out the castanets! GALA’s 13th Annual Fuego Flamenco continues this weekend with the U.S. Premiere of Binomio, a bold new piece created by Spain’s legendary Francisco Hidalgo, who enthralled audiences last year with the thrilling The Silences of the Dance.

“Francisco is again focusing on looking at the human connection of flamenco and the energy that flows between artist and creating the work and how they respond to music and how they respond to movement,” says Abel Lopez, GALA’s Associate Producing Director.

Hidalgo will be joined by dancer Anabel Moreno and singers Trini de la Isla and Ana Polanco. The performances feature musical direction by guitarist José Almarcha and musician El Wafir S. Gabril, who hails from Kurdistan.

While this is only Hidalgo’s second appearance at GALA’s popular festival, it’s the thirteenth time the theatre has partnered with Casa Patas, a world-renowned Madrid tablao, which describes the heavy, reverberating floorboards that amplify the heart-pumping flamenco style. Lopez notes that the festival’s longtime curator, Edwin Aparicio, appeared at Casa Patas, which hosts the best and most authentic flamenco in Spain.

“By maintaining a connection with Casa Patas, we’ve presented several of the leading young, contemporary choreographers and dancers coming out of Spain,” Lopez says.

In addition to the weekend performances, which run from Nov. 9 to 12, the festival will hold a free family day on Saturday afternoon, featuring interactive demonstrations in flamenco zapateo, castanets, and fans. The Spanish Dance Society will lead two sessions, from 11 a.m. to noon, and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

“With Binomio, we’re really focusing on the universal appeal of flamenco,” says Lopez. “We’re presenting contemporary work, which is not just the dance but the music that accompanies it, with traditional singers. It’s important because it bridges both the contemporary and the traditional flamenco genre.”

Flamenco XIII continues through Nov. 12 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. General tickets are $45, or $30 for Seniors, Military, Student, and people 30 and under. Noche de GALA tickets on Friday, November 10, are $55 (single) and $95 (couple). Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.