Review by Kerrie Pacholli
Art Centre Melbourne Hamer Hall audiences, usually a conservative fraternity, expect the best in comfort, technology and talent. Yet again we were not disappointed.
I do love all that is Art Centre!
YO CARMEN, created by Spain’s most treasured and globally celebrated flamenco choreographer, director and dancer Maria Pagès and her Company consisting of 15 of the Spain’s best writers, dancers and musicians had me hypnotized from the first beguiling fan dance. I was transported through time and space. My soul penetrated by Maria’s vanguard Carmen remake using an effective mix of sound track from Bizet’s 1875 score interwoven with live contemporary flamenco compositions.
Powerful emotions were ignited, awakening tantalizing hauntings from my childhood of exotic, sexually charged Gypsy flamenco dancers, thunderously stamping their feet and clicking their castanets. Wild and raw gyrating women dancing with not a hair out of place, being tamed and disciplined by the music of their equally exotic powerful male counterparts.
A tear welled from deep within. I thought, YO CARMEN!
If anyone in that capacity full theatre was hanging out to see Carmen, the bewitching femme fatal “taken out” by one of her jealous admirers. Well that didn’t happen…
I was taken to a sacred ethereal epicenter of female energy where continuous explosions of power reside and were channeled to ignite, create, transform and transcend. Can be scary for some…
Onstage dancing with her much younger troupe and hidden musicians Maria was part of, yet orchestrated every move, instrument and vocal ingredient. Potent synchronicity and the voyeuristic megalomaniac in me could not get my eyes off Maria. (you know it hides within us all)
Clearly at the top of her game María Pagés is endowed with evolving charisma that comes with intelligence, confidence and in her case athleticism of someone 30 years her junior.
My instincts tell me that the youth of the world need the opportunity to experience the High Magick artistry of María Pagés Compañía.
Yes, I liked the show.
Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Projects Australia presents
11 – 12 March 2019
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall
Tickets now on sale at artscentremelbourne.com.au
8 – 9 March 2019
WOMADelaide, Botanic Park, Adelaide www.womadelaide.com.au