When one says Flamenco dancer, they usually think of a Spanish lady in a red dress, or sadly now, the emoji of the said dancer in the red dress. One might not even consider a male Flamenco dancer, but Manuel Liñan is breaking conventions of dance with live singers, guitar, and dancing to the spoken word.
The use of Flamenco steps as the percussion to accompany the guitarist and singers creates words and script, telling a story through his feet.
Victor Marquez’s exquisite guitar playing makes the instrument come to life. With delicate phrasing and dynamics, the instrument has its own breath.
I have never been so mesmerised by feet before, but Liñan´s quick and precise footwork is stunning and creates its rhythmic phrases.
Opening the show with a piece danced purely to speech, Liñan´s movements are a mixture of cheeky and severe, creating a mixture of emotions within the audience.
The movement and guitar flow and connect fluidly between the beautiful voices of David Carpio and Ismael de la Rosa. Their influential voices bring drama and attitude to the piece – even though they only sang in Spanish, I understood the story through the storytelling in their voices alongside the dancing.
Using flamenco hand rhythms, the singers accompany every step Liñan takes, creating the perfect combination.
Using only a handful of white chairs around the stage that are moved or tipped over to create sounds, the emphasis and focus are on the performer’s talent themselves rather than a complex set.
Pure white and yellow lighting in used, like the set, with doses of primary colors to quickly change the mood. Similar to the simple set, the focus is on the performer’s talent and ability to change the mood quickly.
A very moving piece of dance that left the audience leaping to their feet and wanting more. Quick, quirky and entertaining.
Reviewed at The Pavilion Dance South West on 5 May.