© Ángel Múñoz
© Ángel Múñoz

The London Flamenco Festival will welcome Ángel Múñoz to Sadler's Wells stage this March. The Córdoban dancer has performed with some of the leading Flamenco Dance artists, including Javier Latorre, Paco Peña and María Pagés. Now, as a solo performer, he returns to the UK, to share Ángel, from Black to White. I had the privilege to speak with Ángel about his new work. It seems like Ángel, from Black to White is going to be a brilliant show, one that I am sure will stand out in the Festival. 

Ángel, from Black to White promises to take us on a journey where we will experience some of the deepest forms of Flamenco cantes, like the Seguiriya, ending with lighter palos echoing Fandangos and Alegrías. The show brings together a unique combination of voices. Ángel will be accompanied by soloists with distinct personalities, like the cantaores Jose Ángel Carmona and winner of the 2010 Lampara Minera Award, Miguel Ortega, guitarist Javier Patino, percussionist Nacho Lopez, saxophonist Diego Villegas and electronic musician Artomatico.

© Ángel Múñoz
© Ángel Múñoz

When asked about Ángel, from Black to White, Ángel stated that he is excited to open and close the show with two pieces of electronic music by Artomatico, which he hopes will set the tone for the emotionally charged atmosphere. When questioned about titles for these two pieces, the reply was blanco y negro; black and white. The show brings together these two extremes, going full circle while dancing to a series of Flamenco palos. Ángel mentioned that he used the circle – which typically represents unity and infinity – as a symbol during his choreographic process, which can be also be seen in the work. One can also expect to see Martinete-Seguiriya, Taranto, Farruca, Guarija, and an Alegrías. I must admit that I am quite interested to see Ángel's Farruca and Guajira, two palos with contrasting temperaments. Farruca, historically considered a male dance, is powerful and linear. Guajiras can be supple and graceful. This choreographic decision to have them following one another in the show is a risk but one that highlights Ángel's range. With this solo show, Ángel seems to be exploring the extremes. 

Another source of inspiration for Ángel's choreography is his name. He has chosen to look closely at the various meanings of “Ángel”, exploring the different qualities of each, examining the contradictions and questioning their uses. Is he an angel, a descender, a leader, the guardian or the messenger, the keeper, the Annunciation, the one that flies or the one that falls? Perhaps we will find the answers to these questions in the choreography.

© Ángel Múñoz
© Ángel Múñoz

Flamenco lends itself to exploring individuality within a grand continuity. Great Flamenco artists often portray and convey feelings of love, pain, anger, joy and sorrow on stage. I had a very positive series of interactions with Ángel and his warm, inviting team. In hindsight, I realized that Ángel is capable of making one feel special. If he can do this when he is not dancing, I can only imagine what he can offer us on stage.

His large scale work promises to be compelling. Having seen Ángel dance before, I am excited to see his evening length work, Ángel, from Black to White. He is creating a legacy for himself through such powerful, wholly absorbing and satisfying work.