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Previewed 18 September 2008, Opened 22 September 2008, Closed 15 November 2008 at the Lyric Theatre in London
Karen Ruimy's dance show Flamenco Flamen'ka in London, promising 'a stampede of wildly passionate music and dance'. Coming to London's West End direct from a sell-out season in Paris, this production has been directed and staged by Craig Revel Horwood and brings together both Flamenco and Latin dancers choregraphed by Jerome Couchart, Marjorie Ascione and Manuel Gutierrez Cabello. Craig Revel Horwood's West End credits include Hard Times The Musical at the Haymarket Theatre in 2000.
"There's a whole lot of stamping going on in Flamenco Flamen'ka. Craig Revel Horwood's remodelled production of a more skeletal piece by Karen Ruimy is too much of a quite good thing. Set in a Spanish hacienda which doubles as a Buenos Aires brothel it is allegedly based on a story by Jorge Luis Borges and concerns the fatal love of two brothers for the same woman... Revel Horwood achieves the near-impossible by marrying the entirely different dance forms of flamenco and tango but then spoils the effect by overcrowding the stage with business... The musicians who play on stage throughout are, however, faultless." The Daily Express
"Flamenco Flamen'ka started life as a series of vignettes devised by dancer Karen Ruimy, inspired by the work of the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borge. Craig Revel Horwood's new version expands Ruimy's idea, compacts several stories together, and fuses flamenco, tango and contemporary dance to tell the tragic tale of Eduardo, Cristian and Juliana. It makes sense: the smouldering sensuality of the tango and the fierce pride of the flamenco seem to suit this story of dangerous passions.... But exactly what is going on and why is unclear, making for too much unspecific writhing about or brawling. The plot is repetitive, and for the detail of the characters' feelings you have to consult the programme: it's not there on the stage, and Ruimy's occasional, mysterious snippets of spoken narrative do not help... No engagement means no tragedy, rendering the story pretty flat." The Financial Times
"Ay caramba! What a clumsy, peculiar hotchpotch of a dance drama this is. It comes to us via Paris, where the flamenco-trained dancer Karen Ruimy originally conceived it. The choreographer Craig Revel Horwood, best known as one of the harshest judges on the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, was drafted in to direct and stage the West End version. He seems to have been unable to apply to his work here the same severe standards. Jumbled together from several stories by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, the show is a faltering, flatulent study of festering sexual jealousy that comes across more seamy than steamy... The evening contains a few pluses. Diego Pitarch's setting, the courtyard of a galleried hacienda with nine singers and instrumentalists tucked into the upstage corners, is handsome and atmospherically lit by Ben Cracknell." The Times
Flamenco Flamen'ka in London at the Lyric Theatre previewed from 18 September 2008, opened on 22 September 2008 and closed on 15 November 2008.