Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift of God we call the present. Never was there a more apt summation for Israel Galván’s excellent La Edad de Oro. Steeped in the history of flamenco, Le Edad de Oro reaches out towards the mystery of its future with an outstanding display rooted firmly in the immediacy of the present. The god of flamenco gifts the world his golden boy and he does not disappoint, delivering a raw, remarkable and utterly thrilling performance.
La Edad de Oro, translated as The Golden Age, yearns to connect with flamenco’s spiritual source. Set in a night dark stage, beautifully lit by Rubén Camacho, Galván snaps, claps, taps, stomps and glides with raw, consummate precision, utterly absorbed and utterly absorbing. Seated nearby towards the back of the stage, Alfredo Lagos soulfully chants into the night as guitarist, David Lagos, weaves spells to charm and excite. In truth, La Edad de Oro is as much a concert as a dance performance with alternating interplays between vocalist, guitarist and dancer executed with flawless synchronicity. Sequences when Galván dances on a miked section of floor sound like rolling thunder and the whole pulses with a haunting, powerful beauty that is simply irresistible. But most irresistible of all, it never takes itself too seriously.
La Edad de Oro often feels like a joyous jamming session between three flamenco artists thoroughly enjoying each other’s company, urging each other to greater displays of talent. Galván frequently punctuates passionate sequences with little flickers of humour and the charm and playfulness of all three is wonderful during the encore. If, at times, this all male affair feels like a night out with the boys, well where’s the harm in that? But it begs the question of what a female artist would have brought to the party. A question for the future one hopes.
La Edad de Oro possesses enough power and passion to fill a stadium and marries it to the intimacy and ease of a pub gig. With exquisite technique and cocky charm, Galván displays all the hallmarks of a true master. Supremely confident in his own unquestionable talent, he is always happy to cede the stage to the talents of his fellow artists, and Le Edad de Oro is all the richer for it. Utterly mesmerising, at moments time seems to stand still, and the almost hour and a half performance seems over far too quickly.
Camus said “real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” La Edad de Oro is a supreme act of generosity on behalf of its artists and the future of flamenco is brighter because of it. If standing ovations are a little too readily given sometimes, in the case of La Edad de Oro they are inadequate to the task. For this is La Edad de Oro. This is flamenco. And it will take your breath away.
La Edad de Oro by Israel Galván runs at The Abbey Theatre until May 30th as part of the Dublin Dance Festival 2015.
Shows begins: 7.30 p.m.
Tickets: €38 – €22. Concessions: €34 – €20.
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