Andalucian Gypsy Spirit In Chiswick

Penny Flood reviews Fiesta Flamenca at the George IV


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The return of Anita La Maltesa with her Fiesta Flamenca show is a treat, a fact not wasted on the people of Chiswick as once again she played to a sell out audience.

Fiesta Flamenca is a highly professional troupe of musicians, singers and dancers who brought the excitement and glamour of Flamenco to the George IV on Sunday. The singing was particularly beautiful. Flamenco singing is like no other as the guitarists and vocalists work together to produce that strange haunting, mesmeric melody to evoke the gypsy spirit of Andalucía.

Pic- Anna Kunst

The opening dancer was Jesus Olmedo, who set the mood for the evening in a stamping, whirling flurry of high octane dance. Accompanied by the clicking, singing and strumming of the rest of the team, he was terrific.

But however good he and the others were, the star of the show was Anita, she was what we had come to see and she didn’t let us down. She burst on in the first half dressed in black and scarlet fringes and frills dancing her way through with all the passion and intensity expected of Flamenco.

The surprising thing about Anita is that she isn’t from Andalucía; she’s not even from Spain. She grew up in Chiswick and it’s quite likely that many members of the audience were at school with her. She studied dance in London, fell in love with Flamenco and went to Seville to learn how to do it. Now she combines traditional Flamenco with her own personal interpretation to make her shows unique.

For the second half she changed into a black and white dress, with even more flounces, ideal for twirling. Anita’s Flamenco is exhilarating and sexy, and skilful. Occasionally she lifted her skirts so we could better appreciate the intricate footwork. Sometimes she was accompanied just with the guitar, played by Ramon Ruiz with whom she founded Fiesta Flamenca, at others by the whole troupe reaching a smashing crescendo at the end as the audience joined in with the clapping and some members of the audience even joined her to dance on stage.

My only complaint is that she only sang one number. Anita has a lovely voice and I would have liked to have heard more. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for next time.

If you missed this show, don’t worry, she hopes to be back in November.

May 8, 2014

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