DANZAORA Y VINÁTICA
Compañía Rocío Molina
Eduardo Trassierra, guitarra.
José Ángel Carmona, cante y mandola.
José Manuel Ramos "Oruco", compás.
On a mission, I take a two hour bus ride from Madrid to see a flamenco show.
I walk into Real Coliseo De Carlos III in San Lorenzo de El Escorial Spain full of anticipation and excitement. I have been watching videos of Rocío Molina online for years, but I have never seen her perform live, and live is always a different story.
At first I am taken back by the beauty of the 18th century theatre. It has a charm and elegance that delivers an air of royalty. I further scan my surrounding looking up towards the stage and then gasp in surprise; Rocío is already standing on stage, back to the audience, holding a glass of wine in one hand and a rope tied to a bottle of wine in the other. My first thought is, wow she has guts. Guts to start the show with such vulnerability, guts to be able to give those precious pre show minutes to the audience, and guts to make the decision to do so.
I find my seat and began to watch her more closely. It is smart how she incorporates small movements to suggest a narrative and yet also to give fluidity to her stance. Fingers moving, head swaying, arms moving, wine swishing around in the glass. The artistry in which she moves and carries the objects is flawless.
The scene around her doesn't feel forced. There are strategically placed surfaces, and a backdrop of reflective hanging tambourines that give a nod to the iconic flamenco symbol of lunares (polka dots).
She is on stage for a good 30 minutes as the audience settles into their seats.
Not knowing what to fully expect the lights dim and the story continues.
As the title alludes, so unravels two narratives, DANZAORA Y VINÁTICA. I experience the narratives as discussions around Sound and Wine.
Accompanied by 3 talented musicians the sound was spectacular. Every nuance was captured down to the strategic inhalations of breath. Dimensions in sound quality were a featured element as predictable sounds were taken to unpredictable places. This was demonstrated when a sound echo was used in one of Rocío's footwork sections. As well as when Rocío and Oruco used one of the stage objects (a plinth) as a hand drum. This produced a deeper sound quality that resulted in a powerful rhythmical sound battle between the two artists.
The wine narrative for me was the more intriguing narrative. It had depth and dynamics that kept me engaged and surprised at every turn. Fuelled by Rocío's dynamic dance vocabulary, the possibilities within the wine narrative felt endless.
At one point Rocio placed the wine glass on the ground and commenced complicated footwork nearly missing the wine glass with every step. An inspiration often used by flamenco dancers, this moment drew a parallel to sensations felt by a Matador. This scene was highly suspenseful as Rocío toiled with danger with confidence and determination. She was playing with fire.
After a roar of footwork the climax of the show occurred when she broke the wine glass with a stamp of her foot. This unexpected action once again displayed her courage as she stepped in the shards of glass and continued to dance in the broken glass. For me this was an important moment that truly bridged the two narratives.
I must say that although first intended for two separate shows, these narratives paired nicely. I enjoyed both the similarities and the contrasts they displayed. Rocío once again demonstrated that she is a master of her craft.
As the show came to a close Rocío started to go to new places with a slightly more contemporary movements. I saw that a new narrative was emerging. However, the lights began to fade. The stage became dark and I was thinking...what...is it going to end? Even though she gave it all, I wanted more.