OneTwoThreeOneTwo (Review)

Black and white image with two men dancing, one without a top, one is reaching sideways the other is gazing at him

Albert Quesada and Zoltán Vakulya – OneTwoThreeOneTwo (c) Benjamin Sommabere

It is one thing to believe, as a flamenco enthusiast, that the music and dance is its own language and that it speaks to everyone irrespective of their background. Quite another to see it happen.

These two artists, who freely admit that their background is not flamenco, have come up with an improvisational situational dance that demonstrates the truth of an enthusiast’s ideal of flamenco beautifully. When dancing to Alegrias they are happy. Their silences – whether without music, to traditional silencios or even to what might be the arrhythmic sound of scratches from an LP are exactly that. Deep, meaningful moments are performed to cante jondo and whirligig moments could as easily be Sevillanas enthusiasts improvising as it could be contemporary dancers performing improvisationally to a pre-defined structure.

It’s not deconstruction, at least not in that frenetic incredibly articulate detailed deconstruction we get from Israel Galván. It’s not supposed to be. That Albert Quesada & Zoltán Vakulya dance to the overall musical feel rather than the underlying rhythms of each palos is natural. They’re interpreting their feel of flamenco, not performing it, and it doesn’t matter – they are engaging, energetic, introspective and intense. In a whirl of performance, the contrasts between frenetic travelling, gentle constraint and deadpan humour were wonderful, but the sudden and personal intensity of the outward turning of their inward gaze crowned my day. It wasn’t just me as I checked with others. In this in-the-round performance they pulled us into a startlingly electric personal moment, eye-to-eye into a dizzying duende that I will not forget.


(performed at Lilian Baylis Studio,


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