FLAMENCO: Sara Baras Enchants London Audiences in Sadler’s Wells

 

Flamenco bases its magic in sounds and movements and none knows that better than Spain’s foremost flamenco superstar Sara Baras. She enthralls audiences in a performance that reaches shamanic dimensions. Baras and her team invite the spectator to join in a series of experiences where time seems to collapse.

Baras brought her new show Voces, Suite Flamenca to Sadler’s Wells last February. A tribute to past flamenco masters such as Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, Antonio Gades, Enrique Morente, Moraíto and Carmen Amaya, Voces is directed, choreographed and performed by Baras along with 15 fellow dancers (including a guest performance by her husband, José Serrano). Voces captures all the emotion, drama and passion of flamenco, building to a spectacular free-form finale.

Ballet Flamenco – Sara Baras - Voces - Suite Flamenca (cred Santana de Yepes) I

Ballet Flamenco – Sara Baras – Voces – Suite Flamenca (cred Santana de Yepes) I

As Camarón de la Isla says in Seguirilla, that together with Verdiales, Soleá and Bulería form the backbone of flamenco singing:

Flamenco is flamenco; it is always sorrowful, you understand? And even love, love is sorrowful in essence too, and everything is a sorrow and a joy, you know? I think it depends on how the person takes and administers it, you know? It’s like everything, it’s like everything; you must be born with that feeling, with that knowledge, or rather with that wisdom in order to understand and to see things in a certain way and the difference is that you have to be an artist to go out and sing on a stage because you have to have, I don’t know, a kind of respect for the public.

As her Wikipedia entrance states, Baras started dancing at the age of eight in her mother’s (Concha Bara) dance school. She was gaining a reputation when she joined guitarist Manuel Morao’s company in 1989. She has won a number of awards including the Madroño Flamenco of Montellano (Seville) in 1993, and in 1999 and 2001, she received a prize for the Best Female Spanish Dance Performer.

She collaborated with Javier Barón, and Merche Esmeralda included her in her show Mujeres. She worked with Antonio Canales on Gitano, and with El Güito at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. She danced with Manuel Morao at the Seville Expo in 1992 and later in New York.

Ballet Flamenco – Sara Baras - Voces - Suite Flamenca (cred Santana de Yepes) VI

Ballet Flamenco – Sara Baras – Voces – Suite Flamenca (cred Santana de Yepes) VI

As a solo dancer, she took part in several tributes to Camarón de la Isla. In 1997, she started her own company, with which she closed the Festival Nacional de Cante de las Minas. The company’s first shows included Sensaciones (1998) and Sueños (show) (1999). Sara Baras appeared in other shows including Juana la Loca (2001) and Mariana Pineda (2002).

She has increasingly worked across all forms of media including television, film and the fashion catwalks. In 1998 she presented the programme Algo Más Que Flamenco on TVE. In July 1999, on the Patio of the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, she was filmed for Mission: Impossible II. As a model, she has appeared in the shows of Amaya Arzuaga at Fashion Week in London and for Francis Montesinos Madrid and Lisbon.

The other members of the team are the guitars: Keko Baldomero, Andrés Martínez; singers: Rubio de Pruna, Miguel Rosendo, Israel Fernández (magnetic voz quebrada, broken voice); and percussion: Antonio Suárez, Manuel Muñoz Pájaro.

About Lorenzo Belenguer

Artist, writer and curator based in London and Valencia. Belenguer has collaborated with The Guardian, The Independent and many other specialised Art Magazines such Sluice, Artlyst and FAD. Belenguer's art is strongly influenced by Minimalism. He exhibited and performed at The Serpentine Galleries, TATE Modern and the 56th Venice Biennale.