Leonor Leal and Company

Leonor Leal and Company

Posted on : 19/10/2009

The Scotsman

Dance review: Leonor Leal and Company

Published Date: 19 October 2009

By JAN FAIRLEY

LEANOR LEAL AND COMPANY

QUEENS HALL, EDINBURGH

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FLAMENCO is thriving in 21st century Spain, with cutting-edge shows leading the country's cultural life, many led by female dancer-choreographers. So it was a treat that Hispanic Arts Scotland invited Leonor Leal's up-and-coming company from Jerez, where the annual flamenco festival is the crucible of creativity.

For Leoleolé, the opening martinete-toná of singer Mercedes Jiménez established flamenco's bittersweet fusion of confessional intimacy with fiery statement. Joined by second singer Jesús Corbacho and guitarist Tino van der Sman, dancer Antonio Molina set the pace with a dynamic seguiriya, capturing the audience with his energetic zapateo foot work.

After a jazzy guajira from Sman Leal offered the first of three solo dances, starting with a tangos, which combined elegant arm work with the timbres of her pattering feet. Leal's award-wining farrucca was exciting: her interpretation of this one-time male dance powerfully adapted by women in recent times, was enhanced by her signature short, dark hair, while flowing trousers allowed intensity of movement unfettered by frills.

With an engaging milonga from singer Corbacho, the show exuded youthful vitality and the final spontaneous encore brought the audience to their feet.