It is perhaps somewhat counterintuitive, that a dance so rigid, so angular, and so full of abrupt moves and turns, could be so amazingly graceful. Flamenco, the dance form that originated in antiquity with the Mores and the Gypsies, and has since gained the respect and admiration of people everywhere, is not only graceful, but also extremely passionate. Here in L A, if one wishes to experience this thrilling art form, then the Fountain Theater is the place to go. Their long-running series, “Forever Flamenco,” features a different line-up of highly skilled flamenco dancers every show, and is a favorite with local flamenco enthusiasts.
The atmosphere of the shows here is casual and intimate, partly because many of the patrons are regulars who come back to support every new group of dancers, and have become so comfortable at the Fountain Theater that they shout encouragement to the performers onstage. Partly, too, the sense of intimacy is deliberate; the performers on stage often joke among themselves, and even with the audience. The dancers, guitarists, and the singer sit on stage, and when one or another of the dancers stands up to perform her routine, it is made to seem as if it was entirely unpremeditated, but she was just suddenly inspired by the music to dance. For those who have never seen a show of this nature, it is sure to be a new and enjoyable experience.
Male dancers have tended to dominate somewhat this art form, but this new line-up showcasing three sensational women prove that the senoritas of flamenco are just as talented and exciting to watch as the men. Vanessa Acosta, Reyes Barrios, and Arleen Hurtado all gave electrifying performances. Since seeing this show, I’ve been filled with an urgent need to sign up for flamenco lessons. I figure in about 70 years, I can probably be good enough to perform with those three dancers. The ladies’ dancing was complemented very nicely by the virtuosity of the guitarists, Antonio Triana and Benjamin Woods. In fact, even if you have no interest in the dancing, you could just close your eyes and enjoy the music, the soft strains of which makes one think of Andalusian sunsets (even if one has never ever been to Andalusia…).
Parking at the venue costs a very reasonable $5, but if you arrive early enough, there will likely be spaces available along Fountain Avenue or Mariposa Street as well, although if you opt for free street parking, then you may have to endure the valet’s indignation and a snide remark or two, just so you know.
“Forever Flamenco” is an on-going show, that features different flamenco artists each week.
Performances are the first and third Sundays of each month @ 8pm
For list of performers and line-ups for upcoming shows, visit www.FountainTheater.com
For tix call the box office @ (323) 663-1525
The Fountain Theater
5060 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029