‘Vidorra’, roughly translates to “a life meant to be lived” and is a live flamenco performance for The Cabaret Fringe Festival. The show on Friday night at the Nexus Arts Centre had all of the elements that make Flamenco so much fun to watch. The intimate nature of the venue added to the pleasure of the show.

The simple stage presentation belies the ability of the dancers to conjure up emotion, with a look, a flash of dress, a wave of the hand. The opening piece, ‘Tangos por fiesta’ had all seven dancers on stage where they each took turns to shine. This was a strong point of the group; every member had their moment, yet they worked together so well.

Even the musicians, Peter Fernee on cajon, Charger on flute and Marduk Gault on guitar had an opportunity to show off a solo piece. The ‘Guiajira’, which is a rich guitar piece stemming from Andalusion farmers was captivating as was the haunting flute at the start of the Sevilla folk dance ‘Sevillanas’.

Throughout the night there were costume changes for each dance, all in the traditional Spanish style. One could imagine the troupe entertaining in a dusty street outside the village taverna with the local townspeople clapping them on.

Most of the songs were joyful and bright, making one forget about the cold and troubles outside, and revelling in the excitement of the dance. However, as one cannot live on a rich diet alone, there were moments of drama and seriousness. The ‘Siguriyas’ dance, with its unusual 3/4 and 6/8 rhythm structure, was perfectly executed by Susi Masi.

The final piece, ‘Bulerias’, was a closing burst of joy and happiness, with all seven dancers back onstage.  It was clear the performers were totally immersed in the pleasure of Flamenco, and the audience were equally entranced. As the dancers and musicians took their final bows, and the audience were invited to linger longer and enjoy each other’s company over a glass of wine. A fantastic night out!

4 stars

Reviewed by John Goodridge