Ian Waller enjoys an evening of flamenco at The Mission Theatre in Bath

Great theatre can open doors to new worlds and that’s exactly what happened last night at The Mission Theatre in Bath. I know next to nothing about flamenco so it was something of a leap of faith to take my seat for Raíces by the Lourdes Fernández Flamenco Company

Presented as part of the Bath Fringe Festival, the evening promised ‘to bring Flamenco to a wide and diverse audience – a show for both aficionados and novices, for those who listen to flamenco and those who do not… yet!’

The result was astounding – intense, skillful and full of passion, and not just from the incredible company on stage, but the enthusiastic and enthralled audience as well. Raíces was described as ‘an heterogeneous interpretation of the art, drawing on but departing from traditional flamenco in search of an eclectic style of music inspired by Folk, Andalusian Copla, Jazz and other styles’.  As a beginner to this world, while a fair amount of this clearly went way over my head, what I could appreciate was the skill and pure enjoyment of the performers. 

The evening started with the musical talents of the four piece band combining violin, percussion, guitar and vocals, all presenting incredible performances alongside an enjoyment that tells so much of their bond and appreciation of each other’s talents. The result was wonderfully evocative, framing a level of musicality which was at times entrancing. 

And then came the entrance of dancer Lourdes Fernández. Wow, the skills and artistry on display here were incredible! Spurred on by a passionate audience, including many fellow Spaniards, Señora Fernández presented an incredible display combining poise and beauty with remarkable athleticism and skill. The wooden floor of the Mission provided a perfect stage, as the dancer’s heels clicked again and again with such speed and dexterity, it was simply astounding to see.

With every performance from Señora Fernández, each intertwined with performances from the band, the audience grew more and more animated, displaying a level of appreciation that was clearly felt by the performers and ended in a justified standing ovation.

What a performance and well done yet again to The Mission Theatre for staging a wonderful evening of passionate theatre.

Find out more about upcoming performances at The Mission Theatre by clicking here.