The Unley Village Green on a mild summer’s evening provides a truly idyllic setting to enjoy Studio Flamenco’s Fringe offering Gypsy Caravan. Old and young gathered with rugs and cushions, picnics and drinks, sangria and paella to take in a night of Gypsy entertainment under the stars.
To get the show underway Marduk Gault set the scene for the evening with a hauntingly beautiful guitar solo. He was then joined by fellow guitarist Aloysius Leeson, percussionist Adrian van Nunen, and flautist Paul Hilton. These are some of the finest and most experienced flamenco musicians in Australia which is evident in their playing. They were aided by rousing Flamenco vocalist Zoe Veléz from Sydney.
As the sun set the tempo rose and the dancing entranced and exhilarated the audience. Choreographed by Emma Fernée, Susi Masi, Yasmine Hilton and Daniel Lyas the evening ebbs and flows from poignant moments to frenetic crescendos of passion and energy.
The dancer’s costumes become part of the performance as they are expertly flicked and turned. Shawls are twirled and manipulated with an artistry that is visually breathtaking. The Flamenco Studio has dressed these dancers beautifully in rich hues and lush fabrics, the costumes really can’t be faulted.
Dancers Emma Fernée, Susi Masi, Daniel Lyas, Yasmine Amber, Melissa Walker, Satoko Kelty, Olivia Guarna, Pei Ru Chao, Gabi Baltic are each superb. They command the audiences attention with personality, competence and finesse. From the subtle turn of a wrist to a barrage of flamenco footwork, these dancers demonstrate skill and precision.
My only regret about this show is that I wish I knew more about Flamenco as an artform, or at least some Spanish. That may have allowed me to follow the narrative of the piece. I’m sure there was a storyline but I found it almost totally inaccessible. And finally, Gypsy Caravan may have better achieved the claim that it is “an immersive gyspy experience” had it been performed in the round.