by Paula Citron
The first Toronto International Flamenco Festival began modestly with two performances by Seville-based Alicia Márquez and friends over the weekend. The dancers, singers and guitarists are staying in town to give flamenco workshops until Wed. The premise of the new festival is to bring in top international flamenco stars who will both perform and teach.
Márquez’s show called Aire Flamenco was outstanding. In fact, it was one of the best flamenco puro shows I’ve seen. The format was a mix of solos, duets and musical interludes by both the singers and musicians. It was brilliantly put together to highlight the drama of flamenco.
Márquez was charismatic yet full of feminine grace, while the male dancer Nano was macho and sultry. The chemistry was so strong between them that it jumped off the stage. The four singers and musicians propelled the exciting music with their intensity.
Workshops by Márquez and company continue at the Toronto International Flamenco Festival until Wed.
From the Danforth Music Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.