Review: Aguas/Water (Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company)

Get lost in the movements of Aguas/Water playing at Toronto’s Harbourfront

Petite in stature, but strong in nature, Esmeralda Enrique gives us yet another mesmerizing performance in her new work Aguas/Water showcasing at the Harbourfront Centre in the Fleck Dance Theatre. Accompanying her is her ensemble of dedicated and talented dancers from the renowned Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance company.

As Canada’s most celebrated Flamenco dance artists, Enrique continues to bring creative insight, passion, and vision to her work. As one audience member commented during the “Q and A” this evening, “Esmeralda, I love you! I love all of you!” Spoken like a true Flamenco aficionado, this is a testament to Enrique’s enduring commitment to bringing the heritage of Flamenco to audiences.

Together with prominent Flamenco dancers, vocalists and musicians from Spain, Enrique creates for us an absolutely outstanding evening of theatre! This isn’t just about impeccable foot work. It is about uniting dancer and musician, costumes and lighting, to create a truly incredible and authentic experience.

The show commenced with sophisticated lighting effects by Sharon DiGenova. A full lit backdrop displaying images of water, the inspiration for this recent piece, accompanied each dance number. Strikingly lit, the lighting complemented the dancer’s movement and vibrant costumes.

Celebrating 30 years of The Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, the exquisite Esmeralda, makes a grand entrance dressed in coral, opening the show with a classical Flamenco piece in “Mar”. Energetic, fiery, and effervescent, Enrique still shows indefatigable strength. She does the same in Act 2 in “Confidente”. Adorned in a stunning, elaborate purple gown, her stage presence is simply magical.

Soon after, guest artist and former Dora Mavor Moore award winner Juan Ogalla, followed by company dancers, Paloma Cortes, Angela Del Sol, Ilse Gudino, and Noelia La Morocha grace the stage. Expressive, synchronized and seamless, it is hard to believe the dancers only started working with choreographer Juan Ogalla two weeks ago!

The music is dynamic and engaging. Combining instruments of Flamenco guitar played by Oscar Lago and Nicolas Hernandez, percussionist Rosendo Leon, and violinist, Chris Church, the musical breaks were just as powerful as the dancers.

Flamenco songs tell stories of anguish and pain. Intensely hypnotic and emotional, Spaniard vocalists, Nino de Elche and Manuel Soto captivated us from start to finish. They help keep the beat and are very much at the heart of the performance.

Juan Ogalla’s choreography and powerhouse performance was unstoppable! His whip lash turns, intricate shoulder and hand movements, and impressive foot work commanded attention. It was seductive and breathtaking all together and the crowd was in an uproar!

Truly a masterpiece, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company brings a high level of expertise and artistic brilliance to Aguas/Water. Two hours later, my husband and I still yearned for more. We were thrilled to see an encore of improvisation after the standing ovation.

Details

Aguas/Water is playing at  Fleck Dance Theatre at the Harbourfront Centre (207 Queens Quay W)
-Performances run April 21 at 8pm and on April 22 at 3pm
-Tickets range from $25-$43 or $21.50-28.25 for Students/Seniors.
-Tickets can be purchased by calling 416-973-4000 or by visiting www.harbourfrontcentre.com or www. flamenco.net

Photograph of Juan Ogalla (in back) and Esmeralda Enrique (in front) and the company taken by Hamid Karimi